Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In search of style and substance



Nope, not my boyfriend. See end of post

Get the look for only $ 225 so you too can look " as if you've been feeding the pigs and fixing the fences" even if you have never seen either  *































































They say “Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.” Well try looking for  clothes and not being a size 8.  I don't often buy clothes, but after coming across some particularly revolting photos of myself someone had posted on my newly rediscovered facebook page several Christmases ago, I vowed I would mend my ways and find something simple yet elegant to wear on my forthcoming family occasion. 

The only choices seem to be looking like a mother -of -the -bride/ dowager matron (standard boutiques for women over 20) in pastel plastics, an aging hippie (Indian Clothes) or like a clown – lurid colours and very strange details  or someone out on day release from an asylum (in expensive fashionable boutiques for larger women) also mostly in plastic. I'd also like to point out that I'd rather not look like a beast of prey, a reptile or a fire engine. No wonder those people in the Walmart clip look the way they do. Will probably go with 'aging hippie' which at least has a passing acquaintance with natural fibres and dyes. Hot pink never suited me either.

I notice that some of the drama series such as NCIS and  Criminal Minds are starting to use non –standard  people such as Pauley Perette , Gray Gubler  and Kirsten Vangsness. The trend probably started with Bones, which features a whole ragbag of individuals and while it’s nice to see an inclusion policy which also involves a token number of black people,  Hispanics and persons of oriental extraction, and Heaven Forbid - even an older person or two, as for example David McCallum as Ducky  in NCIS, (with the possible exception of Emily Deschanel, who plays Dr Temperance Brennan in Bones and was based on a real person), these are not characters to be taken seriously. 

In most cases, it  seems to be a precondition for being allowed to exist as characters in a TV series:

1.       That they are supremely intelligent and brilliant at their jobs
2.       They must be confined to the backroom
3.       They must have a bizarre fashion sense
4.       And that they are essentially there to provide some kind of comic relief and contrast to the attractively neutral lead actors.

None of these images will change public attitudes either to the brainy or the different, but rather relegate them more to the status of spectacle. If producers and script writers really wanted to challenge the prevailing view that appearance is all that matters, could they please give us some slightly less ridiculous role models.

Looks like  I’ll be sticking with my faded and frayed jeans for a while. I'm hoping if I wait long enough, they'll be  artistically ripped enough to be fashionable at a fraction of the cost. My parents, who luckily aren't here to witness this would die of shame, if they weren't dead already, for poor as we were, even they would rush  out to Vinnies for another pair, rather than having their offspring walking around like that. With my luck of course, given the fickleness of fashion, we will probably be reviving yet another repulsive style from the 80's by then. Mullets, anyone? 

* For the rationale behind this see
http://www.seducingwithstyle.com/style-dictionary/jeans/frayed-jeans/
This picture is from the Ralph Lauren Catalogue where the jeans are currently on special  at a mere $154.99.
Looks like another exercise in postmodern  futility to me, along with riding bicycles that go nowhere (they should at least be hooked up to the grid) and running on treadmills. For a nice little rant about why pre - ripped jeans are so wrong, see the Art Ranger blog. The Art Ranger is into incidental art too.

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