I know I’m not the only one who thinks this is the best and the fashion-iest time of year. In Portland, there’s enough of a chill in the air to break out sweaters and boots, but still enough sunshine that the world seems full of possibility. If you’re, say, an adjunct whose fall paychecks don’t kick in until a month after you start teaching, so you’re, just for example, trying to figure out if $40.00 is enough money to get you through until payday, while also feeling certain that there is not enough brown corduroy in your closet, this change in the weather has the extra benefit of making you feel like you’re getting a whole new wardrobe as you put away your sandals and flip-flops and rediscover…those tubes of fabric that cover your toes? What’s the word I’m looking for? Socks?
Since we Oregonauts know that in two months we’ll all be glued to our couches, mocking the perkiness and optimism of Sartre and Ingmar Bergman (no really, that’s what we do during the winter here), we’re all a little bit manic. But we still want to think about fashion because It. Is. Fall!
So here are some smart, short, fashion-y articles and blogs that I’ve been enjoying this week.
On New York Fashion Week:
As you might imagine, my favorite NYFW coverage was less about the shows and more about the idea of the shows; the events that made me think about the nature of fashion and beauty and commodity culture.
So I loved this body positive flash-mob, organized by Pinup Girl Clothing.
I’m still organizing my thoughts on Kerby Jean-Raymond’s Pyer Moss show. It combined images of police violence against Black Americans with designs inspired by Black Lives Matter protests, and images of Ota Benga and Saartie Baartman, both of whom are forceful reminders of the colonial legacy of exhibiting Black bodies. Expect more on this in a future FR post.
For a more lighthearted take (fashion is all about contradiction) I loved Man Repeller’s show recaps. (“You should also know that the brand [Mansur Gavriel] is now doing shoes: minimalistic suede slides and a 90s take on the 70s platform. Three decades blended into ice cream soup? Must be Spring 2016.”)
On Fashion History:
I don’t miss New York. I really don’t. I was born in Oregon, and even though Portland has become Brooklyn West, I love it here. But I also love John Singer Sargent. So, just right now, I miss working at the Costume Institute and being able to wander into special exhibitions on my lunch break or on a Monday. If you also love fashion history and John Singer Sargent, settle in with this great article by Assistant CI Curator, Jessica Regan.
On the Fashion Industry:
Fashion and cultural studies scholars have a kind of fan culture too. We don’t collect posters or glossy magazines or t-shirts (mostly). We collect books and journals and citations, but sometimes it feels the same. For example, I am a giddy, devoted fan of Angela McRobbie. And she just dropped an article on the need for rethinking the dominant top-down, bigger is better fashion business model. And when she said, “There is no reason why fashion cannot be regional, local, and distinctive to certain urban environments,” I was like, OMG Angela Gets me.
The name is just irresistible. Crying With Cool Clothes On. ❤
Wearabout is a thoughtful street style blog based in India. Good stuff.