Monday, September 9, 2013

I can has inspiration? No. 2

Green on green on green? Don't mind if I do. 

By the way, these tidbits will henceforth be referred to as ICHI's (not to be confused with 'itchies'), and I will number them. The first one is here.

Tank by Hurley; shorts by Gap; shoes are Frye (and a favorite); bag is handmade (not by me, lolz); necklace by BCBG Maxazria.
No, I've never been an Egyptian goddess for Halloween, but evidently it's not too late.  
     In honor of Fashion Week?
Bye, guys.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Would you?

Allow me to explain the painfully seafoam, totally satirical atrocities you see above.

Months ago, I beautified some thrifted go-go boots with fabric paint, cheetah rhinestones, and the signature double C's in an attack on the consumerist tendency to assign value to shoes and clothing based on brand name; I think we (I) often forget that our emotional reaction to the shoe itself--not to the lettering on the side of it--is supposed to inform our purchase or non-purchase of it.

My point is this: repulsive as these mofos are, would you give them a second glance if you knew they came from the creative loins of Lagerfeld? I might.

Not to be doomsday or anything, but how are we supposed to know what we genuinely even LIKE these days if the logo is doing the work for us? Consider that as you feast your eyes on the circus stripes below. Don't be fooled by the acrylic insignia--they really are that ugly.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

When Function Trumps Form

Photo cred: my mama. The toes belong to a friend. 

What to do when the very articles you bought to ensure comfortable walking cause toe blisters to manifest during a hike up the tallest mountain in town? Liberate your tootsies, that's what. Because sometimes fashion-forward does a shitty job of actually getting you, ya know, forward.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

He really does wear Prada though.

Or Chloe. Collage? Mine.

I've always been smitten with fashion. As a kid, I didn't need to justify it; I sported hot pink corduroy slacks because they channeled Lizzie McGuire, and that was that. As my frontal lobe developed, however, so did my sense that I couldn't entertain a lifelong love affair with couture unless I could attach it to something substantial. I thought, if, when I die, God asks me why I chose to invest so much time in the study of clothing, I want to have a better answer than "because it's purdy." So I resolved to find one.

As an artist, I initially turned to exterior. Fashion is, after all, immediately visual. I likened the composition of an outfit, which requires sensitivity to basic aesthetic principles, to that of a painting, and I found some validity in the idea of fashion as an art, as a self-justifying articulation of beauty. I continued combing The Sartorialist archives and various online retail sites, feeling safe in the notion that, like writing and drawing, I loved fashion simply as a medium of human expression.

Now, though, I think this explanation is inadequate. My fashion-as-art model fails to account for every aspect of fashion that allures me; it fails to account, in particular, for what often feels like the most influential force behind my fetish: the awareness of an audience. I mean, yes, in composing figure-flattering, color-conscious ensembles to wear on my daily excursions, I derive a creative release comparable to what I feel when sketching or crafting an essay; fashion puts me in my element. This is true. At the same time, though, I devise each outfit with the knowledge that other people will be observing me and making assumptions about me based on what I'm wearing, and I admittedly thrive off the opportunity to lie. So, where art typically uses aesthetic value to induce meaningful human introspection, fashion uses it to induce shallow judgements based on an exterior. This fundamental difference is the reason I can't let myself off the hook by declaring, "oh, well fashion is an art!" I can't ignore the fact that I dress to impress.

Sometimes I think personal style can't really be considered self-expression at all, since some part of it will always be about other people. Even the renegades who claim to not give a shit about style norms are still making an argument to the public at large when they don fugly chic; it's just that instead of showcasing their fashion savvy, they're showcasing their superiority to fashion savvy.

But back to my question--what to tell the good Lord when he asks about my Frye fetish? In truth, I'll have to 'fess up to my own vanity; I'm attracted to clothing partially because it allows me to make a very distinct, very attractive argument about myself without words. When I wear my favorite ballet flats, for example, I do so intentionally, wanting people to think, "wow, that girl can afford high-quality footwear but has the propriety not to flaunt it." I ADMIT IT OKAY.

If I thought my attraction to fashion was purely narcissistic, though, I'd delete this blog. Which I'm not going to do. The fact remains that the way people wear clothing excites me in a way that feels transcendent. While there may always be a part of me that exploits designer labels for social gain, I'll forever appreciate folds of chiffon, supple leather paneling, destructed denim, and the works for their intrinsic beauty, the beauty they lend to the human form, and the creativity they manifest in combination.

Because dialogue > monologue, I'll go out on a well-worn limb here: why do you love fashion? What do you see as its redeeming qualities, and how do you justify its ugly side? Share.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I can has inspiration?

I'm realizing that inspiration for my personal style doesn't have to hail from fashion-specific media like magazines and blogs, or even from other clothing-conscious humanoids that I encounter at Provo's most renegade coffee shop, which really isn't that renegade. Because I think I'm entitled to the occasional cliche as long as the majority of my content is somewhat original, I'm utilizing the following: INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE.

Writing that made me feel really uncomfortable.

No, but really. An example: this picture I took at Zion could translate into a bangin' outfit d'mixed genres. The silvery shmear glinting in the sunlight poses an interesting contrast to the more muted, rustic color scheme of the rocks; made me wanna pair some gunmetal bling with a granola sweater. Ergo, the composition you see below.

Sweater by Love Stitch; bag by George, Gina & Lucy; skirt from White House Black Market; spoon cuff and ring are vintage
Thumbs up to innovation. 

Disclaimer: Don't get too excited, I don't do the selfie thing. Often. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Closet VIP: The Frye Carson Ballet

This shoe is so soft, it starts to look like your foot after a while. 

Whether that's fugly and gross or not, I'll leave to y'all's personal speculation. As for me, I fetishize this flat. Its obvious virtues like versatility, comfort, and craftsmanship aside, the Carson ballet deserves Marin-proclaimed VIP status because, after a few months of wear, it becomes irreversibly yours, as your one-in-seven-billion set of toe marks become imprinted in what Frye calls its "buttery" leather forever.

The pliability of the shoe bugged me at first. I was like, "what, so you think now that I threw the receipt away you can just go'n morph on me?!" I almost stopped wearing them. The severely stretched out heels and swollen toes, however, (not to mention the two other pairs that I subsequently bought) attest to the fact that they continued to function as a tri-weekly staple despite their misshapenness. 

I think we're often afraid to wear our clothes. Like, I've had a fit before over a stain on my T-shirt. But while it's true that many clothes and shoes look best in mint-condish, I've come to love the toe bulges in my flats, the scuffs on my wellies, the creases in my docs, provided they're not too pronounced or indicative of decay. To me, actually, they're signs of life, signs of human inhabitation. I think fashion is about where form and function meet, and what I love about this flat is that the wear from its functionality becomes an integral, unapologetic part of its form. This flat is a lovely testament to the very organic purpose of the shoe.

Lucky for you (me), they come in just about every color known to man, and in patent leather, too. Order down half a size to allow for warpage. 

I exacerbated my black pair's toe bulges by attempting to wear them with winter socks.

The comment I always get when wearing my coral pair: "Whoa! For a second, I thought you were barefoot!" And then me: "Ha, NOPE."

The sage Carson is surprisingly versatile, assuming you like sage. 

Black pair: Nordstrom, $148
Sage/Coral pairs: 6pm, $45-$70

Friday, July 19, 2013

By Way of Introduction

the mannequin theory: the idea that fashion is about the people under the clothes

In an attempt to argue that fashion = humanity, it may seem naive to equate mannequins and people; the mannequin has no identity other than that thrust upon it by indifferent stylists and bears only superficial resemblance to the breathing body after which it was modeled. Intrinsically, however, a mannequin can become anything. Like us, who, in the words of Miuccia Prada, "compose ourselves every day" through how we dress, the mannequin is a canvas of infinite possibilities. Instead of uniformity, then, I think mannequins manifest the opportunity for creativity, change, and self-actualization that fashion provides to people; that they approximate real clothes-wearers in their inexhaustible metamorphic potential.

I also know, though, that humans don't have the whole "blank slate" thing going on that allows a mannequin to adopt myriad identities. People tote around preexisting memories, values, and cultural expectations that consistently influence their personal style, and that's worth looking at, too.

This blog will endeavor to appreciate all this; to pay tribute not only to clothing, but to how it informs and reflects human experience. This blog is for the fashionista that refuses to believe that his or her obsession with people watching and outfit composition is shallow; that admires outfits for how they transform a person; that admires people for how they transform an outfit.

This blog is for anyone that looks at, and then beyond, clothing.

Welcome to Mannequin.

<3 Marin