Shorts - vintage via Wasteland, Sweater - c/o
Romwe Chicwish!, Shoes - Urban Outfitters, Jewelry - mostly Konstantino
These shorts are probably the coolest things ever. They were vintage pants that some smart person hemmed into little shorts, with floral pockets and tuxedo-esque floral stripes running down the side. I picked them up at the Wasteland on Melrose for $18. I had thought that I'd end up wearing them with a ripped-up black vintage tee, but it's been chilly lately as I traipsed up and down the west coast on holiday adventures, so this sweater did the trick. Come summertime, though, the tee shirt thing is happening.
Also, yes, my boyfriend forced me to lie down in the dirt to take pictures. Typically, I would have flat out refused, as I am the least "model-y" person on the planet, but on this particular day, I was feeling rather sick, so lying down really was an awesome request. Sure, I'll just fall asleep here in this random orchard, and you can do all the work taking blog photos for me. Perfect.
Lastly, I am totally rocking the ponytail. I'm really into it -- it's one part 1990s heroin chic and one part 1950s Americana. That's always a good combo, and I think it pretty much sums up this look.
****AND NOW WE TALK ABOUT ACTUAL THINGS****
One thing that has always irked me is aesthetic critique. I absolutely loathe it when people go out of their way to broadcast negative critiques of others' aesthetics. Celebrities often face this in those terrible "Worst Dressed" lists that you see in supermarket pseduo-tabloid smut magazines like People. Bloggers often see this in terms of online commentary. We all often see this in our peer groups. I find it tacky and just plain rude when people air their disapproval of anyone else's aesthetic in a public forum, especially when we have to deal with so much pressure from society at large anyway to look a certain way. Freedom of opinion is fine, but I do believe that it's nice to fall back on some basic manners.
What is the proper way to respond to a blog or a look or a red carpet outfit that you don't particularly like? In my opinion, it's to ignore it, and move along with your business. I'm not a perfect person -- I occasionally laugh with a friend a bit over someone's outfit, but I do this understanding that I'm just speaking from my oddball taste, and that a lot of people probably like that sort of thing, and that is really just fine with me. Furthermore, I would never speak about this in public, because it's not necessary, and more than that, it's just not very nice.
What has happened to adhering to some modicum of social consideration?
Pre-blogging, celebrity fashion critique bore the brunt of my gross-out reaction to this sort of thing. Celebrities have a lot of excess in their lives, which is a great impetus for us to consider just how deserving any one person is of such wealth and lifestyle. However, being appalled or jealous of that wealth or beauty or attention does not make those people any less people. They are real, and they have doubts and insecurities, and happy days and sad ones, and perhaps even more than us, they feel the pressure to be beautiful and well-dressed. I rarely pay attention to red carpet events, but it's impossible to deny that at events like The Oscars, these are simply people who got dressed up in something fancy, who left the house feeling beautiful, and who later may have to see pictures of themselves on Worst Dressed lists in magazines with terribly rude headings, while people sit back and discuss just how horrible they looked, and all for what? So that we average people can feel better about ourselves? I have a lot of qualms with celebrity culture, but a large amount of my issue with it falls upon the public's reception of celebrity culture. We create a vicious love-hate relationship with these avatars (I say "avatars" because we don't even know the real people), and we thrust our money and adoration upon them, but so eagerly wait for them to fail in some way so that we might viciously tear them apart. It is a sad and unfortunate process.
We see the same process occur on a mini-level with influential bloggers. The public seems so eager to dismiss or critique fashion bloggers, failing to realize that most fashion bloggers are not speaking from a position of authority, but rather from a position of peer participation. As a fashion blogger, I recognize that not everyone is going to love what I do (I mean, I don't relate to 99.9% of the blogs that I see). In fact, as a weird fashion blogger, I recognize that a good chunk of the population won't relate to what I do. Urban Outfitters may have popularized this aesthetic, but at the end of the day, the looks that I favor are still a bit kooky. It baffles me that anyone would feel the need to point out anything a fashion blogger does, specifically, and discuss why he or she does not like it. There are not enough hours in the day for me to do this, and I wonder why on earth anyone finds it so important to address something that is already taken for granted by a good number of people. To be clear: I have no problem critically discussing trends on the whole; it is the specificity of narrowing it down to one person that amazes me with its audacity, as though the recipient of such negativity weren't an actual person who might chance upon your critique.
Personally, I feel guilty even discussing trends that I dislike. In some online interviews, people have asked me what I would not wear or do not favor. I have begrudgingly admitted to not finding flared skirts or classic pumps or blazers (typically, not always) to my particular taste, but just saying that seems as though I am judging people who prefer to wear those types of things, and that weighs upon my conscious. Floral mini-dresses with blazers and knee-socks and pumps suit a lot of ladies just fine, and it's not my place to judge that.
At the end of the day, I think judgement is the issue to which this all boils down. To judge something implies a position of superiority, and in a matter as subjective as aesthetics, there is no superiority, only our personal taste. I would hope that we can encourage one another to be critical of our own language when discussing aesthetics, and attempt to be a bit more polite than we have a tendency to be. There is so much in the world that validly deserves critique and analysis, and it is arbitrary to direct our negativity towards something so harmless and personal as the way someone chooses to dress.
Aesthetics should be fun and easy, and an interesting exploration of our identity (both global and personal), not a platform for Mean Girls-style bitchery and foulness.
Comments? Leave them below.
Questions? Ask them on my Formspring.
I'd love to know what you think about all of this, and I always love hearing viewpoints which I may have not considered. These are just my general ideas, and I am not so stupid as to think that I am so smart I cannot be wrong.
UNRELATED: I want to draw more stupid little pencil portraits like the ones listed under my illustration section. If you want one done of you, email me your picture. You can find my email under "About Me" at the top.