Flipping Through a Magazine

While sitting in a waiting room today, I flipped through their copy of Redbook and found this trenchcoat with a clever feminization through the collar ruffle:


This jacket’s uneven hem works great with this length of skirt, though they probably should have told the model they were starting to shoot:


The magazine also had this ad–why is this man shaving his palms??


I couldn’t resist getting a shot of this:

This has got to be the worst selection of toys I’ve ever seen in a waiting room. It’s a torn-up basket with some toy broken furniture. I can’t tell if the coffee maker was originally designed to be a toy or whether it’s a real single-use coffee maker that hasn’t been washed and is missing part of a lid.

Cat Fashion

When I look at fashion sites or cut up old magazines, I often get ideas for some sort of pocket detail or a clever use of buttons, or just inspiration like “hey, that chiffon skirt looks great blowing in the wind . . . oh yeah, I like chiffon!” But there is also a lot of crap out there.

It just occurred to me that I have posted two complaints about fashion in fairly rapid succession. So that I don’t wind up looking like a grouch or a bully or Joan Rivers, I thought I’d go in search of some inspiring fashion.

Here is a lovely grey, double-breasted pea coat, similar to what I was envisioning for D.’s winter coat when I finally get a chance to make it–though I’m debating a Nehru or Nehru-like collar and/or a hood.


Terrible Designer Dress

When I’m bored or waiting for someone and have just finished reading my mail and signed out, I flip through the yahoo articles. A headline of “tacky dress” caught my eye.

The problem the author had was that her belly button ring showed. I have no problem with cutouts to display tattoos or jewelry (as long as it’s not nipple rings), but it just doesn’t flow well that there’s already a gem there, AND there’s a belly ring competing for that diamond. Plus, the bellybutton ring apparently only showed when she moved, which is sloppy and obviously accidental. One of the first rules of creative design in EVERY field is to make sure it’s apparent that it’s on purpose.

I have a novel I’m working on about which an agent said, “I can’t tell if it’s the character who is awkward and uncertain or if it’s the writing.” It’s supposed to be the character, a nerdy homebody who is drawn out of his shell just a little bit by the end of the intentionally low-curved story arc. If that’s not apparent, I’m not doing my job as a writer and it does need a rewrite.

My biggest problem with this dress, however, is that the designer used unsupported charmeuse for a bodice that needs complete stabilization. These cutouts look sloppy. They look like fashion undergrads at the Art Institute trying to demonstrate that they took and understood the pattern-making class. I freaking hate bubbling along charmeuse seams. I’m aware that it’s nearly impossible to sew on that stuff without some bubbling, but this bodice is just covered with it; it looks like projects I’ve thrown away in failure.

You’re Doing it Wrong

I came across this this morning:

An article on yahoo about people who think that their jobs make the world a worse place. (Topping the list percentage-wise was fast food workers; yes, they know.)

Who said fashion designers had to hurt people’s body image? You’re doing it wrong. Clothes, done right, should help people feel better about how they look. Yeah, I know, a lot of fashion designers don’t see it that way. Watching Project Runway challenges in which the designers have to make something nice for a “real person” (cause skinny people aren’t really people, right?), they whine in the sewing room, and half the time they come up with something that would only be flattering on a thin person and apparently decide it just doesn’t matter how someone over size 8 looks in their clothes.

It’s easier to sew for the “ideal” body shape because if you put a burlap sack on a beautiful girl, she makes the burlap sack look beautiful, too. That’s why fashion shows can get away with outfits that look straight out of Zoolander‘s Derelicte show. I knew a fashion student once who complained about how expensive it was to make the outfits for her classes; she was buying yards and yards of gorgeous $12/yd fabrics. I directed her to the discount table where things could go for $1-2/yd. “Yeah, but this is prettier.”

I always think of the line in Just Shoot Me, where the photographer is going on about how good of a job he does on the photos and David Spade’s character says, “Oh, yeah – you’re a genius. You took a picture of one of the hottest women in the world and somehow made her look beautiful. What’s your secret – are you using some kind of film?”

Just about anyone with a sewing machine can make expensive fabric look at least passable. Just about anyone with a size 8 knockout can make her look great. Fashion designers who think they’re making the world a worse place are just stuck being lazy. Go into Lane Bryant and make something that doesn’t look horrifying. Millions of women’s lives and self-images will be better for it.

Woman, 14, Strangled by Coyotes While Pinned by Afghan; story at 10

I clicked on a link for “fur is back big!” and this is one of the things that is coming down the runway. A long, shapeless knit sweater-jacket with a ginormous fur collar.

The only thing that makes this garment work is the Batman-level determination of the model. She is resolved to wear that. Look at her face. That is the face of someone who is resolved. I would not resolve to wear that. I would try to wear that. And I would fail.

On anyone else, in any other situation, and with any less makeup, this thing would look frumpy. Hmm, the word “frumpy” doesn’t completely cover the no that goes into wearing this under any other circumstances. Even if this model herself wore it on the street or if she had any other expression on her face, this thing would hiss, cower from the light, and show its true identity of mom-of-the-seventies trying to dress up with a pelt her secret lover shot for her.