Category Archives: Contrarian

Monet

Or, how fashion rap has turned the game upside down;

Or, how butterfaced darlings of yesteryear have reclaimed self-worth through distracting accessories and outlandish packaging to become today’s “baddest bitch”;

Or, how Jeffrey Campbells redefined modern day “fly”;

Or, how, at the end of the day, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown remain girl world’s biggest aspirations (but you will never get there);

Or, how to spot a total Monet.

I could give a fuck about the brand of the shoes your no style having self is wearing

(How the current legal framework of IP protection perpetuates the perception of fashion as a vapid status conscious elitist hierarchy)

A working title and subtitle for the note that I will never write, because why would I close the door to such a vast field of future employment opportunities?

HYPOTHERMIA

I am all for a little suffering with beauty but it’s only in the insulated world of “fashion” that the above looks could be deemed as suitable for the cold – that is, New York cold. This tagline and accompanying photos are symptomatic of the industry’s general perception of fall/winter – a dash of fur signals winter. As if something that merely evokes the theoretical concept of winter and its cold weather also translates into sufficient shield against it.

I mean, really, where are you going, Kate Moss?

photo credit: whowhatwear

What am I doing wrong with my life?

Last night, between writing a draft of my 25 page final paper for China Intellectual Property and browsing Cyber Monday deals, I uncovered this piece of gem on Daily Intel: Yale is offering a seminar class on night life in NYC.

A SEMINAR.

I took my fair share of culture studies, namely just the freshman intro to rhetoric, the syllabus for which was built around relevant pop culture and media, you know, so as to appeal to the sleepy freshman brains who are in class at 8:30am in Binghamton where the sun don’t shine. And, yeah, I did write papers discussing the reciprocal/symbiotic influences between Hip Hop music and fashion, analyzing the seemingly divergent female narratives on the deterioration of a relationship in a Kelly Price R&B jam and a Eve rap hit. But this was in my first semester of college, I was 18 and I never thought for a second that this would be permissible topic of study as a thesis to a 4 year program that is supposed to be the build up of my 21 years on this earth. I assumed dedicating 4 years of education would add a new facet to my life, and that I should at least acquire new knowledge. College, in short, was not supposed to be an extension of my life before or out of college, because if that were a legitimate topic of study, then why would I even need to be in college? Even after composing a thesis on the cultural nuances I witnessed between living in Shanghai, New York and Paris, I always assumed that this intellectual curiosity is a natural by-product of, oh say, living a life. It was not until much later, after having worked for a year, did I realize that there are people out there who take on pop culture and lifestyles as a course of study and then as a overarching theme to a CAREER. People are making a living out of simply synthesizing fragments of everyday life through verbal articulation.

My ninjas, that is bullshit.

I get it. There are implications upon implications in every trend ever in society. But the implication of this particular phenomenon seems to be: this is a generation of people who is so existential so 24/7 that they find enough relevance in these trivialities to not only dissect but to create a whole discourse out of as if such extrapolations can have even a de minimis worth to the society beyond themselves. Not only that, but that the few who are “elevated” as studied in these issues, means that there is a whole generation of people who are interested but are capable of even less.

I am all about reading the casual blog post on fringe social issues that come thru in the movies, ads, or songs on some inadvertent philosopher business, but a seminar class? What do you suppose is the pre-requisite for the class? What are the accompanying texts? Perspectives on the gaze? Feminist response to the male gaze?

A quick google search of the instructor turned up his catalog of works on the Thought Catalog, after which I read a few more random posts on the site, which are desultory, if anything. These are published. When Charlie sent me a NYT post by Edith Zimmerman 2 weeks ago, she was critical of the casual style and generally lax standard of writing. I lamented that it is a new norm, that this is apt as blogs are increasingly legitimized as a medium of expression.

But these jawns are making me weep. I never considered pursuing writing, because I hold the discipline with esteem, and didn’t think that I had the requisite skills. Apparently, those skills? Not such a requisite! These writings make a mockery out of the craft by simply existing beyond a private realm. I mean, I just CANNOT.

It is when I chance upon such “creations” (priced at $1,165), that I fear I may lack the requisite empathy to exist beyond my current station in life, because there is no perspective from which I can even deem to justify the existence of “bag”. I cannot empathize with the creator, the buyer, nor the medium which carries it. It is for this reason that I do not think I’m sufficiently qualified to be a lawyer in this area – I lack the objectivity to be a sufficient advocate.

A rant

I hate it when…

Someone tries to approach me/befriend me based on a supposed common interest when it’s really just based on my interest. Or maybe, I’m dismissive of other people having that interest if they don’t know as much or just suck at having the interest.

Ok, more specifically, I guess I’m speaking of fashion, which is most common.

I’m really not a snob about fashion. I have friends who don’t care about fashion and just wear what they think look good on them and while I don’t always agree, I’m also not friends with them because I can talk about Helmut Lang with them for hours at a time. It’s really not that serious. You don’t have to like fashion or even care, shit, most of the time, I don’t care. When you don’t know jack shit about it and want to talk to me about it, though, for the sake of talking, it doesn’t flatter me that you’re trying to talk to me, I’m annoyed and that’s when I’d judge you and that judgment is excessively judgey. Like, when you say you like Anna Sui and think that that’s a jumping off point for us to conversate, you don’t care or know whatever you’re saying. Be yourself, like what you like, yo.

There’s this broad at school who approached me because she saw that I’m into clothes/shopping, so she figured we’d get along. I mean, fair, but she likes shopping the way all women like shopping. It’s mostly mindless, sequined/pretty shit that’s uninformed and has no perspective. Not that I’m super pared down or edited, but a general interest in clothing doesn’t do a damn thing for me in terms of a camaraderie. Don’t ask me to go shopping for a cocktail dress, I will be bored to death looking at frilly and pointless embellishments and will hate you forever and ever. We don’t have a common interest in that. If you don’t have anything else to say, you might wonder if you have anything else to offer or if you think that’s all there is to me, then should you really want to know me? It is ok, dawg. Trust me, fashion is not known to forge strong friendships. This is why I couldn’t even deal with the fashion club (YEAH I KNOW IMAGINE?). Mindless consumption and not having taste. I just can’t. I mean, it’s like someone approaching a music snob and saying, I love music, don’t you just love that song about the G6? I mean, really. Get out of my face.

Louis Vuitton

If Marc Jacobs really had the gall and “rebellious” spirit as he once claimed, he would design a collection inspired by the cultural revolution and show it in China. That would be rife with material for vapid fodder on fashion blogs. Luxury proletariat yall, it’s the new old thang.

New favorite blog

Leisure class

He makes me feel like I’m pandering to the camp.

Don’t ask don’t tell

Can I get something off my chest? I hate talking about current events and politics but I mean.

1. The conservative Americans need to drop it. Like, isn’t it obvious? You’re the ones who want the war and yet you can’t have the decency to respect choices of men and women who want to fight the war you want? Unless you want to go get got, then stfu.

2. It is stupid to be pushing for this policy, because, as a gay man/woman in an American military, do you really want to be openly known as such? You know the kind of dudes who fight in the army right? Realistically speaking, I get your ideals and you should be equals but repealing this act is not going to automatically create a military without bias. Let’s be serious for a second.

someone please help me out here.

Little monsters

I’m sure you’ve seen this mother’s post on her son’s choice to dress as Daphne for Halloween by now. It’s as viral as any post could be.

When my friend first sent me an article on the subject, I didn’t even bother reading it. I have since read the post, obvs. It immediately struck me as the 21st Century “Supplement au voyage de Bougainville” (link does not contain sufficient info on it.) Diderot raised a lot of perverse “observations” about the people of the South Pacific, which were more or less an assertion of his own perverse fascinations, hang-ups, and fantasies about sexuality. It was different, it was new and strange to him. It was on a foreign land. The ONLY difference here is that the novel concept of a boy dressing in girl’s clothes (for one day) in thrust upon these A and Bs in their own midst, so to speak. Whatever perception about sexuality of the boy is rooted in the adult’s mentality. A child of 5, most likely (even if he realizes dressing as a girl will draw unwanted attention), does not realize that it implies gender orientation. It is neutral and devoid of sexual implications. Many children have had the curiosity to put on a mother’s heels, boys or girls alike; does it make the boy gay? No. DO people realize that 5 year olds do not yet have a concrete concept of sexuality (Freud or popular Gay proclamations be damned), this is adults imposing their views! Even if he does realize he is gay, it won’t be as simple as wanting to don a Daphne costume on Halloween.

And people want to talk about preserving innocence? Then, don’t confound your issues with a child’s attraction for orange hair.