Category Archives: Mania

foodies

“I’m not a foodie, I just like what I like,” she says. “Yes, I know, it’s just like hipsters saying, ‘I’m not a hipster.’ ” (The cliché cracks her up.) “But it’s like when my boss says, ‘Oh, you’re such a foodie.’ I’m like, Oh God. When I hear the word foodie, I think of Yelp. I don’t want to be lumped in with Yelp.” – Young Foodie Culture via @Davidchang

I’m not taking offense because of the narrow exception of myself and a handful of Yelp friends whose reviews are merited not only for their candor but also for the writing itself. I have a problem with people who so emphatically dismiss (or worship)a group of people without exception or clear basis. While I’m not a cheerleader for team Yelp, I can’t deny the undeniable place the site has established for itself regardless of the deteriorating quality of its reviewers (o, it can be personal). This influx of “foodies” seem to take that aversion to new heights, effectively establishing a hierarchy of a sort of authenticity (oh, exploring new foods is a personal hobby, it’s a part of my identity. It’s inherent in my being; I didn’t need an external incentive like a forum of expression.) Well, having your rhetoric memorialized in a publication like New York Magazine closes every inch of that gap – the magazine’s perspective and identity being informed by what everyone else is saying. Plus, the obvious fact here is that your reference to Yelp in that context renders your whole shit reactionary and derivative – as if not being a Yelper is supposed to validate and legitimize you, as if the restaurant owner who replied to my review with: nyt gave us 2 stars, is supposed to render my review invalid. To you I say: who you? Seriously, like who are you to tell me that you know better just because you’re not on Yelp? The problem isn’t “Yelp”, sure it provides a medium for people who delight in an imaginary audience (hi!), but really, you’re both drawn by the same force and your self-branding as a non-foodie food lover who likes what you like follows the same rhetoric. It’s the same whether you use your hands or a toy; you’re still just getting yourself off.

Food is a basic and subjective concept the quality of which anyone can discern (some might choose to be more or less discriminating). That sort of faux denial laced of a self-congratulatory tone (oh, I’m a hipster without the shackles of a label). Spending your money on pickled lambs tongue, because it’s a new frontier and soon to be item du jour is not “liking what you like”, and you, Diane Chang, are a sucker. This is not about the ridiculousness of your chosen lifestyle from my point of view (I mean spending a quarter of an income that’s described as modest is pretty bad finances, but I probably spend more on worse things like dresses I never wear), I could care less about how you spend your money. Buying into a marketed commercial movement all the while coloring yourself as an exceptional instance is delusional, as if a label is your problem.

keep bootleggin…

The design protection bill is faulty for many many reasons and more symbolic than anything else. Just based on the column, there are several issues aside from the obvious resistance from layman who doesn’t understand the concept of intellectual property right.

1.  if the standard of the law is substantially identical rather than substantially similar, most if not all of the McQueen dresses are only protected in theory as their designs are truly unique. They would not be protected in reality since any lucrative copies would do away with a lot of detailing and would therefore not be substantially identical. It’s a shame, because his is one of the few instances where a creation would be knocked off for a truly unique piece rather than  an exploitation of the name attached or the fame of the piece (which are lucrative because they’re easier pieces to knock off and more accessible anyway). Primary example is the featured dress of the article. When are we going to stop fronting about its being McQueen and just admit it’s a Badgley Mischka masquerading under another name? On the flip side, many of McQueen’s creations doesn’t even need protection, because they’re just not accessible (aside from those lobster claw jawns that inexplicably got knocked off.

No matter how viable it is in terms of profit recovery or any sort of commercial protection (rather than the abstract idea of property, which doesn’t provide any sort of measurable benefit/gain), for the sake of justice, I guess, symbolically, there should be some protection, just not for the kind that will end up being protected by the bill. Money is power, eh?

Moschino hoe, Versace hottie

I’ve spoken on the international calamity that is fashion blogging worldwide before, but today, it was only a few moments ago, I’ve realized why in such succinct terms. Bloggers have singlehandedly eviscerated that essential element of fashion: fantasy. I’m not talking about the aspirational aspect of fashion fandom (or the pursuit of any lifestyle above our own). Beyond that is a realm to which I’ve previously relegated fairy tales, Alexander McQueen and the one off type situations Hussein Chalayan sometimes show that should really be on a runway. Then, it began with Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness and trickled down, in perfect copycat fashion, to 19-25 year old twigs all over the world. The consequent commercial reponse to all these deplorable, tasteless, amateur interpretation of design is inevitably an object that just leaps over ugly and lands on the side of, what the fuckery, i have no wordsry:

It’s all about the benjamins

Hester Street Flea hosted a “Stylist Day” tent over the weekend. I took some time off from my vice filled rager of a social life to rock the booth with the homie Jessica as attempt to cleanse our lives and speak some guapanese (namsayin’). It was tres brutal, mes amis.

Now, while I appreciate every customer and the dimes my sweat and tears earned from them, there were a few exchanges that made me want to cry a little bit. Even if I don’t love the skirt anymore, I’m still not trying to see it go with some next chick, you know? But money is money, and if I can buy it, someone else can.

It is different when the item in question is a hand painted leather vest 100% handmade in a Chinese sweatshop in a Queens basement by the very hands that have to surrender it for money. Jessica is launching her own line this fall and had a few Bedford Street Laundry (peep the site, you won’t regret it. and if you do, meet me at the vortex, I’ll be sure to refund your time) pieces up for sale at the flea. And I don’t want to sound like too much of an art fag here, but the moment where the “artist” (in this case, the designer) hands over the control of the presentation of her work by way of selling it to a less than ideal client, the scale of art vs commerce in fashion tips all the way over.

Everything’s real in the field…I’m not a hero but I’m trying to be heard.

Cause see they call me a menace; and if the shoe fits I’ll wear it

I hate to expound on something as ugly as clogs, but my Googlereader is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Between the Cut and Fashionista, I kind of went on a rampage of nasty comments [3 of them]. More because I was so irritated, not so much that they were outstandingly horrific posts. Ex.: Fashionista posted about navy blue and black. Snooze.

This is all to say that really, there is so much more at stake here than clogs. This season’s coverage of clogs is a foreshadowing of what’s to come. I mean, can you imagine if Karl decides to do Crocs for a/w? I really hope so, because I would LOVE to see what the twips at Fashionista would spin it. Do you stick to your guns and preach against them or do you change your tune because a deity basically decides to change course [completely arbitrary, of course, but will somehow be contrived as esoteric creativity along the way from deity to you, the follower. In case you don’t know what that means, from deity of Karl to editors who could be seen as priests to you, the MANIC followers?] Do you see a parallel to something else just as destructive? I mean, personally, I feel like, every other season, very well established designers- like Marc, McQueen, and Karl – throw one obnoxiously ugly item down the runway just to see how the editors will market it to consumers as hot and to see how many will buy it and then laugh about it to themselves later. And in theory, blogs could be the savior in this vicious cycle of sponsored content, but for all the justification that fashion bloggers spew to try to validate their existence, they do not live up to the promises. SORRY, you are John Edwards. Liars.

Last week, critiques of mainstream fashion publications popped up at every illiterate blog with an audience. Namely, how advertising and big design houses have done away with much of the creativity and viewpoints [esp from stylists]. Point taken, but newsflash, blogs. You are in the same system. Do not delude yourself in thinking that your view is exempt and therefore free from the limitations of the system, because a brief scan of your posts would prove you wrong. 1% of blogs veer far from whatever Style/Vogue endorse. Most of you will diss a publication and hump whatever it’s peddling in the same breath. At least magazines try to make an effort. There is no way you can claim any importance in blogging when the vast majority just post images from other sources and sputter pathetic unfulfilled coveting. That’s not blogging; it’s called scrapbooking. I miss the days when teenage girls had the decency to keep that kind of amateur business on the dl. Newsflash: hey, if print media just stops, you will have nothing to blog about. Do you not think “established” blogs will just have to claim hierarchy over the idiotic 16 year old from Wisconsin who thinks yellow tights makes her fashionable amongst farm animals? Um, yeah, why do you think thefashionspot became irrelevant? Because those same 16 year olds started bombarding the boards with teal tights and flashing their hick/hipster hybrid hair always in the only pair of ankle boots found in Idaho.

Oh and I finished reading that article on Rodarte, I think they missed the deadline for the ugly period film costume designing program at Tisch, because that’s what they thought designing “fashion” is.

Sorry, can you tell I’m angry today? Don’t worry, I’m going to yoga to zen it out.

“Rodarte is the fashion equivalent of a Basquiat,” she says, quoting a writer for the New York Observer. “People in the know really love it, but to everyone else it’s inscrutable or a little bit ugly.”- The New Yorker

WELL, excuse me. I am so obviously not in the industry. And why is the New Yorker such an appropriate place for bs fodder like this*? Ugh, the air and the pretention, it makes me want to check my gold pocket watch to see what era this is. People in the know really love it – best line of the year, I will commence implementing this phrase in my everyday parlance. If you feel the urge to punch me in the face for this, please berate yourself for being so not in the know.

Sometime last week, this client was in the office calling me “fashionista” no less than 15x in an hour. I was obviously deeply deeply offended, because people who call themselves fashionista wax a big sopping lyrical poem for CLOGS, because they’re Chanel. Please go dive into a pile of hay and kill yourself. kthanks.

You might be saying, well, Jae, you are totally becoming one of those stick figures with no soul who only blog about fashion. And you know, you are totally right. My year in the detention of “Girl, interrupted” is over, so less neurotic posts about nothing. YAY.

*The kind that makes you feel like less of a person for not understanding the obscure and inscrutable. Well, I, for one, hope Rodarte stays obscure. And recommending them for Schiaparelli? Really? Must be something else only understood by those in the know. YAY arbitrary arbiter of style for the unintelligent masses.

’cause she kept bootleggin’ my shit

I truly have no words for this. “If you liked it, then you should’ve gotten a A on it” I know some creepy yellow fevered men are out there playing this on repeat and reading up on all the molecular biology articles available on Wikipedia right now. This is Yale? For real? This is even worse than scantily clad Asian girls prancing on stage and calling it China Night. I’m just so impressed — complete with slingback kitten heels and your generic ruched LBD.

Damn, just damn.