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DRESSING CREATIVELY April 25, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in Uncategorized.
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     There has been something obsessing the Lycan Librarian since Thursday, so she will veer from the topic of books to vent about it, and then settle back to business as normal. (Normal, Hah!) The topic at hand is fashion. I have been planning outfits for my New York City trip, and, believe me, it isn’t easy when one has three closets full of clothes and a bureau, armoire and tackle box full of jewelry. I love clothes, and I love accessorizing.  I adore vintage clothes from all eras, and have tons of hats, scarves, gloves, hankies, and corsages (see photo). Just like Louisa May Alcott, I credit myself with having been born with a “gift for ornamentation.” So isn’t it odd that it took seven seasons for me to finally watch Project Runway?

     I am not big on much that TV has to offer these days, and even less interested in reality shows, but I happened to land on the Lifetime Channel when the first show of this season’s Project Runway was beginning. What hooked me was the flair and versatility of the designers. These people can be given a prompt, and by the next day, whip up and show an incredible piece of fashion. I have, however, learned by watching, that I must not have great taste — I loved the vintage look outfit that disqualified Amy. My taste is even more reason not to watch What Not to Wear because I grow furious seeing some of the women being stripped of their creative edge by the snotty hosts, and then being sent back out into the world in cookie-cutter outfits that can be found at any Fashion Bug. Don’t even get me started about the incredible hats and gowns they forced the Salem witch to discard! (That was the first and last time I watched that show in its entirety, but I do catch the previews whether I want to or not, and an occassional few minutes here and there.)

     This is turning into quite the rant, isn’t it? Well, the issue that has occupied my mind since Thursday stems from the Project Runway finale. I don’t know how the judges chose between the three final designer’s collections.  I found pieces in all that I loved, and thought the show abounded with originality and imagination. But at the end of the show, the winning designer, Seth Aaron, stood on the runway with his family, and they were all wearing SLOPPY JEANS AND BLACK SWEATSHIRTS! Excuse me, if your husband and father’s designs being featured at a prestigious fashion show in NYC, and on television, is not enough incentive to wear something that makes you look and feel nice, will anything ever be? I was embarrassed for the designer as he stood with them, and thought how cool it would have been if they had all worn something he had designed for them.

     I think the reason this fashion gaffe cut so deeply is because I see this everywhere. People go to church in clothes that look as if they slept in them. They come into the library wearing pajama bottoms. Nobody dresses up for parties or holidays; Christmas outfits consist of Santa sweatshirts, and it is common to see people wearing tee shirts that say “This is My Halloween Outfit” in lieu of actually dressing up in something fun for my favorite holiday. When I get all dressed up to go out to dinner, our dining companions comment that I look nice while donning quizzical expressions that makes it obvious they can’t figure out why I bothered.

     We live in a time that we can wear (practically) anything we want without being hauled to jail or stoned to death. We can choose clothes and designs from a variety of decades that exhibit our personalities to everyone who lays eyes on us, and because we have access to rummage and garage sales, and thrift and consignment stores, everyone can afford to dress well. Is it pure laziness, a lack of self-respect, or (gasp!) a fear of being stared at, that keeps us imprisoned in ill-fitting jeans and food stained Wal-Mart tees and sweats?

     Sigh! Okay, I’m finished. I feel much, much better. Thank you so much  for your patience. My next post will be about a wonderful and very different novel that I discovered quite by chance.

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