Archive for September, 2010
Aren’t you sick of hearing about which fashion bloggers are influential? Have you ever been influenced by a blogger to do anything besides vow not to make an ass of yourself?
Okay, that was a little harsh. Many fashion bloggers are stylish and level-headed. But I can’t imagine being influenced by any of them to buy the stuff they like or anything else. I can think of only two instances of being moved enough to spend money to follow a style blogger’s lead: Once I bought a nail polish that Faux Fuchsia wrote about, and once I was compelled to wear leather shorts after seeing them on Queen Michelle. (She graciously saved me from myself by sending me a pair.) This is a total of two actions (and only one purchase.)
And yet, someone believes that fashion bloggers are the way to market products. Coach believes this, and even Barneys believes this. But at least Barney’s is on record as feeling that Jane Aldridge speaks to the Barneys customer, and not a general audience.
Here’s Jane herself on the subject:
“I think the media industry is changing and bloggers are leading the change. The term ‘blogger’ doesn’t do it justice – so many of the top bloggers are trusted experts that have developed loyal fan followings.” “Fashion bloggers are a unique combination of publisher and talent. This is part of the next evolution of advertising – a more integrated approach. It’s important for both bloggers and advertisers to stay true to their brands.”
I don’t know about you, but I don’t regard any blogger as a “trusted expert.” And I don’t like “integrated advertising.” I like to know when an ad is an ad. When I watch movies on TV, I still like to yell out “Product placement!” when I see the Mac laptop or the Nike running shoes.
Looking at a panel of Tavi, Brianboy, Diane Pernet, etc etc, I can’t even imagine letting them dictate what I’ll buy or wear. I look at style blogs for the pictures, and sometimes for the inadvertent comedy. I am more inspired by Elle or Vogue, because I enjoy the fantasy evoked by a gorgeous model. If I want to see average looking people wearing trendy clothes, I can go to the mall.
Here’s Jane again:
“I think our blogs are freshly personal. There are a lot of blogs out there that cover fashion, but for us it’s totally homegrown content. We’re not going to blog about Chloe Sevigny’s Opening Ceremony collection.”
What does she mean by “content?” When did content become photos of yourself? I would rather someone cover the Opening Ceremony collection, because at least that constitutes information.
I am hearing about fashion bloggers making lucrative deals with companies like J. C. Penney and Urban Outfitters, but I wonder if the investments will pay off. How many readers are so impressionable?
But wait. A new comment appeared on my post about Gala Darling. A long, heartfelt and eloquent comment that I will quote only in part…
You caught me at a very impressionable age and quickly became my idol. You told me that young girls like myself could make a living from blogging, could live a carefree life of shopping for shoes, sparkles and photoshoots and more so that that was how my life should be spent. If it wasn’t what I wanted, than I just didn’t love myself enough. If I loved myself like you loved yourself than my life too would be consumed with shopping sprees and soapbox speeches for animal cruelty whilst wearing fur.
You already know how it ends. Gala Darling betrayed the girl’s trust because Gala Darling is a brand, not a person. And her fans were consumers, not friends.
Bloggers who align themselves with products become products themselves.
Me, I have nothing to sell, but I’d still like some money. I’d like to influence my readers to see or think or feel as I do, or to want to entertain me. Anything else seems monumentally presumptuous, or like Tavi’s infamous hair-bow, absurd.
Any thoughts on this?
“Really love the studded coat that closed the show, it just reminds me of ALL my friends growing up and their leathers. As much as it makes me laugh to see our teenage looks adopted into the fashion world everywhere, I’ll never tire of seeing it because I’ll forever think it looks hot as hell.”
Who else but Gnarlitude could have written those words? I have yet to discover a person so full of their own punk street cred. Whoever you are, she is cooler. You’re probably just copying her. She wore that shit first. She cried harder when Dash Snow died than any of you lame asses.
Normally I can find pleasure in displays of pretentiousness. Why does her persona torture me so much?! Is it the proprietary way she says she’s “so proud” of any designer, musician or artist, like she has something to do with it? Is it the non-stop mention of Ksubi and bikers?
In this fawning interview, Gnarlitude pays homage to her vintage monkey fur coat but inexplicably forgets to bring up her Old Man. The very best and most gnarly part of the interview is this closing exchange:
BN: Describe your look in three words or less
JH: Miserable Mornings, NeverEnding Nights
Feel free to weigh in on this and/or complain about my surly nature. Unless you’re from Dallas.
I always forget to visit Karla’s Closet, but when I returned recently I was struck by how often Karla is enjoying a private joke with herself. She just cracks herself up!
What is the joke?!? It looks like a good one.
She’ll be posing in her outfit with a composed expression, often a pensive one actually, And then, BOOM, the joke hits her and she has to cover her mouth to keep from guffawing.
The joke usually hits her when she’s sitting down, or maybe the intensity of the mirth forces her to sit.
I like a fun girl, don’t’ you? Why be so serious all the time! Karla seems to know that life is short, like her hair, and not to be wasted by covering her legs. She is obviously an empowering role model and good for her. But I’m intrigued by the mystery of the joke. Share it with the whole class, Karla!
If someone wearing these jeans came galloping toward me, I’d have a stroke. Don’t they remind you of a satyr from Greek mythology? Or are they just hideous? (Cheap Monday, $87 at Shopbop)
Less Dionysian but grotesque in its own right is this suede number that would probably look more acceptable with the butt cut out, at least for a gay rodeo. (Haute Hippie, $695, Shopbop)
Stupid and laughable, yes, but I know a trend when I see one. I’m going to call this look “Tragic Mountain Goat” unless someone’s got a better idea.
I received a newsletter from Lucas on the road, and I’d like to share his adventures with you. I hope he won’t mind. (He can always file a restraining order.)
Dear Friends and Lovers,
I made it. Today I came in from Philly and and strolled the sunny streets of Manhattan. Me and my guitar, two blue suitcases and a backpack have traveled safely across thousands of miles of black asphalt, truckstops, onramps, rivers, mountains, ghettos and dusty plains and now we’re here. Safe and sound in old New York town. And there will be shows!!!
This Sunday, the 26th, at 1PM – A picnic on Governor’s Island at The Temple of Wonder at the Figment Terrace Gardens. Look it up on the net, they’ll tell you how to get there.
Again, this Sunday, the 26th at 9PM – Arlene’s Grocery at 95 Stanton St., NY,NY, 10002. Please come and shake it down with us!
And Monday, the 27th at 7PM – National Underground – 159 E. Houston St.
Also, I’d like to say that if you are an old friend of mine, wondering how come old Lucas isn’t giving a ring, well, truth be told, I left my phonebook at home so please reply with yer number so’s I kin give you a call and we kin hang out cos I’d love to see you all.
Some among you have expressed an interest in my ramblings so I’d like to fill you in on the events of the past week while still in the sweet delirium of the road. So let’s see… I guess our tale begins last Thursday in southern Ohio. I had played a lovely show the night before in Kent State, the town where hope died (or was murdered in the streets if you will). Ohio Joe, my man in Ohio dropped me off on the onramp in a rather suburban sprawlish type of town, not the ideal place to catch a ride. But I did, with a very gentle and kindhearted Congolese man who told me that I would be doing a great thing once I used my songs to spread the message of Jesus. I liked him too much to tell him that, in my opinion, I already am.
He left me on the side of the interstate in front of a toll booth. It began to rain and folks just weren’t taking too much of an interest in me. I was beginning to think I should have taken my African friend up on the bus ticket when he pulled up again. Now he was headed to Cleveland. So I jumped in and rode to Cleveland just to get out of the rain. Once there, I jumped on a bus and rode out to the city limits to start backtracking south. I was quickly scooped up by another African man named Elias pronounced “Alias” which I thought was the best name ever. Turned out to be the day of Born Again Africans and Alias brought me right back to point from which I started. From there a rather sad character still reeling from a most tragic divorce brought me another 50 miles down the road.
So, I’m at the Pilot station having spent twelve hours circling around the state of Ohio and now it really starts to rain. Torrential downpour. The parking lot is a lake with sheets of rain just flying across it. My charm is apparently lost on these southern Ohio folk so I go and spend six of my last ten dollars on a loaf of bread and some Peanut Butter and Jelly. I have no shows for a week and Ohio Joe couldn’t get me on the crew setting up a Dollar Store so, here I am, watching the rain come down and spreading that PB & J on some spongy bread with a plastic knife. Not exactly the high point of the tour.
But, then, something magic happened. For a moment it stopped raining, the clouds broke and out comes the sun for one of those beatific golden sunsets over the cornfields. The gray clouds go all pink and purple and something lovely and I just go out in the parking lot and forget about all my concerns, really just overwhelmed by the beauty of the thing. I come back and the station attendants are talking bout how the clouds are getting that green tornado look and it started pouring again but I was just too blissed out to sweat the small stuff.
I started waving down trucks again in the dark cos I knew I had to get out of there one way or another. Eventually one of the drivers took an interest in me as I was making another sandwich on top of a wastebasket. He was headed south but I persuaded him to take me 30 miles down to I-70 so I’d at least be on my way. His name was Bruce. He had a beautiful wife and a ton of grandkids. Owned his own Volvo which is like the Bentley of big rigs and when we got to 70 I opted to keep riding to stay out of the rain. Woke up in Charleston, West Virginia and again decided to keep going rather than get dropped off at midnight in some strange town with all that lightning popping off something dramatic in the sky. Bruce was saved too. Even knew some folks in LA who worked on that Christian TV channel. Had a grandson who had a tumor the size of a golfball in his left eye that he was convinced was cured by people praying around the world. Well, I’m starting to believe in that sort of thing myself, seeing as how many people must say a prayer for me from time to time these days. I was tired from running around the state of Ohio so I just dozed off again and felt my brain trying to put itself back together.
Woke up again and we’re stopped in a gas station and Bruce was just staring at me and kinda rubbing his inner thighs. I got a jolt cos I know “the look” when I see it, having scared off no small number of lovely ladies with it myself. I says “Bruce, where are we?” He says “Virginia.” And just keeps giving me the look. It doesn’t make it any easier that in the truck nextdoor, they’re all cavorting, whistling and laughing and carrying on. “How ya doin, Bruce,” I says. “I’m tired,” says he. “Gotta get some rest… You could take the top bunk…” But, fatigued as I am, I grab my guitar and politely excuse myself, sayin, “Naw, you rest up for a few and I’ll catch up with you in the morning,” and hop out of that truck.
So, there I am, 2 in the morning in some gas station on the Virginia state line. Florescent lights and disinfectant. Passin the hours smoking with the gas station attendant who’s daughter is also a songwriter, playing along with Hit Parade they’ve got playing on the speakers. The regulars come in and out gettin coffee and smokes. Some pill poppin ex stripper takes an interest in me but her and her crew just look like trouble. I try exploring the nature path that goes into a dark hole in the forest but all them bugs are just screaming and I get that feeling like when you’re watching a slasher flick and yelling “No, Don’t do IT!!” at the screen. Come back and my friend working the register says good thing I didn’t cos there’s bears in them hills. Now he tells me. Around 5:30, Bruce wakes up, looking a little the worse for wear, buys me a biscuit and we’re on our way. Things get back to normal on the road and soon we’re chatting away again. I even get to feeling bad for being suspicious of him for a second. But I know a man gets lonesome on the road and funny things happen late at night. And, besides, I know “the look” when I see it.
He drops me off at a Shell station on I-81 in Tennesee. Even gives me a twenty which I accept only cos I need it. So, there I am, getting some coffee, awfully tired, and this nice looking hippyish lady says “I know you’re going to the Rhythm and Roots festival in Bristol.” I says “No, actually, I’m headed up to Maryland” but she tells me she’ll be back at nine to pick me up. Then I’m sitting on the curb and this guy driving a Bud Lite truck says “I know you’re going to Rhythm and Roots!” and I get to thinking, well, maybe I am. So I look it up online and it turns out my old friend Katy Cox’s band Shotgun Party is playing there all weekend. And so I’m like, okay then, I’m going. I go to use the bathroom and by the time I get out, there’s Michelle waiting to load my stuff into her van.
We get to the festival and there’s a really nice fellow named Randy running the volunteer operation. He says he’s got enough volunteers but maybe he can get me a slot for a show and I can always just come in and play guitar on the street if I want. They’ve got the whole of Main Street turned out, every bar, restaurant and coffeeshop has stages plus five big stages outside. So, I’m just wandering down the street, watching folks setting up, everyone smiling and warmhearted, and I hear someone holler at me. I turn around and it’s this bearded old man in a wheelchair. He rolls up and points at the guitar and says “Yes…” Well, turns out he’s a stroke victim and half his body is paralyzed. With some effort he can form sentences but his fallback word is “Yes”. So I play him a song and we go and get a bagel and and have a lovely conversation that consists of a lot of laughing and yes but I gather that he’s a former musician from Johnson City named Catfish. His only interest is music. That is his true love. He even offers me a place to stay, takes me around and shows me what bar I should try to play at. I thank him kindly and go crash out on the lawn for the rest of the afternoon.
Sleeping in the shade, I periodically wake up and there’s just this old gardener trimming the hedges. People pass by but they just seem happy to see me sleeping on my guitar case like that. Eventually I wake up and start practicing this new song. The gardener walks up to me and I think, oh here we go, but he just sits down, smiles, and listens to me. When I’m done, he wants to know if I want to jam. Turns out he’s from Romania and a drummer. So I say sure and we’re going next door, into this huge old building. They’ve got a bunch of old machinery and a liberty bell in there. We go up four or five flights of stairs to this massive empty floor and in a little sideroom with wood paneling he’s got his drumset all set up. He starts playing all this big band jazz stuff so I pull out my guitar and we run a few of my songs. We both got so high playing with each other that we didn’t wanna leave but he had to get back to work.
The time came and Michelle got off volunteer duty and came and picked me up. She decided to just give me her volunteer bracelet so I could get in. So I went in and there were people everywhere. I set up my show on the corner and people started crowding round. Was going really good for a few hours there till this rapper joined the band and we were just going OFF until the Tennessee and Virginia cops were shutting us down for vulgarity. By the next day, I was a favorite among the toddlers and teenagers and just raking it in. I crashed with the Shotgun Party at the Holiday Inn, got a talking to for eating the complimentary band food, bowled with the festival’s founders and even signed the commemorative guitar at the end of the thing. All in all, I performed about 16 hours over the three days, got tight with every bad kid in Bristol, ignored more than a few advances that would have landed me in prison, and made enough money to feel comfy again. Even wrote a hit song with the teenagers about growing weed.
On Monday, I was sitting back on the onramp, sweating in the sun. No love in Virginia but finally I was picked up by a really nice kid named Alex who, as fate would have it, was headed back to Ohio. We immediately hit it off and had a good old time riding up through the mountains of West Virginia, singing along to Creedence and eating Taco Bell. He was heading up that way to pick up some LSD which was fine with me since I wouldn’t be riding back. I took over the wheel and got caught at a speed trap. The cop was awful curious as to how we came to be travelling together but I explained to him that I was a hitchhiking musician so he just ran our IDs and was even a little apologetic issuing the ticket.
But once we got to Columbus, things started to get a little hairy. Turned out Alex was gonna hook up some LSD after he scored some heroine for his “back pain”. We met up with his friend who was this fresh faced chubby young girl who had just been kicked out of her sister’s apartment and found herself living in Crackville, USA. She and her car had been taken hostage by this evil tranvestitish lady who had all the charm of the walking dead. Alex left me in the car while he went off to do his thing and I started planning my exit strategy. Outside, white dudes were walking around all tatted up with doo rags and people just wandering in the street with shopping bags. Distant screams and someone hitting a a newstand with something hard and loud arguing and the ensuing brawl. I couldn’t decide whether I was safer in or out of the car so, on a whim, I called my new friend Patrick who I’d just met down in Tennessee just to pass the time. In another twist of fate, it turned out that Columbus is Patrick’s hometown and so he gets off the phone and starts calling his old friends. By this time we’re doing dope deals galore, driving from one dollar store parking lot to another, exchanging money through car windows in the streetlight, stopping at the CVS for aluminum foil and then buying ten packs of cigarrettes to exchange for the brown. The female tranny zombie is just hustling the hell out of my friend Alex and it seems like forever till he decides he’s acquired enough dope and starts smoking it in the car. All the while, the poor innocent girl is crying in the back seat, mumbling incoherently about how some homeless dude gave her a Subway card that was supposed to have five dollars on it but didn’t. We drive across town, Alex scolding the girl for lighting up a roach while stopping at various fast food places in search of a bathroom to smoke the rest of his dope in. Finally they get me to a bar and I say thank you and good bye. Patrick had lined up a place for me to stay.
The next day I caught a ride to West Virginia where I had been headed the first time I was shipping out of Ohio. I went and visited my old friend Tyler Fyre and his lovely wife Jill a sword-swallowing, fire-breathing, boa-constrictor-deep-throating couple of carnies who operate out of Daredevil Ranch, their Peewee’s Playhouse of sin. After a lovely breakfast of warm buttery biscuits and jam, Tyler decided it would be fun to come perform with me up in Philly and I have to say that the condom routine really was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and truly livened up the show. This morning we took the extended tour of the ghettos of Philly before locating the Chinatown bus that took me here.
It’s great to be back in the city again. I would probably be feeling like some frightened wild animal were it not all so familiar here in my old stomping grounds. It is a bit jarring to be surrounded by such opulence after everywhere I’ve been and everything I’ve seen and I could see how all these beautiful people and things could have a way of lulling you to sleep, but I assure you, it will be a long and restful one.
I look forward to seeing you all.
Whenever I hear the word “institutionalized” my brain starts playing the old Suicidal Tendencies anthem. All I wanted was a Pepsi!!!!
Lately, someone has been exclaiming, “Sister Wolf was once institutionalized!” I assume this refers to the time I entered the juvenile justice system after running away from home. It’s a part of my life and my history as a rebellious teenager. It’s also a badge of honor that affirms how defiant I was, and still am.
In October 1967, my “husband” and I went to Washington DC along with thousands of other hippies whose aim was to gather at the Pentagon. In the background of the photo above, you might be able to see the National Guard lined up. But never mind about them, just look at my fringed bag and my hippie love beads! What a time to be young and out of control!
Eventually, while hitchhiking in another city, we were questioned by the police and I couldn’t remember some dates on my fake birth certificate. I was taken to the local juvenile facility and held there until arrangements were made to fly me back home. All I remember about that place was the fried chicken and grits.
Back in California, I still refused to stop seeing my “husband,” who had valiantly hitchhiked his way across the country to be with me, risking a jail sentence. My mother gave up and I was sent to a correctional school for girls, where we wore little uniforms and learned to accept authority. Some of us were cunning enough to pretend to learn it.
After a few months, I was allowed to spend weekends at home with my mom. I was usually relieved to get back to the school, where people were predictable and not bi-polar.
At 15, I went straight from the correctional school to London. During the day, I took my mom’s diet pills and scurried around Kensington Market. At night, I danced for hours on end at a disco bar in Earl’s Court.
Ah, I could write a book, couldn’t I? But that was my only brush with an “institution,” I am sorry to reveal to those who wanted more than a Pepsi.
This is my current favorite model at RevolveClothing. I call her Doll Girl because of her perfect doll-like face and proportions.
But today, I saw this picture and did a double-take. What the hell?! Is Doll Girl photoshopped here? Who could have such a bizarrely tiny waist? While pondering the photoshop issue, I marvelled at how thin this girl is.
Then, I looked at Doll Girl’s rear view, modeling the same dress in white, and thought, “Oh good, she’s actually fat!”
I am totally fucked up this way. It’s pretty much the same way I view my own self. Skinny, fat, skinny fat! I blame my father as well as my culture, but the perception problem remains.
Does anyone else suffer from this crap?
Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself. ~ Salmon Rushdie