Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I love clothes

I love clothes. Rather, I love the right clothes. For me. Not sure how to describe my style. Not bohemian. Not punk. Definitely not preppy or trendy. I usually don't find my favorite pieces in a mainstream store. But I do have some favorite labels -- the current one is Free People. (I admit Free People is not necessarily out of the mainstream. But it is no GAP.)

As a teenager, I found much of my clothing in vintage stores, such as Alice's Underground in the West 70s and Love Saves the Day near St. Mark's Place. I don't the patience to look through $5 bins in a vintage store; nor do such stores have the same feel or prices that they did in the 1980s. But I am drawn to that type of style -- vintage and singular (even though it might not actually be singular).

Two movies have made me examine my relationship with clothing and fashion. I do not love clothing in a "Sex and the City" way. What do I care about outrageously expensive designer clothes? Yet I am a New Yorker (or ex-pat New Yorker, if you prefer). But my New York was never that kind of New York. (What "my kind of New York" is remains a tangential question here.) Now, I have not seen the movie, and I only saw one episode of the TV show (with my mother-in-law, very uncomfortable). But what topic comes up in reviews and discussions of the movie? The designer clothes. And I certainly have seen enough pictures. I have nothing against the movie. I may even see it down the line. I would define the "Sex and the City" approach to clothes is extravagant and upper class. Nothing necessarily wrong with it.

But that is not me.

The movie that exactly describes how I feel about clothes is "Desperately Seeking Susan," which seems to be on TV a lot these days. I am not a Madonna wanna-be -- though I may have had my guilty moments when I was 14 and the movie came out in 1985 (wearing boxers into a swimming pool is a memorable moment). The way the movie handles clothes is my way.

Susan (Madonna) has a skull suitcase (more a large hatbox with a handle) that contains her few possessions, including some particular items of clothing (a green sequined vintage dress comes to mind). She also wears a distinctive jacket with a pyramid embroidered on the back. It is this jacket that drives the plot. The way that Susan and Roberta (the woman who inadvertantly assumes Susan's identity) handle the clothes in that box is how I feel about my clothes. I enjoy the weight of the material and the colors. I love mixing and matching and layering to make things look different and new. No matter the implications, my clothes are part of my identity.
(And back to the "my New York City" question: "Desperately Seeking Susan" is also set in NYC and even has the store Love Saves the Day playing a pivotal role.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

the same way

Iz pretends in exactly the same way I used to. He is a rat this morning. He began with simple pretending, crawling on the floor and insisting that he cannot eat with a fork: "Rats eat just with their mouths." (I so need to cut his hair.)

He then asked to watch the animated movie "Ratatouille." Now he is pretending to be in the movie. He does not recite the lines of the movie, but adds his own lines and his own rat character. I used to do this -- though I was more private about it, at least when I reached the age of 8, 9 or 10. And my pretending went on even beyond those years.

Could this be in his nature (as opposed to from his nurturing)? He cannot have learned this behavior from me -- I don't do it anymore. I even tried when I saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (Indiana Jones movies were a perfect vehicle when I was doing such pretending). Too bad, it was a great way to escape into a different life, a different world.