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I'M LESS ANNOYED NOW BY THIS BANAL ENTRY THAN I WAS LAST WEEK. I WON'T DELETE IT.
SATURDAY 9:32 AM / IT'S 79° INSIDE / AUG 17, 2002
jenni is not being ironic. she was really on the swim team at holiday pool when she was 9.
I was going to do a photo study of my new belts.
Then I was going to show you pictures I just picked up from the photo lab which, instead of being from a roll of Robbie's from last summer, were developed to reveal a set of prints circa late 1980's spanning my last year of highschool.
Despite having moved at least 13 times since '87, this undeveloped roll of film had been rolling around in my stuff for the past 15 years. While cycling through the pictures on my walk home down Bedford ("who is this frosty-lidded, sunburned, angled-haired, baby-faced girl? And who are all these sulken-looking, demure, skinny adolescents she's posing with, hooking her her arms around?") I saw so many similar styles from the photos from 1986 on the street in front of me. Back-then is again now.
The pictures were, of course, me. And All My Friends from highschool, circa 1986.
Here's a picture at church camp of my girlfriends posing with Madonna-inspired crispy hair (longer on one side, bangles) smiling chummily next to someone whom, when I study him, I can only come up with as being "brother-of-Bryce". Who Bryce is is another question.
Here's one of us posing in front of the Hard Rock Cafe, in Chicago. I am wearing stirrup pants and wrestling shoes and a mock-turtleneck. Here are several pictures in a row with friends Brad Uban and Max Deutsch. We are a trio, lounging outdoors on some large rocks ...at night. We with help from the self-timer have taken several photos of ourselves. Sometimes we're posing with our tape player! (Echo and the Bunnymen accompanyment, likely). We are gazing (edgy) into a burning candle's flame. Brad's hair is in classic mohawk. Max's avant-hairstyle (which put him on probation with his dad in highschool... better grades or no more dyed hair) I see his hairstyle on so many women walking down Bedford avenue today! (That's what his hair looked like! (Also emulated by Juliette Lewis dancing to Daft Punk in a Gap ad last summer.) Think top-layer-of-hair bleached white, laying over the original, contrasty dark-brown hair underneath. Better, even, with shaved sides.
And so in lieu of showing these photos (we're all lucky I have no scanner), I began thinking about street fashion back in our highschool days (if you could call it that, in Bloomington, Il.) in these photos from the late-Eighties and in front of me on this street I walk down today: this Williamsburg strip, which becomes more and more East Villagesque with each single passing hot-as-hell day... Or, if the WB isn't degrading from artistic-frontier to the East Village, call it an alter-version of that scene, attracting now more tourists and manhattanites and club kids than artists in search of affordable studio space.
And so in tune (Dress You Up in My Love?) with my found Eighties photos, I realized instantly that in terms of street-style, and even music nostalgia, we’ve all come to quite accept the idea that it's the Eighties again.
We're flexing our memories as we flash our homage: Think of your sixth grade gold-belt with rollerskate clasp; think back to freshman year when Sophomore Lori Egbers clipped her bleach-blond curling-ironed hair up in fluorescent plastic clips (dayglow!) with matching skinny tie to the basketball game; think of those stirrup pants or don't, actually.
One of my windows looks out onto club Luxx, a recently established locale which currently draws the clubbing youth and style-forward (and maybe still the occasional fine artist) to Williamsburg nightly. And so while we get to see lots of diverse and original streetwear clumping outside the club smoking their cigarettes under streetlights as if in an advertisement, this area had already long been a most style-original train stop. We get great people-watching just about every day of the week, whether crawling to work in the morning or out for dinner at one of the 3 retro-diners on a Sunday night. And, as all neighborhoods change exponentially, fringes in both directions can be seen moving in. More freaky than anyone covered in tattoos or saftey pins was the girl on the L platform yesterday morning with a Louis Vuitton bag and Aigner shoes, applying eyeliner (To Her Eyelids not even below-the-eyes in an "I'm dead like my favorite punk band" way). While I can't say for certain she wasn't just the world's most Ironic member of the whole train platform, I'm pretty sure she was reviving the Eighties-Money look without that level of memory or awareness.
And so I've made some Eighties-in-'ought2 street-style observations which can put you settled right into the scene:
T-SHIRTS. Yeah. The t-shirt, like the flip flop, will do you little harm. Better if it's old, ie: faded. Best if it's cut-up in some way. Wearer is good-to-go if T-shirt says something removed from his or her self and thus ironic on it. Like for example: You are a pasty white music geek and a guy, and you don a T-shirt reading "MIDDLEBURY GIRLS SOFTBALL". A rock concert shirt is good. Led Zepplin, sure. Van Halen. Kiss, if you prefer the traditional (predictable?) any rock band who had a Logo, and only and always sold black Tees. But even Soundgarden would be okay, in a dry and funny way, I think. If the Spin Doctors made shirts, you maybe are glad you have one, if that silly bad-good thing is your thing. That might be considered funny in the same way that it's funny when you hear Terrence Trent D’Arby in a cab.
+ LAUNCH TSHIRT STYLE SLIDE SHOW + [new!]
SKIRTS: The mini! Short. Short. Short and sporty. This makes so much sense! It's completely functional for the 100° heatwave that has been our summer of '02. Even better? Pleated short tennis skirts. (Guess who found several this season thrifting in Long Island?) Wear these minis with big, butt-covering, bloomeresque undies and let 'em show when you swish up the subway steps.
THE ROMANTIC PRAIRIE LOOK: seems to still be among us, or Indian-import-gauzy blousey things, and accessorized in a big heavy turquoise jewelry way. Or upped-up with a waist-dropping Miu Miu belt, or other haute-end accessory. Gunne Sax looked so now when I found 2 skirts recently while thrifting in Denver, that I bought both for $3. Now what to do with them? Can't imagine wearing lace. Maybe by fall...
I prefer the cleaner lines of the 70s garden skirt, often seen mingling with preppy Izods. Skirt snaps up the front, buttons up the front, or wraps around? Perfect. Necessary to sport in colors like golfing-kelly-green, straight-up yellow, or that hot pink flirting with Barbie but more like the color of earrings Alyssa Milano would have worn as Sam on Who's the Boss.
ALSO: Tube tops which also make great functional sense in sweltering urban temperatures (blacktop in the sun gets hot, it turns out) as well as on the beach. Not that I've been to the beach this summer. Oh god I haven't been to the beach this summer. Women's boobs are bigger this year, too. / Do you own a tubetop which is attached at the waist to a flouncy, above-the-knee skirt, making it a Tube-Dress, which is also in Eighties-Turquoise? You’re like so awesome. I'm not being sarchastic.
And, like, like I was saying: whomever said that said Irony Is Dead was, like, so wrong? It's like? Not? Irony seems to be back as a force more powerful and iron-clad than ever, as evident in our favorite found formerly-fluorescent, now-faded yellow T-shirt declaring Florida! in scripty font, complete with sunburst also found in Denver, where thrifting is as big of a sport as climbing a mountain in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. This new-old-faded Florida! beachy T-shirt (no scissors please, this shirt is going to outlast the trend) feels right at home here in cement, smoggy, beachless Williamsburg, along with anything else surf-related. (Ok this is really not an article about me and my favorite new clothes, just the T-shirt is mine. And the mini-tennis skirts. And that's all. Really. I own no tube-tops.)
Um, speaking of surf revival, remember Jams? The surfer shorts we were so fond of gals and guys alike hanging down to our knees, back in swimming-pool days? I was going to say how I haven't seen a single pair of these, although they would seem to fit in seamlessly about now during our end-of-summer surf-fetishizing moment. But then I saw a pair this morning, albeit it in NoLiTa. With surf action-flick Blue Crush in theatres now (just campy enough to emulate. Not high art... does that make it irony?), The NYTimes, Time Out!, and other publications publishing surf-related features every week, and puca shells selling in boutiques, surf's up in the urban streets. Possibly Jams aren't attainable. Most likely they're not desirable in the thrift-store setting, being things we tended to swim in, in addition to wear to class.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS MADE THIS MORNING: Black fingernail polish is either making a re-resurgence for obvious rock-punk-related associations, or its just the most gender-crossing color and people are coming to understand it as a standard, like jeans. I prefer the floursescents. Day Glo. Not blue though. (So 1996).
The whole Black-And-White-Only thing might have left us in July. It was so fabulously easy, though, that unlike most trends which we can toss away as easily as so many Poland Springs plastic water bottles now that Recycling them in NYC is outlawed* I might just miss it.
Speaking of Black and White: Do you have Vans shoes? See? Those are cute. Fortuitous if you saved your old ones rather than bought new ones for like hundreds of dollars.
AS FOR ANYTHING FURTHER ON SHOES: I don't know that I've been too observant. It might be noteworthy that I've gotten away with (or haven't, possibly) wearing the same 2 pairs all summer: Shoes which are each 3- and 4- seasons old! I'm a bit proud of that. Both have heels-enough to stand me a few inches taller while simultaneously being sporty enough to run for the bus in. Cork heels work well with a mini. The other pair, conveniently black and white (although I that might all be over) are made by Airwalk, suggesting I could go skateboarding in them, which I couldn't because all this summertime-sporty-street-wear is just that only street fashion. I mean, I Never Play Tennis.
*No, it still hurts everytime we throw these away, several times a day.
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Halloween commute [enlarge]
Subway man [enlarge]
I got some thing from some folks...
+ photo of the day
+ the BFG
+ too askew
+ Luke Holder