A Doppelgänger Aspiration

Eunice Johnson Dies at 93; Gave Ebony Its Name

I confess I troll the obituaries. I love reading about interesting people’s lives, in brief. So I came across Eunice Johnson’s death notice in the NY Times (one of my favorite haunting grounds) in January, and I was moved. If I could be half the woman she was, well, I’d be short, now wouldn’t I? Okay, that’s not what I meant to say. No, I was going to say, I’d be quite accomplished—I’d have climbed some very tall metaphorical mountains. I so admire her ability to identify problems that mattered to her, and most significantly, to solve them.

What Do Men Want?


Here’s a video my friend Linda Taylor Brodow made, to help sort out the intricacies of men’s fashion trends… I’m inspired, and feeling groovy (music is by Dave Stewart/Mick Jagger, New York Hustle, from the ‘Alfie’ soundtrack).

A Video Tour of Mad Men’s Costume Shop

A tour of the costume shop

Click for a Mad Men tour

Why do I love that show so much? Is it simply the clothes? This seems like a good place to clarify: Anne’s + my clothing line, Doppelgänger Wear, is about the history of women’s ambition, expressed as clothing. Whaddya think, can you see it? Our clothes are not based on high-fashion of bygone decades (the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, etc.), rather they are based on home-sewing patterns of those eras. This means style marketed to women who wanted to make something of themselves, by themselves. The latter wasn’t such an uncommon pursuit in those days. In school, girls took “home economics” while boys took shop. But the former, to make something of themselves, is still a work in progress, isn’t it. Funny how that progress has diminished our ability to sit down and sew.

To Vogue or not to Vogue

VogueMovieStill

Here's a trailer

Hi there y’all. Here’s a NY Times article about a flick that sounds worthy. {Behind ‘The September Issue,’ a Documentary on the Inner Workings of Vogue}. Admittedly, I haven’t picked up a copy of Vogue magazine in years, but I have some kind of allegiance to it involving how we dress/represent ourselves. I don’t live in that fashion-is-everything world, do you? Seemed like a better idea when I was about 20 years old. These days I’m more inclined to read Time magazine than Vogue. Oh yeah, and that reminds me, here’s an article by Kurt Andersen that calls to me loud and clear, about ‘amateurism.’ {The Avenging Amateur}. Love that Andersen fellow. HeydayHe wrote a great big novel called Heyday which, okay, may not earn him a Nobel Prize in Most Elegant Letters, but he represents his big ideas so entertainingly; enthusiastically. And then again, I remember liking the book right away because of how carefully Andersen describes the clothing of his characters. Plus the funky cover. Who says you can’t judge a book that way?

Gladiators

Circa 1968.

Circa 1968.

Firstly, thanks Scott for this groovy picture of you, your brother, and your teeny tiny sister, all dressed up in your school uniforms! I’d say your school was definately Mod, not Rocker.

Secondly: The fashion industry digs itself into a hole when it insists, with penny wisdom and pound foolishness, we must wear what is “of the moment.” Soon my favorite garments will make me look old and frumpy; decidedly un-hip; cash-poor; and so on, if they aren’t brand-spanking new. I try to evade this problem by wearing clothing, not fashion—I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has reacted this way to the industry’s commercial peer pressure, given how the industry is constantly in a state of panic that no one’s buying. But I love design, so, what clothing? Land’s End? It’d be like I’m a painter and although I’d like to express something luminously in oils, I’ll just use magic markers.

fluevogGladiator

Recently someone decided that a safe manufacturing bet will be Gladiator Sandals. So here’s John Fluevog’s version. I love it; I love the proportions, and that it’s magenta. But I won’t buy a pair (at least I think I won’t!), because while I’d love to express to the world the beauty of magenta, I suspect that’s not the only thing I’d communicate.

Thirdly, I just loved these photographs: Redesigning Women.

Uniforms are anything but.

Every day I get up in the morning, and pick out my uniform. No, not a plaid skirt, knee socks, a white button-down shirt. That’s kind of too girly-raunchy for me. It’s different nearly every day, but in the end it’s a dialogue, it’s what’s on my mind. That’s the constant.

I don’t like the idea of school uniforms. The argument in favor has something to do with them being “equalizers” and diminishing superficial distractions in an academic setting, but I’d rather teach my children to curate their daily uniform than leave it to the low priority of a school administrator.

I don’t find contemplating one’s appearance—presentation—to be something negative.

I remember seeing a video about Jacqueline Kennedy, who said something to the effect that dressing her best and carefully “decorating” the White House was a way to tell people she liked them. It’s worth a try.

Here’s a website someone made to document her quest to wear one dress in as many ways as possible.
The Uniform Project

Pretty cool.