What Goes On

I find myself obsessed, yet again, with the Beatles. The first time was in the 1960s, when they were brand-spankin’ new. My father would read out loud New York Post’s headlines such as “Ringo’s Getting His Tonsils Out” or “Ringo’s Getting Married” and my sister and I would prance around our living room singing “Ringo’s getting married, Ringo’s getting married!” Hilarity incarnate. I couldn’t have been more than 6 years old, and not entirely sure what tonsils, or even marriage, meant, but I understood it was big.

Then in college, circa 1980, my compadres and I went through some sort of pop-nostalgia thing. Grownup-hood impending, trying on the coolest version of our parents we could imagine. We weren’t alone. Would there have been Ramones without Beatles? Or even more significantly, what about the Ruttles?

Now here it is, 40 years after the grande demise, and my 9- and 6-year old boys demand (whine, cajole) Beatles whenever we’re in the car. They can tell you which song is on which album, they discuss who’s their favorite (Ellis: Paul, Lowell: John).

Good is always great, oh and, “Ringo’s Wearing Red Patent Leather!”

Fly the friendly skies (oops, that’s United).

1954-65

Delta’s is “We love to fly. And it shows.” And what better way to show it than a history of their Airline Attendant uniforms? Yup, nothing I love more than a good uniform….

Propeller Era Uniforms (1940-1959).
Jet Age Uniforms (1959-present).

Those from 2001–2006 strike me as despicably insufficient; un-uniform-ish. They’re touted as some sort of homage to “business casual,” but why would you want to do that? It reads wrong. The four in this 2003 picture look like rumpled and weary passengers at the end of a long work week. It makes me want to jump out of my own seat and serve them a good strong martini. BTW, they are Attendants from “Song,” Delta’s now-defunct low-fare brand experiment. I guess you can’t fake grass roots.

“Business Casual 2003”

1957-59

1969-70

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.