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    Copyright © 2015 unruly

    Style is generosity

    I think I think too much about clothes — mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, whoever’s. Because really? I think an awful lot about them. Like, an AWRFUL lot. Thing is, when the world is being beautiful, I don’t want to be a blight on it and when the world is being unbeautiful, I don’t want to add to the ick, so I end up thinking a lot about my clothes. And in my thinking, I also think this: I think style is an act of generosity. I think fashion is just merchandising. I think one is qualitatively superior to the other, by a lot, and in my mind it’s clear that the superior one is style.

    Fashion’s just a financial transaction. It’s going and buying what you see other people wearing and wearing it in much the same way as they’re wearing it, which is probably in much the way shop windows and magazines dictate it be worn. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, I do plenty of it myself, but it’s … boring. A ton of the “street style” stuff you see in alternative newspapers or in magazines or on blogs is misnamed, in my view. Because the overwhelming majority of what is being worn in those photographs is just chain-store gear being worn in pretty much the way the chain-store tells you to wear it — it’s street fashion, not street style. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve got NOTHING against chain stores; I shop at plenty myself. But I really like it when I can wear my clothes so they express something about me, something beyond, “Hey, I shop at H&M.” Because, actually, the thing about style is that it isn’t necessarily about your clothing’s provenance. One-off pieces are fab; I love them, very much. But style is a tributary of the great river imagination and if you swim in that river, you know how to take a piece of clothing and wear it in a way that imbues it with the youness of you. Which is why I think style is generosity. Whenever you’re willing to put yourself out there a bit — to stand out in a crowd — you’re saying something above and beyond “I went to the mall today” about yourself. Style is personal. Fashion? Not so much.

    All of that being said, I’ll cop to the fact that I’m pretty yummed-up by extremists, when it comes to clothing. Great sartorial oddity makes me very happy, I guess because it’s so personal and really kind of brave, not unlike art-making. In both cases you express something about yourself, expose something about yourself, and so make yourself vulnerable. It’s moving and shiver-making and exhilarating —and sometimes scary — to engage that way — for sure when you’re the person offering that piece of yourself up but maybe even when you’re the person on the receiving end, because it can be disquieting to be confronted with oddity. Ultimately, I very much like the kind of risk-taking, the kind of unguardedness, the kind of generosity, that people who sing a song of themselves offer up to the rest of us. I very much like to look upon people who have a point-of-view and and who look like they have a point-of-view.

    Louise Lecavalier performing with Carole Laure in Laure’s video for the song “Danse Avant de Tomber”:

    Little Edie Beale, via slagheap's photostream
    Little Edie Beale, via slagheap's photostream on flickr
    Cranky Kitty by Brittany Hunter and WhiteFeather
    WhiteFeather wearing the Cranky Kitty skirt
    johnny weir in pink
    Johnny Weir in his pink-laced corset
    amelia earhart, 1928
    Amelia Earhart photographed in 1928
    Louise Lecavalier  "Nijinsky in a tutu"- © André Cornellier
    Louise Lecavalier, "Nijinsky in a tutu"
    Photograph © André Cornellier
    Willy van Rooy with her son in Paris, 1970 or 71
    Model Willy van Rooy in Paris, 1970 or '71
    John Lennon, NYC, photographed by Bob Gruen, 1974
    Rufus, via watchoutfor.com
    Rufus Wainwright
    jacques plante
    Jacques Plante, the first goalie to wear a mask
    Frida Kahlo, photographed by Nickolas Muray, 1940
    Frida Kahlo photographed by Nickolas Muray, 1940
    David Byrne, 1991
    David Byrne, 1991
    Lydia K in NOW, via lovesick
    Lydia K in NOW, via Lovesick Corrective Apparel
    David Byrne more recently
    David Byrne
    Edouard Lock self portrait
    Self-portrait by Edouard Lock (with Louise Lecavalier), 1987
    Designer Austin Scarlett
    Stripes WF
    WhiteFeather is pattern-friendly
    Leigh Bowery, Session I-Look2, Nov1988 by Fergus Greer
    Leigh Bowery, Session I/Look2, November 1988
    Photographed by Fergus Greer
    Mask belonging to Jacques Plante, the first goalie in the NHL to wear a mask regularly
    Nancy Cunard photographed by Cecil Beaton, 1930
    Nancy Cunard, 1930
    Photographed by Cecil Beaton
    Yayoi Kusama via The Guardian
    Yayoi Kusama, via The Guardian
    Little Edie Beale via threadbanger
    Little Edie Beale outside Grey Gardens
    tilda-swinton via deroemer.wordpress
    Tilda Swinton
    Josephine Baker, via artdecoblog.blogspot
    Josephine Baker in the 1920s
    Poster for Cabaret starring Liza MInnelli, 1972
    josephine baker in a top hat
    Josephine Baker in a Top Hat, 1933
    nancy cunard
    Nancy Cunard photographed by Man Ray, 1926
    tilda swinton
    Tilda Swinton
    tom selleck
    Just kidding
    Isabella Blow, via dailymail.co.uk
    Isabella Blow
    Dock Ellis image via generationexploitation.blogspot
    Painting of Dock Ellis wearing curlers
    Via Generation Exploitation
    rufus w via abc.net
    Rufus Wainwright
    Corset-maker Mr. Pearl
    Corset-maker Mr. Pearl
    weir high heels
    Johnny Weir makes me happy
    Smart WF
    WhiteFeather is smart, o yes she is
    <a href="http://makeshiftproject.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Natalie Purschwitz</a>, 12 April 2010
    Natalie Purschwitz, 12 April 2010
    dame-edith-sitwell-1937 by Philippe Halsman, via photoslaves
    Dame Edith Sitwell photographed by Philippe Halsman, 1937
    Isabella Blow wearing Horsehair Helmet with Swarovski Crystal Button by Philip Treacy. Photographer- Steven Meisel (C) 1993
    Isabella Blow wearing Horsehair Helmet with Swarovski Crystal Button by Philip Treacy.
    Photographed by Steven Meisel, 1993
    NP, Feb 26, 2010
    Natalie Purschwitz, Feb 26, 2010
    Lydia K in NOw (2), via lovesick
    Lydia K in NOW, via Lovesick Corrective Apparel
    Image from Cheap Chic
    Image from Cheap Chic by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy
    Frida Kahlo and parrot photographed by Nickolas Muray, 1940
    Frida Kahlo and parrot by Nickolas Muray, 1940
    Leigh Bowery Fergus Greer
    Leigh Bowery photographed by Fergus Greer
    Edith Sitwell photographed by Jane Bown, 1959
    Edith Sitwell by Jane Bown, 1959

    i’m afraid tilda’s is the only shit i can support here, if only because ms. baker’s frock would be HELL to dryclean. (although i do appreciate that corset maker mr. pearl at least knows whereof he speaks. and i el-oh-elled at “and parrot.” but that’s just me.)

    rache added these words on Jun 11 10 at 11:51 am

    I <3 Amelia Earhart!! And, Rufus!!! And Frida!! And Tilda!! And, ME! haha! And, I think your own yellow shoes should be added to this page.

    feather added these words on Jun 11 10 at 3:40 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by . said: [...]

    Tweets that mention http://www.unruly.ca/?p=3865%3Futm_source%3Dpingback -- Topsy.com added these words on Jun 11 10 at 3:49 pm

    Nice picture from Cheap Chic!
    I’m up in the Napa Valley now, doing photography….
    Just read that Cheap Chic was the inspiration for the new Art Director for Hermes, Christophe Lemaire.
    Carol Troy

    Carol Troy added these words on Jun 22 10 at 5:04 pm

    Hi, Carol. It makes my unruly day to read your comment. Many thanks for stopping by!

    admin added these words on Jun 25 10 at 10:59 am