Saturday, May 28, 2011

If someone were to ask me how I felt, I would say “Like Zarathustra coming down from the mountain, ready to tell the People what they need to wear.” And their reply would be, “Get out of the way, we are trying to watch this ANTM challenge where the runway is actually a tightrope.” And when the eliminated contestant fell at my feet and expired while smizing directly into my eyes, I would take over the judging panel and begin talking.

Fashion is an act of aggression, and by “fashion” I mean anyone who bothers to walk around pulling a Look. Clothes are our most immediate way of saying, Here is how I feel right now. Except it’s hard to remain thrilled enough about the world to care what every passerby has to say, and most of us are so sick of not being noticed that we resent the act of wearing Looks that draw attention. If I wanted a message I would go to the Art Space. What makes you so important that I have to notice how you feel?

This is why we call obnoxious items “statement pieces,” and why we find them arrogant. Most of us don’t have any statement we feel strongly enough about to make. Meanwhile, the Anna Dello Russo of your circle is strutting around in a ______ while you are wearing some tepid schmatta that Does Not Adequately Convey How Amazing You Are, because you’re trying not to be an asshole, and you feel annoyed and defeated except you can’t look away. Your day is ruined: someone has had the nerve to presume that they are not mediocre.

The positive thing to do would be to acknowledge this person’s outfit for the inspiring phenomenon that it is. Then you grab your wardrobe by the balls and come up with a Look so chic that it just massacres them and everyone else who ever made you feel unfashionable. This is what I mean when I say Dress to Distress.


  1. Brava, Mary. And don't let's forget, healthy vanity is not a sin or a crime. It's essential. Every healthy animal has it. Cats, dogs, birds and gila monsters don't go around trying to look just a little more draggled than their neighbors so the neighbors will feel better about themselves. No. They show off their good health through their good looks. This is, by the way, almost the polar opposite of narcissism, which is indeed a crime, because it such a boring expression of being out of touch with reality. When we Pull a Look, if we do it right, we're happily saying "yes" to who we are.