03 June 2013

Trappings


I have never wanted to be someone else.

Not really.

I definitely love fashion. Definitely love what make up can do to a face.

I love the armor-like qualities of it all. It's a costume. And it is a wall between you and out there.

Which is why I love drag. Good drag is all about illusion. About unreality.

Recently I've noticed an uptick in the color choices and patterns available in men's fashion. Thank you sweet baby Versace. If any part of the 80s needed to come back it was COLOR. The 90s and their plaid and grunginess bleached out a lot of the vibrancy of 80s fashion. Even in pop music. Everything got a touch darker, grayer.

This is also to say that I find inspiration in the artifice of all of this. That facade.

A local Santa Fean, Pippa Garner is a good example of someone who has taken this idea to the full endpoint. In the 90s Pippa transitioned from male to female in an attempt to invest in herself as she would a car. To 'tinker' with herself. From Trappings: Stories of Women, Power and Clothing by Tiffany Ludwig:

"It was a way of actually making a purchase of something that I can incorporate into myself, and know that it will never have to be insured or stolen or anything else."

Pippa goes on to explain her uniform; a home made t-shirt and tights. The shirt changes every day. She also says that she hopes her look raises 'curiosity'. Almost a silent confrontation. You can read the whole essay, and check out the rest of this great book on Amazon.

While I do not hope to achieve discomfort and I am definitely not going to change my sex for fashion. I see the interest in using clothing, appearance, etc. as a means to promote discussion. To make a statement.

I wish more would play with this.

Jeffree Star
Dapper Q is a great site and broader, part of a community of sites devoted to 'transgressing men's fashion'. Born out of women and queer circles wanting to move away from traditional 'feminine' clothing, the site is an amazing resource for people who want to dress in traditional male clothing but do it in a way that is moved into ambiguous. Queering it up basically. Movements like this are interesting because I don't see a male version of this outside of drag.

The closest I can see are goth and rock circles where Adam Lambert and Jeffree Star exist. These sort of neo-glam Bowies. But they are outliers. There has been a move towards some club-goers in NYC and a few other places to wear high heels. I support this wholly. They are sexy, and a heel looks good on men or women.

I want these lines to blend more though. Not that I want to wear dresses, or heels. But maybe a little more freedom of choice in it. Without a stigma. A hassle. Or a bashing.