color me other people

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as the seasons change, there has been a change in my fashion perspective too. lately there have been so many color choices in men’s clothing and i seem to have been bitten by the pantone bug. it started with a pair of shoes- blue suede oxfords by kenneth cole. of course most of my wardrobe over the last few years has been in the brown, gray, black genre so a pair of navy blue shoes needed a good match to make sense. 

 next i found myself walking out of nieman marcus last call with 2 pair of trousers by james jeans- one cinnamon one green. this next purchase followed a green, blue, and white striped shirt from nordstrom with a similarly striped tank to layer beneath. i then found a pair of tan oxfords with red soles and gray oxfords with yellow soles. suddenly i zipped to macy’s to get a butter and white colored buffalo plaid shirt, an orange zip cardigan from saks off 5th, an orange and a blue sweater- both by izod, a couple of gray overshirts, lime green tank, a hot pink tee, an orange tee, and a vivid yellow tee.

this may represent a manic-fueled shopping period, and it may represent another coming out. i don’t really know. i do know that i love clothes, i hate shopping, but have gotten pretty damn good at it. now the second layer of coming out is finding the right places and ways to infuse this new aspect of my wardrobe and my lifestyle. i have become a homebody over the last few years which provides very little reason to don color.

as i have rearranged my closet to make room for the new additions and have put together a healthy bag of donations to the dayshelter for homeless hiv positive folks, i realize that although i have added hangers full of color, when i put it on and think about leaving the house, it somehow feels like the clothes belong to other people.

maybe somewhere down deep besides being who i am, i am other people too.

thoughts about surfing and fashion

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image credit…

Definition of OVERTURE
a : an initiative toward agreement or action : proposal
b : something introductory : prelude
a : the orchestral introduction to a musical dramatic work
b : an orchestral concert piece written especially as a single movement in sonata form
my head and heart are swimming in the waves of change that are flooding so many areas of my life. i found myself at the workplace defending my current exhilerating experience in contrast with the defended and threatened views held by some coworkers. this action and its wake illuminated a changed prism through which to view my experience.

it occurred to me that perhaps it wasn’t always needed to apologize for things that feel good.. it also came into view that i might do well to keep all this good wave bizness in a healthy perspective. funny thing – it’s still not my nature to just have one chocolate and enjoy it. it is more my style to finish the box. and many times think about getting more.

i would venture that recognizing my nature and sitting with it in lieu of letting it carve my path is really the lesson here- or certainly one of the lessons. there is a very strong yet obscured sense of fear of failure with this project. there have been so much synchronicity that my inner voice tells me that something’s gotta give.

am i in fear of losing face? losing faith? appearing foolish? letting others down? succeeding? not having enough? honestly- prolly a little of all of them.

i took my mother to see “gatsby” last weekend.  mixed review- but overall i loved the texture of the film. baz luhrmann always does over the top and there was no disappointment with this picture. leonardo was fairly droll, but his costumes seriously made me swoon.  two in particular- the white linen suit with the orange tie he wore when he was being re-introduced to daisy and the pink pin stripe with the raspberry and orange necktie took me by complete surprise and triggered a memory of shopping on oak street in chicago at a boutique by the name of ultimo. the 1970’s always include vintage art deco as there was definitely a resurgence. it was fascinating, elegant, sensory, and educational.

 i was 17 and was a dancer (go go boy) at a little hell hole. i met an older guy who took me to acapulco, ft lauderdale, and spent ridiculous amounts of money on me. it was like a game to me. sadly i was too young to understand that it was not at all a game for him. i believe he left our trysting with a sense of loss and a feeling of being wrung out. i walked away feeling just as empty as i had engaged in the affair. i had fun, but i really didn’t care much for the sense of hindsight and stupidity that i hadn’t seen or understood all that was involved in this affair. although i had collected a very sleek and sophisticated collection of french and italian ready-to-wear, it hadn’t made my life look any better than it had before the fling. as a matter of fact, another layer of fantasy and hope may have been peeled away.

i am certain that drug and alcohol use shielded (or barricaded) any significant personal growth with this experience. it took at least 30 or 35 years to distill all the fractured images and impressions from those days and repackage them into a collage that makes sense. i still love great clothes. shopping, and dressing with some style. but i try very hard to not dive into situations, relationships, and situations without trying to zoom out once in awhile. i certainly try to walk away from things in my life now without those same underwhelmed feelings i used to know so well.

try is the optimum word here. i fall short as much (if not more) as i succeed. but the thrill of living (and surfing) is paddling out and waiting and catching another wave.

“I am not a good surfer. In fact, I used surfing as a metaphor well before I ever left the beaches of my childhood–the painted desert and the valley of the sun. For those of you who do not know Phoenix well, you should understand that although it may seem paradoxical for an Arizonan/Phoenician to think about surfing, surfing provides an important psychological and metaphoric role in desert life. Desert rats (something I definitely was) think about sand as a medium upon which one can perform feats with postmodern sprezzatura. I grew up skateboarding, wagoning, bicycling, and generally sliding down sand dunes to break the boredom and to show my balance prowess. The taller the dune, the better. I was also lucky enough to spend a summer fortnight in Carlsbad California at a music camp (“one time at band camp…”). Every afternoon, for two weeks, I had the opportunity to boogie board and bodysurf until I was sunburned and my ears rang with the gurgle of the surf bubbling in my ears. The only analogous feeling to catching a wave and riding it in for me was riding a horse at full gallop. The energy was terrifying, electrifying, and almost mystical.”…from


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this is another guilty pleasure of mine..

god save the queen

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Darlings, British fashion titan Vivienne Westwood is the subject of a well-deserved retrospective in London, but instead of highlighting her eye-popping fashions over the years, this one narrowed its focus to her equally (if not more so) eye-popping shoe designs. “Vivienne Westwood Shoes: An Exhibition 1973- 2010” is at Selfridges Ultralounge in London August 26th-September 22nd and showcases nearly 200 shoes from the designer’s archive and collections. It’s a shame some of these pieces look a little beat up, but nothing can diminish the sheer insanity of some of her designs as well as the strange beauty. So strap on your penis shoes and head on out to take a look.

reprinted from tom and lorenzo blog

Vivienne Westwood also has finally assembled a collection of her designs stemming from 1973 until the present. Westwoods designs reflect a healthy cross section of the latter years of the 20th century. I didn’t wear her shoes, but certainly to me, they represent the mood, the philosophy, and the attitude of my peers.
of course, i am a lifelong malcolm mclaren fan, and vivienne and malcolm were inseparable for years, each influencing and supporting the other as they carved out their lives in london and subsequently the world.