"I’m actually right here in case you wanted to pay attention to me instead."
I’m still mad when I think about all the time last season spent on Stupid Don’s Flashbacks that could have been better spent creating story lines for Not Stupid Dawn.
Worn is releasing a book
Drawn & Quartery presents: The Worn Archive. It is out a few places this week and most places next.
The book is divided into thematic sections: Fashion is Political, Fashion is Art, Fashion is Personal, etc. In an early conception of the book, each section would have an intro penned by a different contributor from Worn’s past. This idea was eventually axed in favour of shorter intros, but before that happened, I wrote this little thing for Fashion is Fun.
It’s an unedited draft. The real Worn Archive will have way fewer typos.
~*~*~*~*FASHION IS FUN~*~*~*~*
I learned how to dress myself when I was eighteen years old. I mean sure, I had the whole “underwear then pants then shirt” thing down pat years prior, yet anything resembling a sense of style was totally elusive to me. I read glossy magazines by the dozen, ones that all it would take for me to be chic would be to spend an income I didn’t have on the right clothes to flatter my figure. Capital F-Fashion I decided, was a complicated and expensive thing I would figure out once I was old and boring, like paying a mortgage.
The year I turned eighteen, a few changes happened. I moved to Toronto for school. I started to a blog as a digital dumping ground for all my musings. And I began an internship at an then-obscure magazine called Worn.
I told my parents that I sought out an internship in an interest of writing, not fashion. Yet I had also grown completely bored of the way I dressed, and knew if I wanted to change my look, now was the chance to do it. I was completely anonymous in a new, bigger city, ready to start university with a bunch of strangers that knew nothing about me. I moved into my dorm, complete with the requisite Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster that my sister had given to me the week prior. Audrey’s peered down at me from under her immaculately groomed eyebrows, and knew that I wasn’t set out to be gamine or chic, at least not in the classical sense. I wanted to have fun.
“I wish I could be one of those girls,” I whined to Serah-Marie, WORN’s Editor-in-Pants, one day during my internship. We were sitting in her living room, which doubled as the offices at the time. “You know, one of those girls who can dress weird and creatively and get away with it.”
Her reply was simple: “What’s stopping you?”
Becoming a Wornette was a bit like taking the red pill in the Matrix, revealing that everything I regarded as the pinnacle of taste was based on constructed by those who didn’t have people’s best interests in mind. I went to thrift stores, vintage shows, indie shops, and the clearance racks at fancy stores. My wardrobe shifted from jeans and t-shirts into gold embroidered boleros, multicolored tights, elastic harnesses, black velveteen dresses, sometimes worn all at once. Nothing was off limits.
I would poorly lit pictures of my crafted ensembles for my blog. Fashion blogging was relatively new. Nobody was famous – not yet – and it was not considered the hip thing to be doing. You wanna learn how not to care what other people think of you? Dress in weird shit, put it online, and allow for anonymous commenting. While blogging was a relatively positive experience, there was never a shortage of people willing to tell me that I was Doing Fashion Wrong. Yet the comments that would’ve completely broken me in high school started to roll off my immaculately-dressed back. With WORN, I was now part of a network that taught my not to pay attention to style rules, to eschew whatever notions I had of flattering, and to not dull down the way I wanted to dress in the face of snark, whether that snark was coming from mainstream magazines or self-appointed fashion police in the form of blog comments.
Worn has never been one for prescriptive dressing rules. We’ve billed ourselves as a publication that would, instead of telling “how” to dress, would rather ask “Why.” Why do certain garments appeal to us the way that others don’t? And yet, every once in a while, it is ok to respond “Why not?” The articles and photoshoots in this section get that. Why not run away with your friends, your dearest treasures, and a pet zebra? Why not fill a clothing store window display with mechanical butterflies or taxidermy tableau? Why not, as Jim Jarmusch did, apply your preferred black-and-white aesthetic to your films, your work, your wardrobe, your life? Of course, most Worn readers – yours truly included – don’t have the resources to do these things on the daily (you got a pet zebra?). Which is, for all intents and purposes, all the more reason to archive these moments when they happen, or when they’re observed. It’s also a reminder to see clothing as a creative outlet, rather than something oppressive or didactic. It’s a call for subverting the way we think about dressed in the morning from a practical necessity to an opportunity to play dress up. And while it is important to engage with fashion on a critical level, sometimes it is also important to celebrate the fantastical, the whimsical, the make-believe and the magic.
When fashion becomes too much about the rules, it limits participation. It becomes a club that only the right people can join – those with the right income, the access to the right stores, the right body type, the right aesthetic sensibility. It’s like a hyped up party that ends up flopping because everybody is stuck waiting in line outside, trying to get on the guest list. It’s time to throw out the lists and rule books altogether, and come and join the party.
In which Haley starts to regret giving me keys to her place
- Anna: I don't even remember falling asleep last night
- i just woke up and it was 5am and i was fully dressed on your couch
- and i stayed up until the sun rose and walked home
- Haley: hahahah ummm no you didnt
- you got up at 5: 50, walked around the room mumbling to yourself, and fell back asleep and mumbled to yourself until my alarm went off at 8
- you laughed a lot too