THE WARDROBE_REMIX(ER) BEING REVEALED:
name: M. flickr handle: memepunk age: Thirties location: San Francisco Bay area
what do you do for a living?
I'm a writer and independent filmmaker. There's not much of a living in it yet, but it makes me way happier than my former tech drone job.
what are your passions/obsessions/hobbies/aspirations?
My parents are both artists--Dad a painter; Mom an illustrator and graphic designer--so I've always had a great love of visual arts, whether by nature or nurture. I'm a film geek, with a special interest in film noir, the Nouvelle Vague, and Hollywood auteur films of the seventies. I'm making short films right now, but my ultimate career goal is to produce and direct features, with as much self-financing as possible. My other loves are family, friends, and food. And books...lots of books.
Fashion-wise, I aspire to make/customize/reconstruct a lot more of what I wear. It takes me forever to sew anything, though, because I'm not very good at it, so finding sufficient time is often a problem.
what inspires you?
Everything! A song I heard in the market. The novel I'm reading. Someone I saw on the street in London in 1992. That sculpture. That cat. The headlines in the paper this morning. Architecture. Other people's creativity. (My secret's out: I'm actually a sponge cleverly disguised as a human being.)
how do you define "style"?
In terms of fashion, I think it's the union of someone's personality and the items they wear to express that personality. Attitude + apparel = style.
how would you describe your personal style?
Playful, eclectic. I never take anything too seriously--especially myself--and I think my sense of humor probably shows in what I wear.
how has your style evolved or matured over time?
I've always been shy, and dressing in a way that I thought might attract attention, even favorable attention, was pretty daunting when I was younger. That's lessened over time, and I'm more self-confident now, so I make bolder choices than I used to.
how does your background (personal history, passions, culture, nationality, etc.) come through in the clothes you like and wear, if at all?
My parents are two of the most uniquely stylish people I know, and I'm sure that had a lot to do with my feeling free to experiment with different looks from an early age. During college, I worked on a lot of theatrical productions, including doing costume design, and a think there's a bit of theatre in my wardrobe choices from time to time. Other than that, I'm pretty tabula rasa about clothing--culture and nationality and all that stuff don't much enter into it.
My mom has collected scarves since before I was born, and she wore one nearly every day when she dressed for work. When I was a kid, I'd look through her scarf drawer with a sort of wistful envy. They seemed so glamorous and cool, like her. Over the last fifteen years or so, she's gradually adopted a more casual style of dress and wasn't wearing her scarves much. A year or two ago, she floored me by giving me most of them! I love that I'm wearing things that have been in my family for two or more generations, and I love that her signature article of clothing has now become mine, too.
what are some of your favorite places to shop when you want to add to your wardrobe? online? locally? anywhere in the world? why are these places favorites of yours?
I've found some very cool things on eBay. Goodwill, Salvation Army stores, and Value Village/Savers are always tempting. I like the sensation that I'm getting something unique, rather than an item, however lovely it may be, plucked off a rack of identical items. For tights and leggings, which I'm crazy about, fellow remixer vasiliisa introduced me to welovecolors.com. They have the best range of colors in opaque hosiery I've ever seen. The other garments I've bought new are from such a wide range of sources--and acquired over such a broad span of time--that I can't really name a favorite place.
if you’re into thrifting/secondhand shopping, share with us a great tip for thrifting, a fun thrifting story, or tell us about something great you found!
This is probably obvious, but I'll say it anyway. Secondhand shopping works best when you don't go looking for anything too specific. That way you can't be disappointed if you don't find it, and your mind will be open to the amazing, unlooked-for treasures that serendipity brings your way. Oh, and take your time. A perfect thing is probably there waiting for you, but it may take a while to locate.
The most cherished thing I've ever gotten secondhand is a vintage brown Glen plaid waistcoat that was part of a boy's suit, which I found at a Goodwill store during my sophomore year at college. (I was at the store looking for costume items for a production of Ionesco's THE BALD SOPRANO. Didn't find any.) I would have bought the whole suit, only it didn't fit. It was hard to convince the woman who ran the store to break up the suit, but, after some haggling, she agreed.
many fashion-lovers and wardrobe_remix(ers) are concerned with ethics, sustainability, and green fashion these days. if you consider yourself to be one of those folks, how do you go about looking and feeling good while resisting the urge to always have something new to wear?
Since I almost never get rid of anything (I still have some clothes I wore when I was 12), it's pretty easy for me to find "new" things just by poking around in my closet and storage boxes. I try not to buy anything unless I'm sure I like it enough to wear it until it wears out, which means a very long time, as I take quite good care of my clothes.
I'm also a cheapskate, which is good because it means I love secondhand/thrift shopping but bad because I do sometimes indulge in cheap junk clothing that was probably not ethically produced. I'm trying to curtail the latter.
does your location (where you live) affect your style? if so, in what ways? describe what your city or area is like with regard to fashion.
San Francisco and the Bay area in general seem very supportive of individuality. I feel like I can wear pretty much whatever I want, which is a welcome change from the more conservative places I've lived.
The weather is capricious. When I lived on the east coast, I had seasonal clothes, and I'd pack away whatever seasons I wasn't using. In the Bay area, it can be blazing hot one day and cold and gloomy the next--or both in the same day! Layering is as much a necessity as a style choice around here, which suits me fine.
what do you think is next in terms of fashion? perhaps something that is currently flying under the radar, but could be really cool and popular later, or perhaps something amazing you'd like to see more of that needs to come back or be the new thing?
The whole "everything old will be new again" outlook is more applicable to fashion than anything else, isn't it? I'd really like to see something completely out of left field, something you couldn't possibly predict by extrapolating cycles of trends in the latter half of the twentieth century or by gauging the influence current mass entertainments (movies, TV, music scenes) will have on designers and fashion pundits. I want to see people wearing space helmets for fun! And dresses made of woven side-emitting optic fibers that pulsate different colors of light as you walk down the street!
On a more realistic level, I'd love to see more people wearing hats. And not baseball caps! More men in fedoras and boaters. Also, I've seen a few people sporting umbrellas in fine weather over the last few years. I think this will become more widespread and habitual as people grow more and more concerned about sun-induced health problems, both cosmetic and otherwise.
And I just KNOW there's an Invasion of the Shoulder Pads lurking, waiting to spring. Soon. Watch the skies. Perhaps this time around they'll be a bit more delicate and angular--not like in the mid-late eighties, when everyone looked like a quarterback.
what does the future hold for fashion? what do you think fashion will be like in 20 years?
Actually, I think the future is being shaped by sites like wardrobe_remix. I gobbled fashion magazines from childhood into my early twenties. Then I got into street style, which I thought was great because it presented a more realistic, approachable look at fashion than print magazines did. Now I think DIY sites are where it's at because they provide a completely unmediated experience. No one edits, no one reviews submissions to say "this one's worthy, but this one isn't," so the only person who has any say over the viewing experience is the viewer. And everyone is his or her own designer. I think the more people twig that concept, the more open and experimental they'll become.
The nature of fashion trends will gradually shift from big fads engineered by entities in a position to make money off them to lightspeed ripples of mini-fads that get started because someone sees a picture on the web of some other real, everyday person doing something cool and emulates it, often without having to go buy something in order to do so. And these mini-trends will evolve so rapidly--as every participant adds his or her own twist--that manufacturers won't be able to keep up. This phenomenon won't eclipse big fashion--the trickle-down from haute couture to the high street--but I hope it will rein it in sufficiently that, in 20 years, the term "sweatshop" will be so antiquated that kids will have to look it up in the dictionary.
you are super creative with your clothes! share a creative tip or idea about a way people can remix/style their clothing in a fun or innovative way.
I think the biggest thing that keeps people from dressing as creatively as they want to is fear. Don't wear anything that really makes you uncomfortable, because physical or emotional discomfort caused by what you're wearing is the antithesis of style. On the other hand, don't be afraid to push your personal boundaries a bit. They're probably more flexible than you think, and so are other people's attitudes.
how did you come across wardrobe_remix? why do you post there? What do you like about it? has anything positive come about for you as a result of posting to the community?
I found it accidentally through someone's Flickr photostream. I was stuck in a years-long rut of grabbing a pair of jeans and a bland shirt every morning. I don't know how I got into that habit, but I was really bored with it and feeling guilty about all the nifty clothes I owned but never wore. The group inspired me to break out of that cycle.
other favorite wardrobe_remix(ers)? who, and why?
I tend to have favorite postings rather than favorite remix(ers). When I look through the wardrobe_remix pool, I never know who's going to catch my eye with something spectacular. Of course, some people get my attention more regularly than others, but really I'm just grabbed by anyone looking creative and happy in what they're wearing.
suggest an interesting or intelligent question to ask of other remix(ers) for the remix(ers)_revealed feature!
This is a pretty darned good set of questions as it is. I can't think of anything to add.
anything else you'd like to say?
Thanks, Tricia, for founding the community and also for this opportunity to really analyze and try to articulate some of my attitudes towards fashion. And big thanks to my fellow remix(ers) for all the inspiration and camaraderie!