This weekend I met with two new Glam Rehab clients. They’re both kinda hip and groovy in a crunchy sort of Austin way. They’re in their late-ish 30’s and generally pretty awesome (they also gave permission for me to talk about them on the blog. Thanks!)
We were chatting about their fashion time line, what they like what they don’t and they both told me they loved Betsey Johnson. I nearly had two strokes (one stroke each.)
Because Betsey Johnson?
I mean sure, love Betsey Johnson the whackadoo designer , because she is totally endearing and would probably be a really fun friend to have as long as you didn’t embarrass easily (confidential to BJ: when I see you and the first words I can think of are “Nylon hair” “hot mess” and “Deranged Suzanne Somers stalker having a really difficult time with her m-to-f transition” perhaps it’s time to rethink the look) but really, you do not live in a world where it’s All Junior Prom All The Time and maybe it’s time to up your sophistication level.
Does that mean you have to burn all your cute young clothes and only leave the house in St John knits?
Wait, I mean NO. (Although I love St John and I don’t CARE that it’s as WASPish as you can be without having a tax shelter literally built around you. But they don’t make plus sizes so whatevs)
What it means is that you’ve got to start looking at what appeals to who you are today.
There is some great Sufi teaching story about a swan egg that got in a chicken coop somehow, and he was happy and all with his adoptive poultry family (clearly they weren’t Danish poultry, who –if we’ve learned anything from Hans Christian Anderson– are all bastards) who taught him how to eat grain and keep dry in the rain and all sorts of handy things. He’d watch the swans fly overhead and swim in the sea, secure that when the time was right, his chicken momma and chicken daddy would teach him how to fly and swim. But they didn’t, because they couldn’t, so the swan never learned because he thought “they have taken me this far on my journey so well, surely they can take me the rest of the way.”
The moral of the story is (kinda) just because something worked then, doesn’t mean it works now.
When was the last time you took a good look at your wardrobe and asked “does this fit who I am and what I want to project now?”
Maybe those lug-soled mary janes were super cute when you were 21 and it was kind of ironic that you were wearing old lady clothes since you were so young and winsome, but now you’re 36. Don’t give up the essence of what you love, but make sure it’s being continually refined.
If you love punk, don’t give it up, just make it a bit more sophisticated than pink kitties and skulls on Ugly Knitted Things. Alexander McQueen did it beautifully, and Viv Westwood, the Godmother of Punk, kept the punk sensibility without sacraficing sophistication when she showed for Fall 2010.
(I am DYING for that jacket).
SPEAKING of Betsey Johnson and Lee McQueen, how do we feel about her little homage at Fashion Week? Her heart was in the right place, but it didn’t quite sit right with me. And the hay-strewn runway? Didn’t Herr Karl do that for Chanel last season?