Archives for posts with tag: fashion

I have mixed feelings about the uprising of internet personalities who gain sometimes awesome and sometimes undeserved traction through YouTube/etc channels (Jenna Marbles, anyone?). On the one hand, I know as a performer that the best way to excel is to perform – constantly, consistently, in front of an audience. Put your work out there as often as possible. Get the feedback, good or bad, and go with it and make more stuff. I love that. On the other hand – man am I tired of listening to stupid videos and worse, seeing stupid comments on stupid videos. If you have nothing to say, don’t make a video, and if you have nothing nice to comment about, DO NOT leave a comment, jackass. Please.

On the flip side – an incredible thing about internet video stars that I do wholeheartedly LOVE is how I see it empowering queer performers who would otherwise be ignored almost completely.  That just fuckin’ rules.

This has been making the rounds, and it’s basically how I feel every day:

Fuck yeah. <3 Hart. We’re both in SoCal. We should totally wear some melon together.

 

My office job ended last week, and with it the last of the feminine pretensions I had to keep up to play the game. It’s not that the office would have fired me if I didn’t wear a little makeup or women’s boots instead of my usual – it’s just that I made the decision to keep my boss very, very happy, and she’s a “looks matter” kind of woman.  Although she never said anything about my dress (a rotation of three very masculine yet still women’s suits with men’s collared shirts), I knew from the way she spoke about, oh, everyone else in the office that I’m sure she made many a comment about my appearance. However, I toed the line and all was well.

Now that I’m working from home I am back to my usual appearance – and with this small switch has come the return of me getting sir’d at every store and restaurant in town. Which is, quite frankly, awesome. I hadn’t realized how much I missed threading myself between the walls of gender perception.

Along those lines: I have a confession to make. When left to my own devices, I am not “dapper”. I know there’s a huge community of butches and androgynous and other-identified folk who happily sign on to the dapper banner, but really, I’m not one of them. I make the effort for my acting appearance, sure – but I’m most comfortable in a uniform of sorts, so I’ve collected my vests and ties and shirts and basically just swap color schemes on the same outfit anytime I need to go public.

But at home – comfy sweaters, old t-shirt, jeans. I wear grandpa slippers all day long inside.

I started noticing my non-dapperness recently while at rehearsals for the musical I’m directing. My cast includes one queer girl and one woman who has mostly lesbian friends (read: most of the people who worked on the L Word. Hello, Los Angeles). And the queer girl has a definite style, look, vintage dapper-ness all her own, even though she’s neither butch nor femme. The woman talks about her lesbian friends in a way that lets me know that they’re all impeccably coiffed all the time.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting on the dirty floor in my dirty chucks and cozy sweater, with my faux hawk not quite hawking, looking a mess as usual. Many people would Dress with a capital D just because they do every day – I can’t seem to muster the energy, or else I just have too many other things to think about. It’s like I’m the single mom of my own life.

Anyway – all the more reason why it’s nice to be sir’d again. Even in just a sweater, with my hair kind of in a weird/bad state these days (does anyone else have curls that suddenly decide to curl the other direction?), I can still go through an entire conversation at Target without the checker calling me miss. Dig it.

This is so cool –

Saint Harridan is coming, and it’s going to be awesome. Finally someone is taking up the reins (pioneered most effectively, I believe, by the Butch Clothing Co. in the UK) of making men’s-cut suits for female or other-bodied folk.

And they’re starting with us – listening to our feedback, with an online forum this Saturday.

Here’s some of the info:

Saint Harridan has recruited 8 models representative of our community who will participate in the in-person Show & Tell Workshop. The goal of the workshop is to involve the community in the company from the very beginning. Saint Harridan’s founder, Mary Going, said she didn’t want to start the company in sales mode, but rather in listening mode. Meaning, on September 22, we will get to tell our stories. We will ask our models and community questions, like the ones below and more, and Saint Harridan will listen in order to create suits that empower our community.

– When have we ever felt good in our clothes?
– What do we want our clothes to do for us?
– What’s so special about a suit?
– What has shopping for clothes been like for us?

Tune in, be heard, check out some fantastic duds all at the same time.

 

 

so holy moly i finally found where all the women are here!  yesterday,  in about 20 minutes, i saw more queer/gay ladies/transfolk in one location than i have since i moved here over two years ago. (minus pride – although my pride experience this year was rather lackluster…)

Location:  The Atwater Village Farmer’s Market, Sunday, 12:30pm  (surely a respectable post sex & brunch morning was had by all)

Look: Oh my, where do I start? Couples couples couples…. couples with their cute third friends… butches in funky plaid and great turned-down boots, bois in tiny tee shirts and brogues and seersucker pants… dykey femmes in hand-purposed skirts and chunky jewelry… older ladies in sun hats and big, gardening shirts holding hands with their partners…

I was totally overwhelmed! And then of course there was the food, too – nothing beats a California farmer’s market in the height of summer abundance. I should have known – farmer’s markets are probably second only to feminist bookstores in terms of queer lady sightings, but LA is such a lesbian wasteland I was beginning to think there was no where left to look.  I was going to have to head south to Long Beach, or further to San Diego.

Now I just have to time my stalkings correctly…heh heh heh…

 

 

My lady and I went to the theatre this past week  – actually, we went to the theatre about 10 times since I’m working in the Hollywood Fringe Festival and there are 250 shows happening… – but this particular instance was part of our week long 8-year-anniversary happenings. We saw the tour of ‘War Horse’ (the play that inspired the movie) which was incredible. Truly astounding. The life-size horse puppets were some of the most awesome stagecraft I’ve ever seen, and even folks who don’t enjoy theatre would love how epic this show is.

But I digress – because this was a fancier outing for us, we both fancied ourselves up to go out, and I took the opportunity to wear a brand new tie I picked up recently that has been patiently awaiting an outing. I paired it (as usual) with a black shirt and black vest and black jacket, because the tie is a few brilliant stripes of lime and emerald green and white and the gay man in me likes to have a pop of color.

green is my favorite color.

I don’t know if it was the relatively older crowd at the show, or the predominance of families attending, or just that I haven’t been out in “high society” in while, but I garnered more looks and stares than usual, and within about twenty minutes of waiting in the will-call line, I felt thoroughly shy about my attire.  There is something about hearing little kids think you’re a dude, and then hearing their parents telling them that no, you’re not a man, and then the kids always ask “well why is she dressed like a boy?” that I never get comfortable with.

If kids ask me directly, I say it’s because I like the clothes whether or not they’re for boys or girls. Unless it’s a question coming from a pre-teen boy, that usually satisfies. If kids ask me if I’m a boy or girl, I usually ask them to guess, and then I ask them the question right back. This usually elicits giggles and ends the conversation well.

But it’s that weird hushed parental tone that I hate. It reminds me of some dark memories of my parents’ friends commenting on my “tomboy” look as a little kid. It cuts right to my core and brings up all my insecurity, and it all overflows onto my tie. Because without the tie, you can just be a woman in a blazer. Innocuous and possibly fashion-challenged, but not threatening. With the tie, you’re butch. (Well, unless you’re wearing like a cocktail tuxedo jacket and stilettos, or something…. I should say, with the tie and the short hair and the cocky stance and the gf on your arm, you’re butch.)

Some ties, however, wouldn’t get that much attention. My favorite purple plaid skinny tie never makes me feel weird. Somehow it goes under the radar a little more. But I love this new tie. I love how bright it is. I love how when I tie the Full Windsor the stripes on the knot are perfectly perpendicular to each other.

It’s just another one of my ties. I don’t know why it makes me shy. (This is on the verge of becoming a weird/bad Dar Williams song.)  These triggers are so random, I guess, and this one snuck up on me.  And now I’m about to go don yet another tie, the dark gray one with tiny orange circles, that I wear as part of my costume for the Fringe, which will not make me insecure because I can always pretend that I’m “playing a character”. Still working on playing myself.

 

 

The Location: Walking up my street!!! (Silverlake, Los Angeles)
The Look: arty-butch. Trucker cap over loose curls, vintage brown horn-rims, graphic tee and dark jeans. I think there was even a chain wallet. Be still my butchness.

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