Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scatter #32

    Mkay, so now its official, the "holiday Season has begun for those of us in the USA.  The mad whirl, the rushing about and all the mad scramble to socialize with as many people as possible.     So straight into our Scatter we go, heedless of the dangers.
    First out onto the page are the divine Sarah Bernhardt, and her compatriot of the stage Rosemonde Gerard.  Both actors are here shown wearing elaborate and obviously extremely costly tea gowns.  Such ensembles were meant for receiving one's afternoon guests over tea. They allowed the lady of teh manor to relax, often without her stays while still looking ridiculously affluent.  The level of workmanship displayed in each of these is nearly unbelievable.  Sarah's gown with its bunches of grapes all made of very fine batiste fabric that's been stuffed and individually sewn on makes me shake my head in wonder.  Rosemonde's gown is gasp worthy in its complexity of construction.  Just take a good long look at both of these.  Stuh-Ning.
    This image goes into the "personal transformation as as human construct' pile.  Though I doubt that in actuality this young man 86ed all those birds personally, the implication here is of very high level skills as a hunter.  So we see him changed from the very likely quite modern young dude, into an icon of history and culture, quite removed from what is probably his daily experience of the world.

    I was so struck by the amazing young Chinese woman I had to post this.   I'm not even sure why, really.  Perhaps its the intensity of her regard, perhaps its the riot of color involved in her clothing, or maybe its her wonderful, bead bedecked hat.  Whatever it is, I was enchanted. What moves you, when you see this?
    This is called a plural dress. As a potential word in the Attire language, I think its quite unlikely to ever get spoken except as an oddity.  It challenges a reality about human nature that may not be subject to long term change.  We, though we are certainly social animals, enjoying the close association of others of our species, we are not truly herd animals. We value our independence and our internal self definition too highly to ever feel truly comfortable in such a situation.  It would require complete acceptance of group decisions in every respect.
     As a side note, many years ago when I first got involved with the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, they approached me to get help creating a unique costume for one of their shows.  All 40 women in the chorus needed to be able to wear a single dress. And at one point during the number, that dress needed to successfully divide into sections.  It was quite a challenge, and loads of fun.  I remember sitting in the audience, watching the number, and overheard another patron say, "Oh dear GOD, its multiplying!"
    Accessories, darlings, accessories.  We start here with a featureless white top, which could be taken nearly anywhere.  Introduce that great striped bag, those rather aggressively Mod sunglasses, and that snood and we have a really strong statement going on.  This is not a woman to be trifled with.  She knows her mind, and is not afraid to tell you what's on it.  Accessory items are very often prime players is the working assembly of an Attire sentence.
    When I saw this my initial reaction was confusion. it took me a few seconds to understand exactly how this image had been manipulated.  But then I started to really look in particular at the jacket, and I understood the compartmentalizing of the body being done in the image.  What does this say in terms of being an Attire statement?  Not much, truly.  The person has been literally broken up and distorted in  such a way that their humanity is missing. So this is much more like seeing something on a store manikin. So, as a method of displaying garments, its quite successful. In terms of what might be conveyed other than that, not nearly so.  I happen to dig the jacket, by the way.

    In terms of her contributions to fashion and style, Chanel is most remembered for the ubiquitous suit she designed and a life long commitment to freeing women from constraints and extraneous furbelows.  What is far less often remembered is that she made it fashionable for women to wear jewelry that was not the real deal.  Not only did she champion the wearing of costume jewelry, but also the wearing of great masses of it.  It was a deliberate, and well conceived slap in the face to class distinctions.  Of course as time has gone on, those distinctions have re-emerged, since costume jewelry is now made that costs not much less than the real thing.  We do seem stuck in the notion of hierarchy.
    I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I caught my first glimpse of this.  Sure it is intentionally silly.  If you had any doubts you need only look at the bright pink head scarf/wig to know that it is.  All that said, this is a deliciously merry, sartorial raspberry.  Its a visual "nyah, nyah" that demands us to laugh, but slyly encourages us to look deeper.  There are things here worth examining, ideas, feelings and perceptions that deserve our consideration.  Really study this, and see if you don't see what I mean.
    Model Kim Sung Hee photographed for Vogue Korea in the August 2014 issue.  I've spoken before about our current fascination with stylish decay.  There is a vogue, (pardon me) for things that look worn, re-purposed, and lived in.  This outfit is an Attire representation of that for me.  The elements could easily have been re-made from other things, borrowed from other people.  There is a rough hewn aspect too, that encourages this feeling of being used before, of having been gathered somehow.  Its an interesting thing, that in our corporate production culture we have suddenly decided that anything that looks DIY is a good thing.  Too bad the corporate structure has stepped up to the mark and mass produced things that look like that.
    This just made me smile so much.  These eight super dapper gents are from the Congo. each has their unique sartorial vision, each brings a polished and erudite statement to the Attire conversation.  If these fellows can rock such individuality with such panache, so can you, boys!  This makes me very happy inside.

So much for this week's scatter.  Hope you had fun.
Have a splendid weekend!


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