3/21/2011

every day like a hustle

What happens when our garments suffer some kind of imperfection? What happens when a seam tears, an eyelet rips, a button falls off, a strap comes undone? An item of clothing is, after all, just a physical object constructed of fabric, and its delicacies are inherent in its creation. Most garments, no matter how well-made, have lives that are finite. Should they be tossed into the trash and added to the approximately 12 million tons of textile waste that the US produces each year? Or can they be worn and loved despite their imperfections? That's the idea I've explored in last night's outfit.


Sheer blouse is from a thrift store and a couple buttons are missing. I'm wearing it upside down and with the last few remaining buttons inserted into not-corresponding holes. My pencil skirt is by Jil Sander and is also from a thrift store. The outside of the skirt is structurally intact but the inner lining is torn quite garishly, and is probably the reason it ended up in a thrift store in the first place. Shoes are Maison Martin Margiela that I bought for $1 on ebay because they have surely seen better days. I had every intention of taking them to be repaired, but eventually decided that I like the conceptual lived-in feel of the torn leather straps. It's like something Martin Margiela would have designed intentionally.


My Comme des Garcons for H&M jacket is also from ebay and "features" a broken zipper. It sticks about halfway down, so I have to keep it zipped up all the way and put it on like a pullover. This wasn't mentioned in the listing and the seller suffered the wrath of my negative feedback. When it comes to ebay, I don't fucking play. It's still wearable, however, and I especially enjoyed the way that the blouse peeks out under the jacket's deconstructed hemline.


My poorly-done wrist tattoos are a reference to the book House of Leaves.* I had them done at a studio in Chicago (that will remain nameless) shortly after I moved here about 3.5 years ago. The tattoo artist spent much of the session trying to convince me to go out on a date with him and not enough time paying attention to my tattoos (I shot him down pretty hilariously in case you're wondering). The lines aren't straight and the colors have bled, especially on the hollow blue square. I've been meaning to get them touched up for a long time. But there is a certain beauty in imperfection and perhaps that's why I haven't yet made an appointment to have them fixed. Or maybe I'm just lazy.



*SELF-CONSCIOUS DISCLAIMER: I realize that House of Leaves is pretentious with its po-mo literary devices and borders on gimmicky drivel, but I read the book during a very critical period of my life. I hate having to justify the things that I enjoy but unfortunately people reaaaallllly like to judge others based on their harmless likes and interests. If you feel the need to judge my literary tattoos, kindly go suck a fuck.

14 comments:

Amy Creyer said...

Love the sheer shirt with the naughtiness of a pencil skirt. And which amazing thrift store did you find this at? I obviously need to visit them, ASAP.

P.S. I have a botched tattoo in a secret location. I'll just say this - I'll be in a one-piece bathing suit all this summer while it's being lasered off. I actually had to have part of it surgically removed because I was allergic to the ink. Learned my lesson - don't EVER get tattooed with Ochre colored ink, it's made with Mercury Sulfide.

Mat said...

well i'm very with you on this one. lots of my tshirts have holes around the neckline and bits of paint on them ect. i have quite a few second hand tshirts which all seem to originate from your land. in fact, most of my second had clothes are probably from america or canada.

no one wants to be perfect really(well maybe bit but). i mean even the people who have plastic surgery for say lips, well the don't look better just different. and yeah i'll join you in the botched tattoo front. i got a start about 8 years ago, just the outline and it's all wonky and naff looking. people say, have a drawn it on? but i wouldn't fix it, it just reminds me of good times you know.

i do like yours though, even though i'm not aware of the book.

claudia, dearest said...

not that what some random person on the internet thinks matters at all but thanks for this post and your general awesomeness.

some days, just a glimpse of other people being real is so nice.

nicolette said...

i have to agree with you. i think flaws and imperfections are what give things character, their own personality, and beauty.

meg // morningmidnight said...

dude, i have a shitty dragonfly tattoo on my hip that i got in eastern europe when i was like 19 and a pretentious gay literary one on my ribcage, which was also similar to yours in that it's conceptual and technical but not immediately obvious as something visual - it's the alphabet in braille, so essentially a grid of dots -- but thankfully i paid through the nose to go somewhere really good so that they could handle the technicality/detail of it... and didn't get hit on, which also would have been awkward since i was topless throughout the whole thing due to the placement.

ANYHOW the point of this that goes along with the destroyed clothes thing -- i really sort of am fond of the fact that tattoos fade/stretch/change/become regrettable etc -- it's like having a history of our ever-changing lives both good and bad and so on written on our bodies, which was the whole concept behind the one on my ribcage anyhow.... it's from this passage in jeanette wintersons 'written in the body' which was also about that sort of thing, i don't know, i'm into it. ANYHOW.

bleached streak in your hair, is this new??? i like.

wobblinbetty said...

I have always liked old and ripped clothes much more than new ones!! they have history and I like this.
and I like your tats a lot, you can afford being lazy...they're hawt as they are!

brodie said...

Flaws are o'some if it means $1 MMM shoes to wear with an outfit like this! xo

clotheshunger said...

totally agree with all of this. maybe it's the punk rock roots i grew up with but there is definitely beauty in flaw. perfection is boring. also, you must tell me where you thrift shop because i have never had as much luck as you (my only really awesome find was an old man sweater by dior for $3). and i think to really be a tattooed person, you have to love your fucked up tattoos as much as the well done ones. i got <3 and </3 on my hips a few years back and the dude botched it, still love them though.

meghan
http://clotheshunger.blogspot.com

John Henry Eden said...

"I hate having to justify the things that I enjoy but unfortunately people reaaaallllly like to judge others based on their harmless likes and interests. If you feel the need to judge my literary tattoos, kindly go suck a fuck."

This exactly. People need to get over it.

kier said...

i think your tattoos are perfect, i was happy when i saw them. i have an imperfect tattoo too, but purposefully done.

i never throw out clothes, i use a lot of safety pins, and generally enjoy the garments' little holes and tears and unravels. they're like my history (the clothes). (hi)

Six Six Sick said...

Even though it's broken, it still looks great. I bought one of the jackets from the collection that I love, but I really had my eye on the one that you're wearing! Love the way that your dress pops out from underneath. So Comme, so perfect.
xx
Tiffany

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islabell said...

that shirt is upside down? your giving me some ideas lady. And i love your doller shoes!

I have a tatto on my wrist that bleed out badly too. At first it was a bummer, but now i love it. I think that spot is particularly susceptible.

KYLE NORRIS said...

Dude fuck haters, I just finished that book and it fucking rocks. Im getting a tattoo of the compass rose from the cover for sure.