Thanks to commenter Carrie for pointing out that director Lucy Walker’s vintage Ossie Clark dress made it onto Go Fug Yourself.
Carrie remembered that I had re-posted this 2004 photo of myself last month.
I read Go Fug Yourself from 2004 to 2006, when comments were regularly allowed (now they’re selectively allowed.) Commenters ranged from comic geniuses who tried to outdo the bloggers in hilarity to people who seemed determined to prove they were dumb fucks. Didn’t a great man once say, “Better to step away from the keyboard and be thought a dumb fuck than to type ‘u r jellus’ and remove all doubt“? It was the dumb fucks and h8ers who helped me develop my Wear What You Want policy, which has been part of this blog since I started blogging in July 2007. “Too much good taste can be boring,” said Diana Vreeland, and so can too much negativity. I felt like hardly anyone was deemed acceptable — everyone was too dressed up, too casual, too wild, or too conservative. They were wearing the right dresses at the wrong events. Shoes were either too impractical or too business-like. Complaints about TV stars snapped on set wearing puffa coats or Ugg boots with their glam TV wardrobe because they were trying to stay comfortable during a 16-hour day on the set? Zzzzz. Wake me up when the actors wear that evening-gown-and-Uggs combo on the red carpet and I’ll try to care a little. And people who are deliberately dressing outrageously to get noticed, like Bai Ling, can be fun to dissect, but after the 100th bad outfit — obviously selected because fashion police are the only people who care about her — it’s kind of silly to get outraged. For some people, you need to say, “Yeah. It’s Cher. That’s what she does,” and move on.
I speak from personal experience when I say it’s more fun to be considered a fashion disaster than to be a perfectly acceptable — and invisible — wallflower.
You’re never going to be ahead of the fashion pack if you don’t take any chances. Maybe you don’t want to be a leader. Maybe you want to be right in the middle and go unnoticed. That’s fine. But if you do want to stand out, remember my other fashion philosophy: Never Is the Next New Thing™. Leopard is EVERYWHERE now. You can’t swing a dead leopard without hitting leopard Lanvin, leopard Dolce & Gabbana, leopard Louboutins, leopard accessories, leopard, leopard, leopard. Like red lipstick, leopard never truly goes away — it just takes occasional vacations before bursting into popularity again — so I won’t take credit for starting the latest leopard love affair by wearing that 1980s Patrick Kelly gown (Yeah, I know it looks like a catsuit from that angle, but it’s a dress!) in front of a bunch of cameras in 2008. But when I say something is in the air, believe. Can’t wait to see y’all in your knickers.
UPDATED TO ADD: More Vreeland quotes, including one about lettuce, can be found in her New York Times obituary.
UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Siouxsie Law wrote a great post on wearing at least some of what you want in the corporate world while still holding onto your job.