This past Monday, i.e. Valentine’s Day, the window display at
A little black dress. Mine’s from H&M: I resisted scissoring it into a minidress for four solid years, leaving it knee-length for classy occasions, synagogue and/or funerals, but I’m happy I finally gave in. The lining started shredding as soon as I’d cut it, so I want with the raw thang and hemmed it with a loop stitch to keep the hem in tact.
Note: Loop stitch is not a technical term – it’s what happens when you poke a needle and thread through the inside of the garment close to the interior edge, then loop it around the exterior edge in lieu of poking it through the outside of the garment. If that makes any sense.
A black blazer (a vintage
The shoes are a no-brainer, as black, lace-up, combat-inspired boots epitomize the nod-to-goth look. These are
A few mornings ago, me and my greasy hair took an L train back from my boyfriend’s apartment, and I realized I had a crucial decision to make: Wash and blow dry my hair, or get to
Mom is a baby powder fanatic. She uses it in place of deodorant, she sprinkles it in shoes, her make-up area’s covered with the stuff. I’ve even seen it on her shoulders a few times… does that mean she uses it in her hair??? I hightailed it to the diapers aisle, found the baby powder, and got my answer.
What’s in dry shampoo that makes it suck up the oil and grease so effectively? Cornstarch. Also a key ingredient in any good baby powder. Booyah!
I sped home to my apartment, giddy with anticipation. The baby powder did exactly what I’d hoped, and then some: I went from greasy flat mess to Brazilian blowout in approximately ten seconds. Hello AWESOME.
Baby powder isn’t just my newfound alternative to the wash/blow dry cycle; since that morning, it’s become one of my favorite styling products EVER. A good dry shampoo will run you anywhere from $15.00 – $35.00. What’d I pay for my Johnson & Johnson? $3.49. Loves it!
Dressing myself is fun. Dressing a mannequin is FUNNER.
I mean, come on, you know what it’s like to put outfits together: You lay it out on the bed; you think it’ll look amazing; you try on the combo; it looks like hell; you repeat the exercise until you’re out of steam; you resort to one of your standbys; you vow to never play dress up when you’re trying to get out the door again. Maybe that’s just me and I’m a total nutter. Whatevs.
Most apparel looks radically different on the hanger than it does on the body, but outfitting a mannequin gave me a whole new outlook on playing dress up. When you’re the model, the arduous task of dressing and undressing coupled with the self-criticism that tends to go along with trying on clothes results in one thing: Fear. Nothing kills creativity and boldness like being afraid of how it’s going to look. And while dressing a mannequin didn’t obliterate the insecurities exacerbated by trying new things, it changed my perspective on the whole getting dressed thang. When something doesn’t look good on us, our first instinct is to kick our own asses: We’re always too short, too fat, too pale, too old, too whatever. When something doesn’t look good on a dummy, you realize it’s not the body that’s the problem – it’s the garment. Maybe it’s ill-fitting, maybe it’s a weird pairing, maybe it’s made by a designer who’s ignorance of the female form is unparalleled (see Marc Jacobs). Granted, our dummy’s a size 4, which is still a far cry from the average American woman (size 14). But it has boobs, and it’s a lot more realistic than the less-than-zero mannequins gracing most retail stores today.
I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a dummy to avoid all the crap that arises whilst trying to get dressed. I just think reminding ourselves of the obvious when we do so – that more often than not, it’s not us, it’s the clothes – is a solid idea.
Where the eff was I? Oh riiiight – this outfit! Pairing tweeds and animal prints AND studs is kind of wild, and certainly not something I would have thought up sans the freedom afforded by the glorious headless dummy.
Apparently, it worked: A customer came in a few days after the outfit had been on display and asked to try on the skirt. I took it off the mannequin for her (unlike Goodwill, Housing Works and Angel Street Thrift Shop, we DO sell things from our window display on the spot :P): She loved it, bought it and left giddy over her material buzz. The naked-bottomed dummy gave me another chance to play dress up – an activity that, thanks to AuH2O, isn’t quite as scary as it once seemed.