And with one breezy-hot day and a few widely scattereds, the heat is banished justlikethat. At least for the next couple of days, we should be able to turn off the A/C and instead listen to the neighbors’ annoying lawn service visits. Fine with me. The first week of August marks the traditional Noticing of the Changing Light for me, which means I’m going to grab at least one fat fashion magazine off a newsstand and start planning my umpteenth fantasy closet.
Fantasy closet is like fantasy football, in which women start with the blank slate of a well-designed empty closet — with lots of attractive, Container Store storage options — and fill it with non-existent clothes we can’t afford but pretend we can. Then we wear them in fantasy-closet dress-up games, perhaps while watching “Project Runway,” in which we are presented with fun outfit ideas like this. (I’m thinking of the topmost one.) “Project Runway” is a genius show, enticing millions of normal-size women to watch novice designers of wildly uneven talent turn out one outfit after another that barely covers one’s ass and, in this case, completely uncovers one’s back. It’s a great fantasy-closet shopping spot, “Project Runway,” because only in fantasies are most women freed of such constrictions as bras and the need to sit down from time to time.
I had about three minutes in my entire life when I could have worn a top like that, which threatens with every step to slip and reveal one’s breasts from either a front or side angle. I was 11 years old.
But, as we’re frequently reminded, runways looks are like concept cars — just an idea. By the time that look finds its way to a store rack, the skirt will be nine inches longer and the top closed on the sides and back, and… it’ll pretty much be an entirely different dress. But that’s OK! Because my fantasy-closet body can totally wear anything at all.
In recent years, I’ve done a lot of my fantasy-closet shopping online or in catalogs. Which is why I’m so thoroughly amused by the website Jezebel, which deserves some sort of fashion Pulitzer for the work they’ve done bringing preposterous photo retouching by fashion retailers to the public’s attention. They made a big splash a few years back with their Redbook cover revelation, but have stayed on the job — along with many others, including the always-amusing Photoshop Disasters.
The current Ann Taylor business is particularly wounding, as Ann is one place that, in general, sells affordable, wearable clothes for a wide range of age and body types. I wore a lot more Ann Taylor when I worked in offices, but I remember it fondly, so knowing they’re playing silly games with extreme photo retouching — removing models’ ribcages seems to be a favorite — really chaps my ass. This isn’t “Project Runway.” I pay real, non-fantasy money for clothes from places like that, and I’d appreciate it if they’d cut that shit out.
I once watched Alan get fitted for a suit, and I was struck by the contrast with shopping for my own clothes. Like nearly everyone, Alan’s body differs from the ideal, and this was treated by the tailor as a simple and utterly unremarkable fact. Take it in here, let it out there, hem it thus, adjust, nip, change, presto, a suit. Whereas women are taught from an early age that their bodies are a collection of “flaws” that must be covered, camouflaged, squeezed in and shaped to fit whatever someone else has decided is this year’s model.
Sooner or later you grow out of this shit, to be sure, but I can’t help but think they’d sell more clothes if they cut it out.
My fantasy closet is shaping up nicely. I bought some fantasy boots, and I’m experimenting with cargo pants and jackets to wear with my non-fantasy scarves. I now own five Hermes scarves; how did that happen? Time to roll out the Joan Holloway all-stars, I think.
So, a lovely weekend awaits. Any bloggage? Not much:
Contrary to popular belief, I cannot read the entire internet every day, and in general I avoid its small stories, for two reasons: a) they’re small; and b) the people who write them have a way of making them seem like Watergate crossed with the Hindenburg explosion (“we can now exclusively reveal…”). But this one, about some clown who’s been writing for Andrew Breitbart on the Shirley Sherrod story, caught my eye, mainly because the clown in question is a Wayne State graduate, although who knows? That could be another part of his inflated resume, along with this amuse-bouche:
A government official once claimed that Dr. Pezzi achieved the highest score ever attained on an IQ test administered nationwide, although Pezzi dismisses this as disingenuous pandering.
Anyway, it appears this genius is practicing medicine somewhere in northern Michigan. Beware, tourists!
Anything else? I got nothin’. Weekend, sweep me into your arms. I’m ready.