Consider yourself…

OK, so from the start of this post, I’ll admit that what I plan on discussing will paint me as an asshole, but this is definitely something to consider.

As vain as this will sound, I take at least 10 minutes to look at myself every morning in the mirror. Why? I just want to make sure that I don’t look completely absurd or gross.

“But, Ben,” you’re probably thinking, “you always talk about doing what you want and dressing how you want, etc. Are you contradicting your philosophy?”

Absolutely not.

What I’m getting at is that even though you all are definitely encouraged to wear/do whatever the hell you want to do, there is some kind of consideration that you should have for your look. This means making sure that whatever you’re wearing doesn’t do your body type and shape any disservice; definitely wear things that will flatter your body shape. Look for color schemes (i.e. different colors that go together because they’re in the same color family, making sure contrasts in color/style are done in a way that makes them flow, etc.) There is some fluidity that one would want to make to their style; trust me. 

A simple exercise that I do when planning/thinking of an outfit to wear is this: I visualize all of the combinations of pieces that I have and how they would go together, pull them out, and then look in the mirror. What I’m looking for are fragments- basically, looking for that flow I spoke on earlier and ensuring there are no breaks in color and style fluidity. If this happens, it’s back to the drawing board.

I do want to state that there isn’t anything completely wrong with having a few “breaks” or contrasts…just keep them to an extreme minimum. Think about a theme: find things that fit that theme and work with them. Of course, as stated, you will have contrasts and breaks, even with a theme, but that’s ok- just don’t make it excessive. 

Is this something you ever considered? Do you consider yourself? Am I just being a rambling jack ass? Let me know.

-Ben

Creating Reality from an Idea (and not giving a single fuck)

The two people I’m obsessed with right now? Oh, that would be Nicola Formichetti and Hirari Ikeda. 

Why am I obsessed with them, you ask? Well, just look at them: 

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Hopefully now you’re beginning understand why I’m gushing over them.

Nicola is the mind behind Nicopanda, a brand that seems to be based on Sharpie marker doodles that he does, and is worn by such famous Tokyo “it” people, such as the lovely Hirari Ikeda (above), Juria Nakagawa, etc. Hirari is basically an “it” girl in Harajuku, Tokyo, but her aesthetic and presentation of style go beyond that- she actually blends her personal universe with the one we all share and has no apologies for it.

What both of these individuals do, maybe without even realizing it, is that they actually bring their ideas to life. I can already hear a lot of reader saying, “people do that all the time,” yada yada yada…and to an extent, yes they would be correct in saying so. Where I’m coming from with this is that there is certain fearless attitude that really adds to what these two do. There are many out there who “talk the talk”, so to say, and will re-blog and post photos and all that shit of people like Nicola and Hirari, but they never actually bring these things to life the way Nicola and Hirari do. 

My point is, if you have an idea that you just can’t get rid of, bring it to life: do something to manifest it, build it, draw it, sew it, compose it, sing it, but never let it die…and, NEVER be sorry for doing it. 

 

A quick, hopefully easy challenge

The next time you meet someone for the first time, I would love you to try out the following:

1) Look beyond your presumptions based on what they’re wearing.

2) Pick at their brain for a bit and actually listen to the things they’re saying.

3) If you’re still alive, then talk about the clothes. 

After a recent experience, I’ve decided that this should be the best course of action with introductions and such. While exterior is fun, it’s only so much: it’s a physical manifestation of what this person’s mind, heart, and character is. I just ask you not verbally vomit your preconceived thoughts all over their clothes before you actually understand why. 

Just a thought.

-Ben

A Vicious, Yet Aesthetically Pleasing Cycle?

We’ve come from a revival of 80′s fashion (although still poorly and inaccurately represented by every greek life organization on the planet) into a blatantly obvious trend of 90′s fashion. As I mentioned in my last post, a lot of folks are either going to pay top dollar for pieces that have the feel they want, but with a modern twist, or they’ll take their ass to the thrift store and find/make something authentic from that actual decade. That’s not what I’m here to talk about. Although obvious to those of us who have lived and experienced certain fashion trends in past decades, it seems as if fashion is becoming a bit too cyclical. 

The idea of trends cycling to new generations isn’t a completely horrible thing: it allows others to share and learn about a decade or period of time, in general, through what was worn then and what was “cool,” as well as giving younger people something “new” to play and experiment with. Hell, I do it all the time. But, I’m noticing that lately, it’s becoming too cyclical, as in, people are recreating complete looks from a certain decade (more recently, the 90′s) and it’s just a mess. The fun part about being able to share in these fashions is that we can pair them, mix and match them, and create completely new looks that define the decade or whatever we’re living in; in short, people think they’re being creative and modern, but they haven’t done their homework. 

This is just a short post on a thought I had today. What do you think? Are these people paying homage or are they complete copycats with no originality?

 

-Ben

Old Becoming New And What Is It Worth?

With the mainstreaming on what one would call the hipster/punk culture (and yes, it’s been happening for the last 6 years), there has been a rise in the popularity of wearing ‘vintage’ clothing or finding pieces that have vintage bases, but with some kind of modern spin on them- almost like a mix of avant-garde and grandma. The pieces are no doubt fantastic, but what’s really disappointing is the cost, and what people area actually willing to pay for them.

Let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment: a majority of what we see in the stores and catalogues can easily be pulled from our parents’ closets. Instead, we’d rather pay $50 for a printed t-shirt with Alf on it (did I just show my age?) How economical is that- $50 versus free? It’s not, and we know it.

I won’t go into too a whole lot on this topic, as it only needs a bit of attention for the moment, but let’s start thinking this way: if one can find it at the thrift store for much less or raid a closet and get a piece for free, do it. Don’t spend the extra money if it’s not necessary.

One last thing: there are times where it may be necessary to pay the extra cash for a piece, but when does one know to do that? After comparison, check for quality, originality, and availability. Only after all have been considered and it leans toward the more expensive item, spend the money. It may be worth it.

Any thoughts (I’m talking to you, avid thrifters)

 

-Ben

The Great Canvas

Recently, I’ve decided that I want to become the male caucasian equivalent of Yoko Ono (on the performance art end, not marrying a musician and being accused of breaking up his/her band.) Performance art can be so obscure and horribly simple, that it’s sometimes frustrating when looking for inspiration for projects, or what one would do to execute any ideas formed. What better way to look for inspiration than to pull from what one knows: wearing clothes. 

I want to explore the idea of the human body as a canvas (leaving the temple aspect out of it.) It has to be the most unique canvas we have: it comes it many shapes, sizes, lengths, and in certain cases due to whatever, anatomical structures. We can paint on it; we can wash the paint off of it; we can dress it; we can undress it; we can exercise it and shrink its shape; we can somewhat neglect it and expand its shape (if I may even say this); we can photograph it and collage it together with other bodies; we should NEVER create a human centipede with it; and the list goes on. 

What I want to focus on is how we dress up/dress down/undress our bodies. I want to learn how others interpret what their human form canvas looks like, whether it is through fashion, diet and exercise, tattoos, etc.; just show it off.

I’ll be doing a series of photo-only posts as part of this project. Hopefully, I can develop it into an entire performance, but I would love to have your help, as well. If you wouldn’t mind, send me some photos of your interpretations! I would love to be a part of your process, as I would love you to be a part of mine.

Stay warm~

Fashion (or lack of) in the Academe

Note: Although there will be a lot of criticism on my part, based on observations, this is just solely my opinion. I do not wish to attack anyone’s personal fashion preference, no mater what I may personally think of it.

As of the beginning of January, I have successfully re-entered the world of academia! Along with the excitement of cranial stimulation, there is also the the drudgery of looking at that ever present poster child of university life: the girl who is always in sweatpants and Ugg boots (and her counterpart, the guy who is always on his way to the gym.)

We know it. We’ve seen it. Why the hell does it happen?

Being what I would consider a rational and understanding person, I can accept the argument that it’s just school:  one had an early class and didn’t have the time one would normally take to get ready; one just likes being comfortable; it’s too cold outside (currently winter in Columbus); it’s laundry day and one ha no clean clothes.

EVERY DAMN DAY, THOUGH?

Here’s what I think/have observed: professors, for the most part, take time to make themselves properly presentable each morning (with the occasional exception of Fridays, which is forgivable). They always show up to class on time, for the most part, and provide what students would expect of a professor, academically and fashion wise. Students, however, are chronic non-reciprocators of such courtesies, and generally think their lack of consideration in dress is OK.

It’s not OK.

I’m not saying that students need to dress to the nines every day, but putting on a decent pair of jeans and an ok to nice shirt goes a long way. UltimaiItely, it shows mutual respect between teachers and students, and it just makes one feel good.

If you look like shit, chances are you’ll feel like shit.

What are some thoughts on this topic? Am I just being a dick because I attended a huge school of seemingly boring people and want to rant about it? Are we actually witnessing a common student culture in the academe? What do other students feel about this??