Notes for a song

Month: May, 2012

The holiest outfit in the world

Isn’t it funny how sounds and smells can evoke memories so strong they seem real? Well I guess objects can do it to.

This is a sad/happy tale of a little black silk singlet I bought in 2006. Now, my choppy and changey attitude to fashion means that clothing items stay in my wardrobe no longer than a couple of years and then get sold/swapped/ebay’d/trademe’d/donated or just plain chucked. But for some reason this little black silk singlet has stayed with me. Actually, I do know why. It’s a very nice shape. It sits under anything. It’s soft, it’s comforting. It’s been with me through major landmark events, it’s survived several transoceanic flights, it’s served as key undergarment to many a sheer blouse. I always thought this little cami and I would be friends forever.

I remember the first time I washed it, I poured tepid water into a bucket and added a tiny drop of washing liquid. I was so careful as I handled the silk, I patted the fabric gently, avoided wringing it, then I lay it on a towel to dry. Over the years I have become lazier, tossing the cami in with other handwashables in a big soupy mess of fabrics, hanging it over wire racks, balling it up in the bottom of the laundry basket and more recently I’ve taken to letting it slip into the machine (on delicate cycle! But still!) Today I reached for old faithful cami and as I lifted it over my head I noticed the holes that had been forming these last lazy years had widened, the stitches at the seam coming apart entirely. To put it simply, old cami is one foot in the grave.

I wore it anyway.

I remembered wearing it on stage at a poetry reading in Wellington. I remembered briefly considering donating it to an op shop in Glasgow. I remembered wearing it out to a club inside a wine barrel on the LES.

On my way out of the house, I noticed three large holes in my wool cardigan as well.

The best email I ever got…

I opened up my inbox today to find this little delight:

hi dear
how much per hr

I don’t know anything about the sender but there’s a definite poetry in the brevity and absence of punctuation.

I have yet to formulate a worthy response.

Coffee stain

It’s pouring with rain and I really should just stay indoors but I’m getting cabin fever and I’m not really motivated to tidy my room so I decide to head out, grab a coffee from Cibi, take the tram somewhere. I have a lot of bags. I also have my hot takeaway coffee cup (sorry, environment). I also have my ipod (of course).

I’m sitting opposite a gorgeous Asian girl who looks unimpressed with the weather, the tram, my many bags. There’s also a skater guy who looks bored. They both have ipods. One of the skater dude’s fav songs comes on his ipod and he gets a bit animated. He starts to tap his foot. One of my fav songs comes on my ipod and I start to tap mine. He starts to drum his fingers against his bag. I tap a fingernail against my coffee cup. He starts to bob his head. I start to bob mine. Are we in some kind of competition? Girl opposite looks amused. Everyone else on the tram continues to ignore us. Skater dude starts mouthing the words to the song. I do it too. He bangs out a rhythm on his lap. I start to use my coffee cup as a bongo. The tram lurches. The last of my coffee spills out of the cup and flows all over my backpack and jeans.

Skater dude looks disgusted. Girl opposite flashes me the warmest smile you’ve ever seen and hands me a tissue. I beam back and mouth the words, “Thank you”.

“For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours…?”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

How to survive fashion week

I won this competition to go to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week last week (you may have noticed my entry on this blog). Big thank you to Vogue and Ausmode for organizing the comp! Having never been to a fashion week, or day, or hour, before, this was all very exciting. A glimpse at the world that goes on outside the thrift stores I usually get my fashion fix from. A world where you can wear 10cm high heels everywhere and no one will think you’re overdressed. A world where a man in towering stilettos and a bright red feather fascinator is a revered figure.

It being my first, and probably last, fashion week I wanted to soak it all in. I learnt a lot. I thought I’d share some of my new knowledge with you, in case you ever have the chance to experience this amazing cultural tradition first hand.

1. Always bring a pair of flats in your handbag. Or just wear your sneakers to the show. True fashionistas suffer through the pain of platforms all day, but luckily for us mortals sneakers are perfectly acceptable fashion week footwear. As long as they have big plastic flowers on them or something.

2. Wear wack stuff. I mean, if you can’t afford some amazing designer trenchcoat with a straw collar, just wear heaps of wack stuff. No one cares if everything you wear comes from op shops as long as you look like a rainbow threw cowboy and soldier costumes all over you.

3. Strong legs do strut down many of the runways. Not everyone is super skinny. Don’t feel bad about shoving down a burger or some sushi just before a show. I’m sure you still look amazing. And if you sneak around the backstage, you’ll see all the models doing it too.

4. If you are a designer and you don’t want your models taking off their too-big heels and spraying cotton wool over the runway, put them in Docs like LF Markey.

5. By the end of the week, most people stop going to the show and you’ll probs maybs get bumped up to the front row.