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Dude. I thought this particular brand of wackness was only indigenous to Los Angeles–where a schizophrenic homeless man a few years back inspired a line of clothing with the cringiest of names, “Crazy Robertson”–but apparently the U.S. does export some shit to China.
A mentally ill homeless man in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, has become an instant fashion icon in his country after an amateur photog took his picture and posted it on the internet. He’s been nicknamed “Brother Sharp” and, according to China Daily, his “rugged style” is now being copied by the “pampered post-90s generation.”
The Chinese aren’t the only ones interested in Brother Sharp’s “style.” BlackBook had this to say about him in “Actual [my italics] Homeless Man Inspiring Fashion in China”:
Whether it’s the nonchalance, the layering, or the dabbling in women’s wear, homeless attire has become bizzarly [sic] enticing to hipster Millenials. After all, if there’s one thing fashion and hipsters both adore: it’s irony mixed with just a bit of shock and awe. Besides, isn’t homeless chic really just the epitome of inconspicuous shopping? Seems right up the alley of another exhausted reference: the recession.
Um, ewww, and, um, gross.
This story does have a silver lining, however. Because of the stir “Brother Sharp”–real name, Cheng Guorong–has created in China, he’s been reunited with his family, who lost touch with him back in 2003. Hopefully he’ll now get the care he needs, even if it’s at the expense–god forbid–of fashion.
Filed under: Brother Sharp, Cheng Guorong, Fashism, Fucked Up Shit, Hipsters, Homeless Man Becomes Fashion Icon in China, Homesters, Mentally Ill Homeless, Sharp Dressed Man, Stupid Fashion Trends, Weird Trends
Yes, the strong shoulder is back. For sure, the feathery tutu thing is in. And boy, do I love a nice pair of Burberry T-straps.
But all I want to do when I look at this picture is hurriedly offer the adorable Zhang Ziyi my bikini waxer’s number. Are you reading this, Ziyi? My girl Sally is uh-mazing. She does a pretty amazing Brazilian and totally does house calls.
Just let me know, girl. You’ve got my email. Use it.
For those of you unfamiliar with the makeover episode of America’s Next Top Model, know that it typically brings out tears, and I’m talking Niagara-like lacrimation. When Cycle 11′s aired last week, the person who did the most crying over her new look was Elina Ivanova, a 19 year-old originally from Ukraine, to whom the show inexplicably gave the hair of the creepy, ‘roided-out comic Carrot Top. Elina hated her fiery weave–which was heralded as a first in “Top Model History,” undoubtedly for its aggressive fugginess–but she managed to move past that and win the swimsuit photo shoot in the end anyway.
As a rule, the previous week’s winning shot goes up in the contestants’ house the following week to motivate the other girls. Elina’s photo was shown several times over the course of last night’s episode, with some flattering quotes from the judges captioning it, one of which was “ethnically ambiguous.” Tyra had told the aspiring model the week before that that was how the new hair made Elina look, and she meant it as a compliment.
The phrase “ethnically ambiguous,” however, strikes me as praise of the backhanded variety. Often, it’s really just a gentrified way of saying “not too ethnic.” Or “not too dark.” Or “not too slanty-eyed.” Or “not too flat-nosed.” In August, before New York Fashism Week, a top casting director for the shows told Models.com that one thing the fashion world is embracing right now is precisely that imprecise look:
“Another thing this season is trying to discern from all the girls out there the ones that are ethnically ambiguous. Girls and boys that have faces that you can’t just put in a certain place or race or geography. I think it’s very helpful to see those types of faces in our conflicted world because you can see that we’re still evolving as humans and they are the results of people willing to go beyond the socially constructed notions around race…“
And, you know, he may be onto something, in terms of “socially constructed notions around race,” but what about our socially constructed notions around beauty? Is this latest notion of beauty a reflection of globalization and the world getting smaller or is it spin on an old idea, that “ethnic” faces are beautiful so long as they still conform somewhat to Western standards of beauty (i.e. so long as they still look kinda white). If faces that can’t be put in a certain place, race, or geography are desirable right now, what about faces like mine that most certainly can? Are they yesterday’s news? Are they a bit played? Should I stow my face for a few seasons like all those smock dresses I wore in 2006 until ethnic specificity makes a comeback? This comment about ethnic ambiguity was cited as the second key fall trend; the first was “the tomboy look.” Now it’s easy to go out and get a bowl cut and boyfriend jeans and copy Katie Holmes, but it’s not quite so simple to change your ethnic makeup. And since ethnic ambiguity is considered a “trend,” that means it’s only a matter of time before people tire of it and it will be replaced by something else. What will the “ethnically ambiguous” do then? Make themselves “more ethnic”? Play up the racial drag–kink that hair, chink that make-up? Go into hiding?
I think I have some space for the ethnically ambiguous in the back of my closet when that time comes, somewhere alongside all of my pointy-toed flats, boot-cut jeans, knee-length A-line skirts, those smock dresses that made me look preggo, and that pair of purple McQueen corset boots that would look killer on a pirate moonlighting as a hooker. In the meantime, it’s here in the dark, cluttered recesses of my closet where you’ll find me and my ethnically unambiguous face, as we wait for everything old to become new again.
Filed under: America's Next Top Model, ANTM, Elina Ivanova, Ethnically Ambiguous, Ethnically Unambiguous, Fashism, Mixed People, People as Accessories, Stupid Fashion Trends, Trends, Tyra Banks, Ugly Weaves
Yet another way in which Tila Tequila takes an old trend and makes it all her own (and yes, we are talking about her alleged drive-bisexuality): skinny headbands, ladies and gentleman! How very 2006! What’s next? Building a social networking empire on this little newfangled thingy for college kids called, um, Face-something or another? Declaring that her favorite show on TV is The Wire? How about bringing back skinny jeans? Vests? Skulls? Or buying shares in Google? We heard they just went public and you can get them on the cheap!
I don’t really care one way or the other when it comes to the Olsen Twins. Wait–I actually don’t think you’re actually supposed to call them “the Olsen Twins” anymore; they prefer you call them “Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen,” or “The Olsens,” but aren’t they in fact twins? It all sounds like a waste of brain space to me.
All I know is that Jen dressed up as MK a few years ago for Halloween, and this other girl Zooey did the same the following year, and they both looked wan and swathed in fabric and faaaaaaaaaaaabulous. Playing a billionaire skinny midge with both a caffeine and Balenciaga problem is FUN. Which is why when Jen put on an enormous, draping, sweater robe in our Boston hotel the other night (during the Harvard stop of this week’s DISGRASIAN tour), I delighted in her resemblance to the Troubled Olsen.
Can’t picture it? She looked almost exactly like this:
Cotton Candy Distraction
I realized today, while my eyes danced, semi-embarrassed, over the above image of Lucy Liu (in Valentino at the designer’s Paris show), that as long as she is working the starring-in-a-Sex-and-the-City-knockoff-means-I-am-a-fashion-icon angle, I can’t talk about her. There is simply nothing nice to say, besides stating she is beautifulzzZZZzz but always manages to look sillyZzZZzz, and some horses need just be left dead but not beaten.
What’s to say? She’s not this…
Cotton Candy Perfection
…and I guess she never will be.
Many of us live in Los Angeles, and have the unfortunate here-and-there sighting/smell of celebutard pioneer Paris Hilton. As US Weekly often declares with glee, she pumps her fuel-guzzling Bentley with gas (“just like US!”), she lets her dog shit on the street (“just like US!”), she does her own grocery shopping wearing ugly $300 sweats that are falling off her cheesy, shapeless ass (“just like US!”), and ZzZZZZZzzzzz.
Frankly, I blame Paris Hilton alone for the “sexy”-and-ugly- sweatoutfits-as-real-outfits epidemic that has spread through America’s young women over the last five years faster than a case of clap at a frat party. It’s slutty AND sloppy, and, contrary to my earliest predictions, doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Maybe it never will! Augh… the very thought of this scares me more than hippies, let me tell you.
So when Hilton showed up in Shanghai for an MTV event this week, wearing her comfy clothes but remaining completely covered, I thought to myself: Self, maybe Paris Hilton is starting to take responsibility for the sloppy/slutty thing. Maybe she’s making an example of dressing drown without showing one’s dime slot!
…and I realized, Hilton isn’t through rocking the slutsuit. She just doesn’t give a shit about how she looks in China!!! And I said to myself: Self, if this bitch is gonna rock “comfy” looking like a ho for the paps in America/Greece/Italy/France/Spain, she sure as hell better do the same in the land of the almond-eyed! Are you with me, Self! We aren’t gonna take this sitting down!!! Give us all the slut you’ve got or give us nothing at all!
Then I realized that I woke up waaaay too early this morning.
Filed under: Bored By China?, Equal-Opportunity Slutting, Going Bonkers, Paris Hilton Should Expire, Self, Skanks, Stupid Fashion Trends, Sweatsuits Are Not For Socializing, This is Bullshit, Ugly Things
Radar Magazine broke a piece this week on yet another fascinating Japanese fashion trend: “Gothic Lolita,” a fashion melange of baby doll costume and bondage gear.
Neel Shah writes:
Westerners have always had a curious fixation with the styles and trends of Japan. It is a country, after all, where people cry and scream in the presence of Tinsley Mortimer’s handbag collection. A bit harder to mediate with American fashion sensibilities, however, is Japan’s current obsession with “Gothic Lolita”—a rather bizarre sartorial milieu in which ruffled skirts, lacey stockings, and Mary Janes are paired with black eyeliner, facial piercings, and other accessories typically associated with students responsible for school shootings.
HMMM. Asians, eyeliner, and shootings! All so intrinsically linked!
I’m going to go retch now.
You may recall how I feel about high-fashion designer and mass-clothing distributor collaborations, the fashism industry’s trend du jour. The latest “designer” to jump on that bandwagon is Kate Moss, who did a line for Topshop. It’s described on the website as an “Eclectic capsule collection of effortlessly cool, signature pieces inspired by Kate’s wardrobe.”
Here is the effortlessly
coked out cool designer, along with DISGRASIAN Hall-of-No-Shamer Naomi Campbell, at Barneys in New York, where one can purchase the clothes.
Oh, and good fucking luck trying to order this online. Only the dregs, my friend.
2006 CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) award winners Doo.Ri, Thakoon, and Rodarte have all collaborated with
Crap Gap to design “fresh new takes on the classic white shirt” in LIMITED EDITION. I guess I should be thrilled that the K.W.A.–Khakis With Attitude–campaign is over and just shut it. But this fashion designer-meets-sweatshop clothing distributor phenomenon is one of my greatest pet peeves.
Here’s how this shit always goes down:
1) “OMG. (Insert esteemed fashion designer) is doing a line for (insert Crap-like clothing distributor)? I bet there’s something cute and cheap pour moi!” you say, broke and a slave to fashion.
3) Discover that all the Crap website/store has left are size 18′s of the Crap DRESS that you’re convinced you love after five minutes on the web/in the den-of-psychotic- female-hormones that the store has become.
4) Contemplate entering the Coney Island hot dog eating contest, beating that clever little bastard Kobayashi, and letting it all go…just to fit into said size 18 Crap dress.
6) Be rezourceful and log onto eBay. Isn’t their slogan “Whatever it is, you can get it on eBay”? Type in (insert esteemed fashion designer) AND (Crap-like clothing distributor) and wait patiently as 8000 things come up.
8) Click the Buy It Now button, just as the eBay price of what was originally a $68 dress (already a ripoff) meets your eye. $389 DOLLARS–WTF?!?
9) Contact the seller of said $389 Crap dress and plead financial hardship to get out of the deal. Get negative feedback on eBay and vow to never go on eBay again.
10) Eat hot dogs in secret shame and troll eBay looking for something cute and affordable to wear. Good fucking luck.
Turbans are hot for spring!