Tuesday, June 17, 2008

summer of fashion confusion -- 2008

OK, so here's what's happening right about now ...

Fashion is not entirely annoying me this summer, but it's somewhat confusing. The new trend in dresses is the maxi dress, last seen in such great numbers in the 1970s. I know because I still have my mother's maxi sundress hanging in my closet. Why this is back in style this summer, I'm not entirely sure, although I think it has something to do with driving all of us who bought short, short mini dresses and mini skirts last summer completely bonkers.

Fortunately, I was not about to buy one of those so-short-it-looks-like-I-forgot-to-wear-pants dresses, although I did buy a bubble dress which is a total no-no now. Sigh.

Then we have the pin-up styles coming at us from all sides this summer. The retro look has been popular for a couple years (see earlier Christina Aguilera post), and we've been warned not to combine our black cat's-eye eyeliner with bright red lips for fear of looking garish. One or the other was fine, but never together. Now the rules have changed and celebs (I apologize for that term, but what the hell else are they?) are wearing the heavy black eyeliner with the dark, red lips, thinking they might fool us into mistaking them for Marilyn or Rita. Starlets are even posing in remake photos these days (i.e. Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan). Are we so out of ideas that we have to return to a full-on pin-up look? Is this what is bound to happen in wartime?

My brother just hosted a 1950s party, and it was extremely easy to find a costume -- I just wore the most recent pencil-skirted shirt dress from Express. Belted waist and all. 1950s? 2008? Who can tell?

Then we've got the hugest trend of the summer -- gladiator. It seems the draping and folding and draping and folding that Rami designed in every single one of his creations for Project Runway (Season Four) have taken hold of most women aged 18-34 this summer. Sometimes they combine their Grecian dresses with wrap around gladiator sandals. Sometimes not. Either way, the look is rather costume-y. And you know how I hate adding "y" to create new words, so I must be serious about this.

The sandals themselves are cute when they don't go all the way up to the knees. They're being advertised as the most flexible sandal ever -- to be worn with shorts and dresses! Wait, aren't most sandals like that? I'm confused.

I always thought those sandals worked best with dresses because they are usually worn with togas. Just before my magazine interview in NYC last week, I spotted herds of young women wearing gladiator sandals in various heights and colors, and for a moment, I thought I was in a chariot race.

It looks like those side-swept bangs of years past might be just now fading out of style, but to replace them, we've now got big bangs. Like straight-down-your-forehead, heavy bangs. I will never, ever, ever be able to wear these. They say it makes people look younger because it's such a girlish look, and it seems to be a big hit with the hipsters, but I swear if I ever tried to pull that off, my face would look like a big fat tomato. Not that it would be red, but straight bangs tend to make most faces look wider.

Little forehead + small eyes + wide cheekbones + square jaw = no bangs!

I'll have to update this more often this summer because this is about all I've got right now. As far as grammar goes ... "at the end of the day" and "it is what it is" continue to haunt my eardrums. A new one I've been hearing quite often is "in the industry," which I think people like to say so that they appear to be some sort of insider or expert on a field ... when most likely, they have no clue what they are talking about. Or they are describing something that they think is unique to their "industry" but probably is not.

People are still saying "to be honest" pretty often, but this seems to be dying down, thank goodness. Just as the current administration's tour of duty is dying down ... did I just say "tour of duty"? Another cliche I hate! Ack!

The best neologisms I've heard in weeks came in an email I received from my cousin who is writing the great American novel. In the email, he called himself a "Momentum Fictionist." I'm still not entirely sure what that means, but I love it.

And the requisite trend-setters of the moment ...


1970s maxi dress (if you know who this is, please tell me -- I haven't a clue) ...


Ava Gardner demonstrating 1950s-style makeup application ...


Angelina Jolie in Grecian garb in Alexander ...


self-explanatory hipster bangs.

1 comment:

andrea jean said...

You know what really bugs me? When people say, for example, "July one" instead of "July first." As in: "I need this done by July one." Or "We'll figure that out at the July one meeting." I don't know if this is technically wrong or just annoying.