March 11, 2013

SELLOUT





DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ONE OF MY ESSAY POSTS THAT HAPPENS TO HAVE A SORRY EXCUSE OF A LOOK BENEATH IT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHY MY LOOK IS A 'SORRY EXCUSE', PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ. IF YOU DO NOT CARE, YOU CAN NOT READ, OR YOU ARE A BASIC BITCH, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN UNTIL YOU FIND THE WORDS REPLACED WITH PICTURES. THANK YOU.

ANOTHER MONTH, ANOTHER SINGULAR BLOG POST. The jokes about how infrequently I post are honestly mere jokes. I'm not really 'in' the fashion/style blogging community as deeply as most, so I don't necessarily have to update at the same rate as my peers. I think. My blog, my rules. This summer on FOX.

So about, oh, every week few months, I go through a bit of self-conflict with my own style identity. This most likely stems from working in an industry where I'm expected to be 'mainstream alternative-luxe' for ~35 hours a week, the need I have at 19 to feel cognitive dissonance towards ANY and EVERYTHING as a result of not yet having figured out exactly 'what I want to rebel against' in the long term, and no longer identifying but still internally participating in the 'outfit persona' schtick.

It's been a minute (metaphorically) since I consciously based my outward attitude on the day's outfit du jour. Though I'm unsure of where exactly I moved away from what I now look back on as one of my most enjoyable gimmicks, I can identify in retrospect that my sub-conscious understood that it was a 'dated' idea. It might be the major pop queens. Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, even Marina Diamandis all got into this whole 'multiple semi-co-existing personality disorder' thing either right before, immediately during, or immediately after I adopted it from the perspective of a style blogger. Or maybe I stopped of my own merit, completely uninfluenced by these sirens of the homogenized mainstream.

I think I got back into my schtick today. Or rather, my schtick got back into me. Or rather not. Rather than fighting my instinct to reject nostalgia, I took a step out of character and embraced a past idea. (DISCLAIMER: CAN OFTEN PROVE EXTREMELY NONCONSTRUCTIVE IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF BOTH SELF AND SOCIETY) It was a perfect storm of thought. My friend/new official barber Leon was cutting off long strands of keratin that had been sprouting from my head (a.k.a. hair) at, for the first time, the salon he 'officially' works at instead of the salon that is actually a chair in his apartment (both of which were equally enjoyable). Post-haircut, I found myself standing on Melrose Ave, right in the heart of vintage-hipster-Tumblr-culture land. Actually, more towards the beginning of it. Next door/two doors west on the salon, I visited Kill City for the first time. They keep making people on the internet wear their pants, so I figured I should stop by and see if I can recognize any of said pants/people. What I found instead blew my mind to smithereens and redefined everything I thought I knew about denim that falls between 'luxury' and 'Levi's'.

A SALE SECTION.

Like, I wasn't expecting a sale. I was expecting things I couldn't afford. I already had the entire experience rehearsed. Walk in, pretend to shop for things, look at price tags and mask my internal horror/laughter with a look of actual consideration so as to be taken seriously by the single associate that wasn't really paying attention to me, hurry out with a curt 'thank you' and be instantly forgotten. Instead, I FOUND A CARDIGAN and yeah, okay, it was more than two dollars/out of my price range but I just got my tax return and sometimes a boy needs a treat and sometimes he doesn't want the treat until he tries it on and sometimes it fits perfectly and he asks himself 'When did I last buy something that wasn't secondhand' and he remembers that it was actually two weeks prior and not THAT long ago but he doesn't count that and it really is a cute cardigan so he just goes for it and also buys a strip of leather because strips of leather are always fun. No, but for real, Kill City is pretty nice. I'm kind of over the whole 'polished Hollywood rocker' vibe myself, but they do it without coming off trite, which is refreshing.

Following this lapse of personal standard to never buy anything firsthand, I knew that I had to flee to my safe place. My safe place can take the form of many different establishments, all of which coerce me into spending further money. McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Taco Bell, Goodwill, smoke shop, etc. Actually, no etc., that's about it. Those 5. But this was the west side. This was Melrose. This was $20 cardigans and stickers on streetlights with 'edgy' font. The closest safe-place surrogate I could find was a Crossroads Trading Co. It was clean, it was still expensive, but it was more on my level. Like, you ever walk into a place and just realize that it is on your level or you're on it's level and this feeling of harmony washes through your stomach like a steak and jack cheese taquito during the digestion process?

Anyway, so I find these two pieces. A leather bomber jacket and a pair of shorts. Well, long shorts. Not-quite-over-the-knee-but-not-quite-capri shorts. They were nice, they were designer-ish, but you know what they were not? They were not $2. Nothing in this entire god-forsaken half of Los Angeles was $2. $2, of course, is a metaphor for 'cheap by my standards'. Plenty of people running around on these strips of asphalt might consider a 'cute vintage leather bomber jacket for ONLY fifty dollars' to be a steal. These people are, to use the scientific term, batshit fucking insane. Do you REALIZE how many burritos $50 can buy? Almost 50 burritos! Put that in your EpiPen and jam it into your leg.

This was when I first felt the unmistakable wave of a persona begin to surface. It began in my chest, beneath my silk-cotton blend v-neck sweater, burning beneath the metal buttons of my plaid woven, not unlike the sharp pain and simultaneous pleasure that occurs after a large intake of 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese as consumed by the fistful. It followed through my bare hands, taking advantage of their under-accessorized vulnerability and forcing them to grab the two garments. Once it hit my legs and walked them into a dressing room, the battle had already been won. My head was still mine, but my body was in a dark, foreign world, a world where everything is 'final sale', a world without coupons, a world where you can't find an ashtray to save your life.

I lost myself within seconds. Standing before a mirror, myself found myself looking at myself, but myself was not myself. My entire sense of self had melted beneath a well put-together West-side ragamuffin hipster sellout. It took approximately .35 seconds to name this persona. Sellout. It was my sellout persona. It was a Zara jacket. It was an oxford without a sock. It was the innovative equivalent of a pair of pyramid-studded Jeffrey Campbells (AND BY THE WAY, IF I MEET ONE MORE FUCKING 'STYLIST' THAT IS 'REALLY INTO' ANYTHING BEDAZZLED WITH STUDS A LA THIS NOW-LAMESTREAM BULLSHIT I'M GOING TO KILL MYSELF STOP COMMODIFYING PUNK TO FIT YOUR MASS-PRODUCED SIMP AESTHETIC) and I felt like my sellout persona had commodified my style to fit it's mass-produced simp aesthetic.

Following the inevitable purchase of these two garments (which thankfully was not bad, but was certainly enough burritos to feed me for a month week), I knew that I had to flee to my persona's safe place. My persona's safe place can take the form of many different establishments, all of which coerce it into spending further money. Starbucks, etc. Actually, no etc., that's about it. But it could get worse. It certainly could. I was not simply in 'Starbucks'. If you go far enough west down Santa Monica Blvd, you will notice the windows come unbarred and contain small, cleverly-placed rainbow flags. You will begin to see men in Andrew Christian tank tops. You will see far less women. Do not let this technicolor, initially-welcoming fa├žade fool you. This is a place where gender stereotypes run rampant. Where misogyny is often, though thankfully not always, a common punchline. Where you will be made to feel as though you should always be yourself as long as yourself has great abs and eats organic spinach salad and knows a lot of Madonna lyrics and makes ~$100k+/year at some yuppie job where you honestly don't do a whole lot of anything. Welcome to West Hollywood. Or, more on-topic, welcome to what I have begun to pseudo-affectionately dub 'Big Gay Starbucks'.

Think of the popular hook-up app, Grindr. Now, think of every single person that uses said application all packed into a room and wired on coffee and the instant gratification that only a Wi-Fi connection can provide. Imagine yourself feeling like you fit into that environment. If you killed yourself, you're on my level. My persona finished drinking liquid from an iconic yuppie coffee cup and, with the afternoon growing long, hopped on a homebound bus. As it traveled further east and the world's palette returned to familiar shades of grey and metallic, I returned to my body's control panel. There was no substitute to donning a pair of heart-shaped $2 glasses and eating a slice of pizza upon my return home. There would probably be no substitute to setting aflame every article of clothing I purchased that day, but I couldn't bring myself to blame the garments. Don't hate the garments, hate the game. Also, I had to take pictures of myself because I have this weird complex that causes me to mistake my inadvertently-swelled-ego as 'art'. Given the time of day these pictures were shot, the lighting was not ideal for maximum quality, but I feel that the grainy/fuzzy resolution provides more accurate insight into my state of mind at the time.

Thank you for reading this essay about my complex and juvenile feelings. Below are pictures of my complex and juvenile psyche in a tangible, fleshy form.

Calvin Klein shirt, Vince shorts, Diesel boots, Zara jacket, Stupid faker glasses, Kill City leather wrist strap, Penguin belt







3 comments:

  1. This is great! I absolutely love your writing, so funny and relevant to the things I think and feel. Also your hair rocks.

    Love & burritos! xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely real for todays mind set, what can I say I love this post.

    ReplyDelete