10/31/13

Something Very Scary

I wasn't feeling very Halloween-y. But then last night I went to go see No Bra and the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, and now I am feeling the spirit. I believe in Halloween.



I LOVE TVHOKB. There was a time in high school when they were my favorite band. I saw them open for Switchblade Symphony and The Creatures in San Francisco in 1999. My dad went to the concert with me. I think they recorded their set for the live CD they made? The SF goth crowd could have been warmer. I loved it. It was so cool to see them in NYC! On home turf. I remember when they performed at the Armory and BFF Bobo was one of the TVHOKB girls, looking gorgeous.


So proud of lil Bobo. Doesn't she look great?

Anyway, the show last night was great! A hometown love-fest. During "Fuck island" when they cracked paint-filled eggs on Kembra's crotch (spoiler alert?), some white paint got on my blazer. I thought it was tempera... but it seems like it was not. So I'm taking my jacket (my FAVORITE vintage polyester blazer which I've had for YEARS) to the dry cleaner tonight in the hope that they can work some Halloween magick.

The opening act was none other than international sensation NO BRA, performing songs from her new album CANDY. Here's a video for the title track, featuring many dearly beloved NYC personalities:



And the album, which is AWESOME, has some pretty adorable cover art too.



You can buy it HERE. I really loved No Bra's set. Can you believe I had never seen her perform live before? I was turned onto her work in college when Bobo visited her sister who was studying in London. Bobo told me about this cool performance artist named No Bra she thought I would like. I was resistant but I fell in love. Her work is so smart it hurts.

Lyrics from "Date with the Devil":
ON A DATE WITH THE DEVIL
THE DEVIL SAID
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER
I WAS SO DESPERATE
TO FALL IN LOVE
THAT EVERY TIME I EVER MET SOMEONE
I WAS SO NERVOUS
I COULDN’T SAY ANYTHING
SO I CHANGED MY MIND
AND DECIDED TO BECOME EVIL
AND BECOME THE DEVIL
AND TEMPT OTHER MEN INTO BEING EVIL
AND BEING THE DEVIL
AND TEMPT OTHER WOMEN INTO BEING EVIL
AND BEING THE DEVIL
AND I SAID
IF YOU’RE NOT NERVOUS
IT’S BORING
Such a fun show!

This morning, The Business of Fashion posted an except of a new interview between Rei Kawakubo and Hans Ulrich Obrist in the Autumn/Winter 2013 issue of System Magazine. Kawakubo's manifesto, below:



Obviously, I love this. A kind of intellectual bondage, right? The idea of creativity as being only possible by working with constraints. Be these actual constraints in the world around you or, as in Kawakubo's case, entirely internal. I've often felt that, for me, creativity seems most easily understood within the context of some kind of formal constraint. This is why I like using vintage Casio and Yamaha keyboards. It forces me to work within the limited tone palette and the scope of the octave and a half. What I like about this manifesto is that it does seem to vindicate my interpretation of the SS14 collection, that she found the creative impulse in disregarding the idea of clothing. Another thing I like is that she stresses the importance of suffering. It reminds me of this John Waters quote from his book Role Models, wherein he dedicates a chapter to Kawakubo:

“Fashion is very important to me. My “look” for the last twenty years or so has been “disaster at the dry cleaners.” I shop in reverse. When I can afford to buy a new outfit, something has to be wrong with it. Purposely wrong. Comme des Garcons (like some boys) is my favorite line of clothing, designed by the genius fashion dictator Rei Kawakubo. She specializes in clothes that are torn, crooked, permanently wrinkled, ill-fitting, and expensive. What used to be called “seconds” (clothes that were on sale in bargain basements of department stores because of accidental irregularities) is now called “couture.” Ms. Kawakubo is my god. The fashion historian Kazuko Koike has described Rei as “almost like the leader of a religious movement.” I genuflect to Rei’s destruction of the fashion rules. She is formidable, reclusive, intimidating, and has described her work as an “exercise in suffering.”

And indeed it is. This takes me back to another somewhat gnomic Kawakubo manifesto:



"Something very scary" indeed! Happy Halloween! This reminds me of some other scary fashion advice from Miss Bitter Mommy Trash Pope John Waters:

"You don't need fashion designers when you are young. Have faith in your own bad taste. Buy the cheapest thing in your local thrift shop -- the clothes that are freshly out of style with even the hippest people a few years older than you. Get on the fashion nerves of your peers, not your parents -- that is the key to fashion leadership. Ill-fitting is always stylish. But be more creative -- wear your clothes inside out, backward, upside down. Throw bleach in a load of colored laundry. Follow the exact opposite of the dry cleaning instructions inside the clothes that cost the most in your thrift shop. Don't wear jewelry -- stick Band-Aids on your wrists or make a necklace out of them. Wear Scotch tape on the side of your face like a bad face-life attempt. Mismatch your shoes. Best yet, do as Mink Stole used to do: go to the thrift store the day after Halloween, when the children's trick-or-treat costumes are on sale, buy one, and wear it as your uniform of defiance."

Good advice if ever there was any. Why not emulate Mink Stole in everything? She is, as we know, the fucking bomb. I once wore CdG drop-crotch shorts to a rehearsal with her and she raised an eyebrow, asking, "Are those Comme des Garçons?" I said yes. "Don't they restrict your movement? Are they comfortable?" I said that they were, but the pants, with an even lower crotch, do restrict my movement. She shrugged and said she had a friend who wore nothing but CdG. I didn't ask, but I assumed it was Mr. Waters. Mink is a true style icon who, being preternaturally young at heart, doesn't need designers. Especially if you know how to thrift, post-Halloween, as she legendarily does. Speaking of Mink Stole, I'm SO excited to see her in Tennessee Williams' The Mutilated, co-starring with Penny Arcade, next week!


I MEAN CAN YOU EVEN? I CANNOT. 

Buy your tickets HERE. I'm so excited. Miss Pennifer, perfect timeless face and legendary icon of inspiration, gets a long-overdue and appropriately glowing profile in thie Sunday's NYTimes Style Section which you should go read right now.

Finally, Contessa Stuto dropped the video for the debut single, "Reign in Ratchet" from her forthcoming EP Cult Classic. I like it so much. It's obviously gorgeous and well-made, but there's also something so... I don't know, exuberant? Present? I don't wanna say "real" but real. She's not fucking around. It's not a look, it's not a pose, it's not just an attitude. It's the real thing and god bless her for it. (recognize her from No Bra's "Candy" video?) Check out her SoundCloud for more news. Happy Halloween.

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