Archive for the ‘Fashion Blogging for Toddlers’ Category

Curmudgeons I Love

June 15, 2018

Two brief anecdotes, to begin:

1. When I was in high school, my French horn teacher (I know, I know), a sweet but wan young woman who lived with her mother, often wore latex gloves just like, around.  I was always very curious about this: was she OCD?  Was she trying to protect her precious instrument-playing fingers?

2. Right before the release of my book, my editor, my agent, the publicist at my agent’s office, and I went out for coffee to discuss pre-book buzz.  One of the things that came up was potential blurbers––you know, people who provide one or two lines of praise you can slap on the book jacket.  Because Lionel Shriver had recently written a book about her brother’s obesity (my book was about weight issues, to put it broadly), someone suggested her.  My agent got a grave look on her face, and silently and slowly shook her head, “No.”

The reason she did that, I later learned, is because Lionel Shriver is fucking terrifying!  She’s also at the moment (and maybe just generally?) loathed, for lots of un-zeitgeist-y views and what appears to be a broad disdain for people.  At times in interviews, she refutes that, but mostly the impression she gives off is that of a reed thin, slightly eccentric battle-ax.

Recently I was reading old profiles of her because I find her whole persona mesmerizing, and I noticed that she’s often photographed wearing cheap knit gloves.  She reminds me immediately of a strict Muslim who just forgot to wear a burqa but remember to cover her hands.  One article I read said she wears them because she refuses to pay for heating in her house; another said she had a circulation disease.  Is it possible she just wears them to bolster the “weirdo” image?  I get the sense she thinks of herself as very authentic, and not that she isn’t, but there is also a delight evident in knowing that she is very different from the rest of us bare-handed mite brains.

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Who Wore It Better

April 25, 2018

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All thanks to my brilliant husband for pointing this out.  Also this gave me an excuse to re-watch The Holy Mountain trailer and may I just say, *raises gathered fingers to puckered lips* mwah.  Exquisite.

Parents at New Year’s

December 21, 2017

[Redacted]: Do you guys have plans NYE?

ID: No.  You?

[Redacted]: My niece is going to bbsit until like 10-1030 and we are gonna go out to dinner then just come back and try to stay up til midnight hahah – wondering if you all want to come out and stay over? We can out kids down then go out to eat? Just a thought!

ID: We’re into this!  What time would you like us out there?  IMHO we wouldn’t want it be so early that we’re in your hair, but we also wouldn’t want it be late and have us end up on the train with too many drunken revelers.  Your call.

[Redacted Other Person]:  I love this idea!  There is some chance I’ll have to work. (I am definitely working Xmas day). But we’ll take that as it comes!

[Redacted]: we are usually done w naps by 330ish so after that would be best and I can scoop you from train with the infant car seat whenever works for you.  Kids can have dinner and play here/ do whatever until bedtime. Re: working, we have a “desk” area in our “guest suite” so if you need to power up here thats no prob. Also have Mad baby gear and pack n play! 2018 guys!

[Redacted]: Plus obviously weed cigs champagne

[ROP]: Weeds, cigs, champagne, pack n play, nap time.  Fuckin 2018 man.

[Redacted]: Bring it onnnnn.  (Especially nap time.)

Essays That No One Would Publish (Again)

October 1, 2017

Bored With Dressing a Baby Boy? Try Elf-Core

When I was pregnant, and people found out I didn’t know the sex of the baby, they’d often say, “Well, either one is great of course, but girls are just much more fun to dress.” It sounds weirdly gendered, and it is, but it’s also totally true. First, there’s just a much larger variety out there for girls (they can also dip into the boys’ stuff more often than the reverse is true, because the patriarchy lives!) With girls, for example, you can play with both hats and the little bows people insist on strapping to their newborns’ bald heads. You can buy sweet onesies and tiny dresses, mini-jeans and bloomers. With boys, well, most often well-wishers will resort to gifting you those awful message vests, with weirdly racy phrases like “Lock up your daughters” emblazoned across the front.

Of course, if you happen to be a woman, which I am, and you even slightly enjoy clothing, which I do, there’s the added pleasure of being able to dress your little girl in the outfits you wish you came in adult sizes. Smocked floral dresses with thick woolen tights and pointelle galore: not an easy look to pull off in your early thirties, but lucky for you, you have a human doll to vicariously dress through.

So when I had a son, which I had predicted I would, I was at first a little sad about sartorial opportunities lost, before I hit upon the look that made it all worthwhile, and that is elf-core.

When you hear the word “elf,” you might think of Will Ferrell in the eponymous film, or indeed, of any of Santa’s minions. Not a bad place to start, but not the best fashion template for our purposes. Whatever you do, don’t go by Google alone––that will just lead you to lots of Orlando Bloom fan sites and pictures of young woman who’ve undergone body modification to make their ears pointy. Instead, when dressing your child in elf-core, you should conjure up images of Elizabethan-era elves, and their kin, the elben of German Romanticism: these little guys were often seen as like fairies, in that they were tiny and mischievous, but with stocking caps.

So what is elf-core, you ask? It is earth tones, although you can play with the palette a bit, as I’ve found myself more in the gray and navy realm as of late. It is brown faux-leather booties that look like they belong on a fawn, if a fawn wore booties. As far as material goes, it’s anything you might wear while mucking about in the garden: twill, corduroy, or just plain ole comfy cotton. No jeans––elves don’t do denim. Occasionally, elf-core can benefit from an injection of hippie, with the odd tie-dyed piece, a dose of Sherpa, as fur-lined shoes blend nicely with most ensembles, or even a little lumberjack flannel. Remember, elves are mostly forest dwellers, so any other being, mythical or real-life, that loves a romp in nature can serve as appropriate inspiration.  (On that note, feel free to indulge in the delightful trend of babies wearing hoods with animal ears on them: I feel like elves would totally wear such pieces when going to parties with their creature friends.)

But there is one element of the elf-core look that is absolutely non-negotiable, and that is the pointy hood. My son has a number of items with pointy hoods: a gray cable knit hooded cardigan (which has a pom-pom on its point), a full body, striped sweat suit, and a little navy button-up jacket. I plan to invest in more of these staples soon, because if you’re going for elf-core, \, it’s the fastest route there. In fact, you can often phone in the rest of the outfit if this one element is in place, much like how one can wear pajamas and heels and still be fancy enough for a nightclub.

The true icon of elf-core dressing is David the Gnome. Here you might ask yourself: are gnomes and elves related? Like, as species? Answer: only in Tolkien’s mythology. But, that’s neither here nor there. Instead, what truly matters is that both species of otherworldly creature can dress. David the Gnome, for example, has nailed the pointy hat thing. It is at least fifteen centimeters high, which is how tall David is, and fire engine red. It is a real signature statement piece. On top, he wears a big blue tunic bisected by a thick belt, which is not a necessary accessory for a baby, or at least hasn’t been for mine yet. On the bottom, he wears blowsy khaki trousers and shoes that are either repurposed potato sacks or Uggs. Truly the fashion role model of our time.

Still feeling a little confused as to how to nail elf-core? A bit more elf-spo: think Frodo Baggins, think shearling (it’s kind of an autumn-winter specific look), think the verdant hills of Ireland. Sometimes when I see my son in his best elf-core get-up, I think, “If only he had a giant gnarled piece of wood to use as a walking stick. And could, you know, walk.”

If that still doesn’t set your mind racing with ideas, check out my elf-core picks, below:

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Knit hat from Latvia

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Reversible striped CAPE

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Knitted jumper with feet

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Peruvian booties

 

 

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Chunky sweater

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Waffle knit body suit

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Korean mushroom hat

Eek

September 19, 2017

This picture from one of my kid’s books looks a little too much like Slender Man for my comfort.

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Three’s a Trend

June 25, 2017

So actually there are only two of these that I can think of right now, which means that this post is anticipating a third one, which I’m guessing will happen verrrrry soon because I am something of a cultural prophet.

Here’s what I’ve noticed: a rise in the true crime meta-doc.  What is that, you ask?  It’s a sub-trend of the true crime trend, which has been ongoing for the past few years, and sees us revisiting crimes––some major, some less so––of the past, oh, forty or so years (OJ, Robert Durst, Making a Murderer, et al).  But in the true crime meta-doc, instead of just going over the facts of the case and maybe positing a new theory as to what happened, the director charts the progress of a fake-film he/she is “making” about the true crime case.  The first example of this is Kate Plays Christine, about the news anchor Christine Chubbuck, who killed herself on air in 1974; the meta-doc came out the same year as a narrative film on the topic, called simply Christine, did.  I saw the narrative film and didn’t have much interest in seeing the meta-doc, until Richard Brody told me I was a moron (which is true) and so now I am faced with the dubious task of seeing the documentary and un-seeing the narrative film.

And then this year, after the deluge (okay fine, maybe there were just two?) documentaries about JonBenet Ramsey’s murder, came the supremely weird (and possibly exploitative? also h/t Brody) Casting JonBenet, in which actors from the Boulder area, where the Ramsey family lived, audition for a possibly fake (unclear) movie about JonBenet and, during their try-outs, talk about everything from their experience with prostate cancer to their own family members being murdered to their mostly crackpot theories about the case.

Now––why the new meta-doc trend, and why return to something like the JonBenet Ramsey case, which has been covered in myriad ways ad nauseam since the girl’s murder in 1996?  My theory is that these major cases were cultural traumas, and therefore we just can’t let go.  For a bit more on that, let me introduce Neil Smelser, sociologist.  Take it away, Neil!:

The idea [of mass cultural trauma] is that certain historical events are so profound in their cultural and personal impact that they develop the features that resemble psychological trauma, namely that they’re permanently unsettling, that you can’t forget about them, even if you try to forget about them, there’s a kind of compulsive need to relive and re-experience.

The murder of one child, however adorable and young she was, might seem like small potatoes in the face of the Holocaust or slavery, but Ramsey was, I’d argue, emblematic of American innocence, and the fact that her murdered has never been solved (though I have a guess as to who it was) means the Freudian compulsion to repeat is heightened. And we’re repeating via meta-doc because all the more straightforward ways of doing so (made for TV movie, documentary, interview with family members, books on case) have been done already, and thus we have to resort to more avant-garde/oblique projects.

What will the next true crime meta-doc be?!  Here are some guesses: Ted Bundy (movie’s in the works, so the timing is good!), Laci Peterson, and… Son of Sam?  I am stuck on this one.  Help me out, people!

One final note: I would like to have a feather boa cape-thing (what is the word for this?) like the one the ersatz JonBenet wears in Casting JonBenet.  Thankssomuch.

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And SCENE.

I Would Like This Turban Thing

June 13, 2017

That is all.  Thank you.

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FUCK YOU I’M MILLWALL

June 8, 2017

So, as most everyone knows by now, we had a wee bit of the TERROR here in London last weekend.  Not ideal.  But one of the things that always follows terrorist incidents are stories of human bravery.  Case in point: this absolute legend, who, unarmed, charged the terrorists yelling a battle cry of, “Fuck you, I’m Millwall!”

For the Americans amongst my readers, Millwall is a football/soccer club that is, how should I put this: thoroughly disliked.  Their fans are known to be uneducated thugs. In fact, a common cheer they use as a retort is, “No one likes us, we don’t care.”  So imagine how exciting it is for them––whether they’ll admit it or not––to all of a sudden find themselves VERY liked!

My husband and I have, like many others out there, found the story and the tagline pretty amazing.  So the other night, we were joking about making t-shirts with “Fuck You, I’m Millwall” on them, because of course when something is funny, the first thing you should do is make a t-shirt of it.  I was one click away from ordering 400 customized t-shirts (to the tune of nearly 1,000 GBP) when my wet blanket husband decides actually, it would be weird, and maybe we’d have to check with Millwall (even though I wasn’t planning on using the logo) and instead we could think about just having them say FYIM even though exactly two people in the universe (him and me) would know what the fuck that meant.

So fine, even though we were going to donate the proceeds to the victims’ families and other charitable causes, and even though I’m sure Millwall officials would be thrilled to partner with us on this initiative, the project will go on the shelf for now.  But let the record show that this shirt would have been bomb.

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Front

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Never Gonna Get It

December 5, 2016

To think that a mere month ago I was ogling this very expensive but utterly adorable leopard print bunny clutch:1067196_1_large

And now I can’t even FANTASIZE about it without feeling guilty imagining those hundreds of pounds that could go toward a down payment on that off-the-grid goat farm we might need to buy as the apocalypse looms.  DONALD TRUMP IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

A Dark Fairytale (Or the Start of One)

November 22, 2016

So the husband and I were shopping one day in Budapest, and we stopped at a flea market.  Husband saw these children’s shoes, and was like, “We can get these vintage leather shoes for our future kid and then our baby will be super hip.”  So we were talking to the lady, who told us the price, and as we’re taking the bag after we’ve given her the money, she says, “They are really amazing, from before World War II.”  And then we’re walking out and my husband goes pale and says, “Oh fuck, these are definitely some little dead Jewish kid’s shoes…”  And now we have Holocaust booties and can’t figure out what to do with them.  They’re just sitting being creepy on our front hallway table.  HAPPY TUESDAY EVERYONE.

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