Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fashioning a Gun

Toronto ladies, you make me laugh. Your taste in clothes is hilariously strange, as if solely inspired by Sienna Miller, who is not a style icon. Even if she is - supported by the unerring eye of Nuclear Wintour - a presence in the fashion pages, she's spawned several consecutive summer's worth of Bad Idea Accessories. I'll allow that she has wonderful skin and a trim figure, but when she plops a straw fedora on her noggin and calls it a day, I'm not impressed.

If you're going to take sartorial cues from someone, may I suggest Sheena Matheiken? She's the brains behind The Uniform Project, a very cool endeavor to raise cash for schools in India, and she's been wearing the same dress every single day since the first of May. Well, sort of - she had seven identical dresses made, and she's been rotating through. Still, the smock, with pleats in the front and buttons in the back, is worn with consistent élan and style. In addition to layering the hell out of it, Matheiken loads up on the accessories: belts, socks, shoes, tights, hats, gloves, and jewelery of all shapes and sizes. Here's the kicker: she looks great. Every day. Even though there's a challenge element to her project, her "impediment" to style has produced some great outfits.

So, city women, it's possible. I'm not proposing that we all run out and acquire our very own dress-smocks (although it's damn cute), but that we start blazing a trail. I'm so tired of the slouchy boho-chic that's running all over the 416. First of all, that's so ancient. I get it: the flat boots, floaty tops and skinny jeans are easy. They're easy to purchase, they're easy to throw together, and they're easy to spy on others. Still. Even less charming is the neon hipster, who tends to wear annoying sunglasses and spends social gatherings ruthlessly posing for Facebook pictures.

There are so many tribes of fashionistas out there. You have your colourful peeps, and those who traffic in less cheerfully hued garb. Like your clothes to be a little more structured? Fine. Want to wear duds that reflect your desire to live in 1926? Okay. Or the future? No problem.

So why, in a sea of possible looks, do I keep running into these little fashion clones? It's not just women - take a stroll through a university campus and count how many polo-shirted, flip-flop-sporting dudes you see. It's like there are only two stores in Toronto (Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, specifically), and it's a total coup when someone in a "vintage"store in Kensington manages to find something like this moldy-looking jumpsuit.

I know fashion isn't comparable to, like, curing diabetes or something, but it's nice when people think critically about their styles. Who influences how you look? I like to imagine myself as a post-apocalyptic farmgirl, which leads to long black dresses worn with gigantic necklines and bike caps. I love structure, I rarely wear colour, and I weirdly hate clothes that touch my wrists, ankles, or neck. I have a large collection of wide-legged pants for that very reason, and it's more than a small part of my disdain for skinny jeans. I manage to find clothes that allow me to pretend I'm tending a vegetable garden in the burned-out Skydome, and it brings me great pleasure.

The fashion industry rakes in about 300 billion dollars a year, and while I'm sure some of it is reflected in the most expensive dress in the world, which is shockingly ugly, some of it has to come from the coffers of the identically-dressed women roaming the Toronto streets. It needs to stop: winter usually hides our light under a bushel made of parkas and hats, but summer shows off our leggier, bandeau-wearing side. Thank god my own fashion preferences has already taken zombies into the equation. It's like Night of Living Dead, but with leggings and stupid hats.

1 comment:

  1. ohh i think it's up to her to dress like that way,
    maybe it's her style..