Maitresse style, part deux

Don't get me wrong: I love the Face Hunter.

But looking at the shots FH is presently blogging from Iceland, I am left to draw the following conclusions:

1) Either people in Iceland dress the way I did when I was eleven, or;
2) I had a really kickass sense of style in sixth grade.

Probably both statements are within a few degrees of accuracy.

I went to middle school at a time (this would be around 1990) when one of the hottest trends was layered, different colored slouchy socks. My favorite pair of socks were tye-dyed all the colors of the rainbow, and I wore them with my skintight white Farlow jeans (that's right, skinny jeans way back then, beeyotches). If you weren't layering your socks, then you had to pull down the slouches of your socks so they lay just so over your Keds. And god forbid your socks should be too thin; you could tell cool socks from dorky socks at a glance by the thickness of the weave. The socks had a label too, but I've forgotten what they were called.

Are you getting a sense of what middle school on Long Island was like? The only thing that could save you from social obsolescence was the labels you wore. "Clueless," which thinks it's a movie about fashionable teenagers in the nineties, didn't come close. Put "Heathers" together with "Mean Girls," take out the cathartic relief of the school blowing up or Rachel McAdams getting hit by a bus, and you have some idea of it: relentless peer judgment in a pressure cooker that never went off.

But there was a time, before Farlows, before I knew which were the cool socks and which ones the "dorky" ones, a naive time when I wore whatever inspired me in my drawer that morning: I had tights in some really electric colors, blue, fuschia, crazy patterns, and I would coordinate them to match or to contrast the colors in my outfit. One day, thus garbed, I arrived at school, and, judging from the way the kids were looking at me, I had the sneaking suspicion that I had gone too far. This is the first recollection I have of feeling like everyone else had received some brochure on "how to be cool" in the mail over the summer, and I had not.

I quickly turned to my best friend at the time, who was already beginning to stray from me to become best friends with a bland wisp of a thing called Meghan, and acted like we had decided it was going to be "crazy color day." "Why didn't you wear your crazy tights today?" I said to her, loudly enough to be overheard by anyone passing by who might deride me for, or be blinded by, my ensemble. "We said it would be crazy color day!"

In retrospect, I can't blame her for ditching me. I was trying to implicate her in my fashion faux pas.

Today, I tend to think, and think hard, when picking out an outfit. And I play it safe in that Parisian gamine vein; all my stuff comes from Claudie Pierlot and Comptoir des Cotonniers. But I saw a cool co-worker last week wearing violet tights with camel brown boots... and who knows. I might be tempted to deviate from my opaque black tights...

(If you're just discovering Face Hunter through this post, check out The Sartorialist while you're at it...)


abby said...

I remember those socks! Weren't they called Wagrams, or something like that? And Sambas, those were a must-have in my junior high school. My mother could never figure that one out because they were orginially indoor-soccer shoes!

fashionista said...

Oh, Gawd, the socks. Not only do I remember layering mine, but I layered them in an alternating fashion. So, let's say on the right leg, I had the pink sock at the bottom and the purple sock on the top, on the left foot, it would be purple sock on the bottom and pink sock on the top. And now that I'm reminiscing, did you ever have tapered jeans with the zippers at the ankles? Eek.

As for FaceHunter, I'm more of a Sartorialist girl.


Autumn said...

Sounds like my school in upstate NY. I remember the slouchy socks and the jeans with the zippers at the ankles. But they had to be Guess jeans or you just weren't cool enough! Hahaha!
The other night I watched on DVD Notte Prima Degli Esami (The Night Before The Exam). It takes place in 1989 and it is about a guy who tells off his teacher on the last day of highschool before he realizes that this teacher is in charge of his summer exams.
The movie was really funny and is very popular here in Italy. It has all the eighties music and questionable fashions!

Gillian Young said...

In highschool I attempted to look hip hop and wear purple knee-high socks with my Nikes and a short skirt. Me and my graffiti scrawl were cool in my eyes if no one elses.

These days I'm on the hunt for a good red pair of tights, because the vixen look is better for me than the hip hop look any day.

Are you rocking the personalized Vuitton?

maitresse said...

Hmm... no, the socks were something like EBs, or GBs, or something like that... but oh yes, we had Sambas too. I never had a pair, tho.

ooh fashionista, my new jeans from the Gap have zippers at the bottom! but there is a difference, let us recall, between tapered and skinny jeans.

autumn thanks for the film rec! it sounds really funny AND it will help me with my italian!

Oh Gill, your graffiti scrawl is THE coolest. And yes, I'm rocking the Louis all over Paris, and I tell everyone exactly who made it, so when you're a big star some of your light will appear to reflect from me as well... and if you ever decide you went it back you know it's still yours.

Ms. Glaze said...

Oh Jeeeeesus, did you really have to go there? I just saw a girl last night wearing a pair of "vintage" guess skinny jeans – remember the ones with the triangle on the back pocket that were super tight.

Oh la vache...they say if you've lived through it once then you can't wear it again...

fashionista said...

Ah yes. Tapered gives the illusion of large(r) hips. Skinny closely follows the natural curve.

Speaking of the Gap, have you heard about the new Red campaign? The point is to have people donate to the AIDS cause buy purchasing the Red merchandise (things that they would normally buy anyway so it's not as though people are going out of their way to make purchaaes they would not normally make), and some of the proceeds will go to AIDS research in Africa. So, I saw on Oprah a couple weeks back Bono talking about this campaign (they have a Red iPod nano; the red line from Armani; the Gap red products; etc.). I had also seen many of the Christy Turlington ads in various magazines. I decided to check out the "red" stuff on Gap's site, and what kind of shirts do they have? Shirts that say "Hamme(red)" and "Bo(red)." Before that I wanted to buy a shirt (the tank that Christy Turlington wore said "Desi(red)" and I immediately wanted it), but seeing that the website has only the other two kinds of shirts, I'm not so keen on buying them. I mean, there ain't nothing wrong with being bored or hammered, but I'd rather not have those particular words emblazened on my chest.

jinius said...

just discovered your blog and i agree w/the face hunter critique. i think the older we get the more we revert to elem school style. side pony tails will be all the rage for s/s 07