“James,” you say, “OMG – it’s April already! What is your Fall ’05 look going to be?”
Well, now that you mention it, I’ve been worrying about it for some time now. Since last fall, actually.
The NY Times predicts that the Neo-Maximalist trend will continue unabated, but expect it to be mixed with the new ‘BoBo Ashcan’ aesthetic. I am not speaking in tongues. That’s really what they said. For the fashion-impaired, BoBo is an apocopic acronym for Bohemian Bourgeois. And “ashcan” refers to the “Anything-Goes-Because-I’m-Out-Of-Paxil” – look that is the hallmark of the new homeless chic. In other words: Come September, we are all going to look like Mary-Kate Olsen. It’s true! Give in! You laugh, but you’ll succumb. You’ll buy the big bug glasses, the cashmere-disguised-as-burlap granny skirts, and the chinchilla-line cowl-necked sweater with the delicately embroidered moth holes. I know you!
Me? I’m translating the look into a “dark dowager” feel. That means ruffles. Oh yes. I’m all about ruffles for fall. Regal ruffles. Royal ruffles. Like the Fipple Flute Fairy (you’ve never heard of her – I just made her up). Not the vulgar kind of ruffles. Not bouncy, school-girl ruffles. This isn’t WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JAMES? It’s BOBO ruffles, you understand, but minus the “ashcan.”
Listen: I just bought the most marvelous Victorian collar, circa 1880. Can you imagine? One hundred twenty-five years old! It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen: an explosion of black pleated organza ruffles buttoned high up the neck, then cascading down my back and shoulders in a frilly sort of shawl. Oh, and with two sculpted, ruffle-y twists that hang down in front. Does that make any sense? I’ll take a picture, when I debut it. It’s so delicate, so crumbly-cool, so completly one-of-a-kind, it’s easily the most decadent thing I’ve ever owned.
I’ll wear it with capes, of course. Capes and cloaks and fur-lined manteaus. It will look divine with a cut-away tux and a battered old opera hat. Why I’ll be positively Dickensian!
The women at Catwalk (the high-end, vintage couture store I found it in) weren’t even going to sell it to me. “It belongs in a museum,” they said. “It’s too fragile to actually wear.”
Damn the potential danger! I cried. Clothes were meant to be worn! Life was meant to be lived! I’m not under glass yet, why should my outfits be! By wearing it, I’ll be giving it LIFE again! I’ll be letting its beauty BREATHE again! By wearing it, I’ll be giving it back to the world! It can be whistled at and commented on for the first time in over 110 years!
Eventually they relented and sold it to me. They know me. They know how much I needed it, They know that need was like a fire in my belly. Like a bad Pop-Tart jones. They know I haven’t wanted anything that badly since that stupid orange polka-dotted taffeta Adolfo tent dress that I bought from them last year (was I in a K-hole?). They also knew that they could name their price. So after forking over a cool month’s rent for it, you can best believe I am going to wear it out, BY GOD.
Oh. I’m sorry.
Am I boring you?
Do you care about my collar at all?
I do rattle on sometimes. And about a collar! A whole column about a collar! That’s funny.
“MOST BORING ST. JAMES VERSION EVER!”
– James St. James
[Ed note: James intends to be buried UNDER GLASS?]