Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back in the day when I was young/I'm not a kid anymore/But sometimes...

I was going to post dreamy diaphanous pictures of edwardian era gowns from Worth and Poiret, and I was going to talk all about the problem of Orientalism in fashion and luxury and empire and how sometimes beautiful clothes are made from the spoils of nasty and selfish pursuits and how sometimes the dischord between the means and the ends splits my mind open like a ripe fruit, making me vulnerable to monkeys and flies.

And one day I will write that post, but not today. Today I don't feel like splitting open. Today I have a mind like a drum, a mind that's making music out of being beat on.  Today I have a heart like a balloon, so  l i g h t  it floats!

To this end, in the grand tradition of my fellow Ironing Board collaborators Leo Plass and Marisa Crawford, I bring you the childhood fashion idols of Carrie Leilam Love.  Childhood is the most resiliant and lighthearted condition there is!

Here goes:

BLOSSOM!!! Easily my number one childhood fashion influence. I remember going to Mervyns with my mom and thinking, What Would Blossom Wear?!  I was a sucker for ANYthing with a giant flower on it.  Blossom was weird and funky and funny looking and I loved her.

Mayim Bialik, the actress who played Blossom, also played the young CC Bloom in Beaches. Beaches!! I don't know about everyone, but me and all the white girls I grew up with used to watch this movie at slumber parties and cry our eyes out.  And I used to own several hand-me down dance costumes one of which was purple with fringe on it and I used to dance around in it pretending to be the young CC Bloom.  I blame thank young CC for my habit of sometimes not wearing pants in public and being perfectly comfortable in costume when everyone else is just dressed.

GIBBLER!!  While best friend DJ generally stuck to whatever the popular-girl uniform of the moment was, Kimmy took fashion risks that matched her obnoxious personality.  Check out the Leopard shorts-suit @ 1:00!! I would wear that right this minute.

TLC!!!  Ok, can you imagine ANY modern girl group wearing this many clothes and selling records in today's market?!  TLCs style was so iconic and represented a kind of femininity that was really accessible for a tough chick like myself.  They didn't have to be naked to be girls, and they owned their sexuality in a BIG way.  Who can forget the condom in the glasses?! There is not a wardrobe item in this pic (save Left-Eye's crazy hat... sorry Left-Eye...) that I did not own. I had orange docs, slouch socks, oversized bright tees, suspenders, and size 40 pants.  RIP Left Eye.

Ok, Kris Kross and TLC are reminding me of this kind of amazing moment in early 90s street fashion that was totally unisex.  Boys and Girls wore baggy backwards clothes, overalls with the strap hanging down, giant t-shirts and backwards hats. Wasn't that great?  Or am I totally wrong and Jr. High is kind of unisex in general?  Because I do see boys and girls of the 2010s both wearing skinny jeans and studded belts.  And YES I wore a backwards baseball jersey a couple of times. 

STARTER JACKET!! I couldn't find a picture of Kris Kross wearing starter jackets... but they are the reason I begged and begged and beeeeeeegggggged my mom to buy me one.  She never did.  But I forgive her because they really were expensive and we really were broke.

HALLE BERRY IN BOOMERANG!!! Obvs Grace Jones looks amazing in this movie too but back then I still wanted to be a sweet-faced everybody-loves-her girl more than I wanted to be a bad-ass diety of fierceness so Halle is the one I tried to dress like.  Nowadays I get my mixed-girl on by rocking hood fashion items along with mainstream fashion and right now I'm wondering if I learned this from Halle!

In this flick she rocks the early 90s look I like to call "recovery." After the over-the-top ruffles and neon and florals and accessories of the 80s, people finally just got tired of it and and embraced a Calvin Kleinesque minimalism. Calvin Klein was HUGE in the 90s.  80s was boom-time and coke, 90s was recession and heroine. But I digress.  Halle wore simple silouhettes BUT... she punctuated them with brightly colored African inspired accessories!! 

The one picture from Boomerang I could not find is of Halle wearing a button-up collared and cuffed dress shirt with sheer sleeves -- this shirt was immediately EVERYwhere and I definitely owned one.  I have scrubbed thrift and vintage racks all over town in search of another but alas, have come up empty handed.  If you find one, cop that ish and I'll get you back!!!

Peace Out. Word to Ya Motha.



  2. brb... stalking backissues of Sassy Magazine...


  3. Halle was definitely the business in this movie. BTW, nice mixed-girl fashion analysis; but Lisa Bonet owned the crown - then and now.