Monthly Archives: April 2012

Feather Earring

Dorigen,

Please explain a feather earring.

Emily

Emily,

I’ve always been kind of creeped out by feather jewelry.  Mostly because I am freaked out by birds in general, having seen Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds at an impressionable age.  

I am also freaked out by bird-bourne diseases (avian flu anyone?), having read The Andromeda Strain, which I think was actually assigned reading in a middle school science class, at an impressionable age.  I’m sure the feathers used in feather jewelry are not just picked up off the ground in the park, as I imagine they are, but you never can tell when you’re going to be exposed to a virus that could potentially wipe out humanity.  Which could totally happen, as we’ve learned from countless films.  Here is a fun top-ten list of Epidemic Movies to underscore my point. 

Also, that sh*t is tacky.

Dorigen

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Wrong? (or Coachella Part 3)

Emily,

Am I wrong for liking this dress? Please advise.

Dorigen

Dorigen,

I feel like this post should be re-titled “Coachella – Part 3,” because that music festival has done some serious damage to what is considered acceptable in the fashion world.  Please note that the link you provided to purchase this dress, also had some other Coachella related looks, including this little number…

this is a shirt

Like the crocheted blanket they call a shirt, the dress you picked out is see through, and the only place I see anyone going to in these looks is the beach or an outdoor music festival.

Milwaukee's Summer Fest knows the score

If you do not have plans for either, walk away quickly.

Emily

Reading

Emily,

Though this is by definition a family blog, I need to know your thoughts on the video below.  What the F is this???? I am disturbed and intrigued.  Seriously.  What.  Warning: there is offensive language and imagery in the video below.  View at your own risk.

Dorigen

Dorigen,

Yes, this video is very unsettling, but it can be explained. 

For those unfamiliar with the term “reading,” this video may suggest that reading is some kind of violent, aggressive act, something to be feared.  Reading certainly can be, but it is not a physical act, it is purely verbal (ok, and it’s also a bit psychological).  “Read” is slang for insulting someone, and its origins are in the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender).

Your homework is to watch “Paris is Burning” on repeat.

 Knowing that “reading” is not physical, I interpret any reference to violence in the Zebra Katz video as purely metaphoric. 

 Even if you didn’t previously know the term “reading,” anyone can relate to the specific moment that the Katz video is painting – that expansively intense preparation before an after-school “fight.”  Anticipation is frequently much worse than the actual confrontation, and this music video is all anticipation, made especially unsettling with the genderless drones dancing to a dark, almost empty, beat. 

Everyone in this music video is playing the scary crazy card, a much stronger tactic when entering a battle (than, say, anger), and it is also a clear addition to the decadent history of horror rap.  “Horror Rap?!” you say, well perhaps the most famous is The Geto Boys’s “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me”…

 ..but there are so many other classics: Boogiemonster’s “Old Man Jacob’s Well,” Pharcyde’s “4 Better of 4 Worse,” Digital Underground’s “Danger Zone,” and when was the last time you saw Kris Kross’s “I Missed the Bus” video?  I’m just sayin.’ 

I appreciate that “reading” and gender-ambiguous dancers found their way into the rap world, and I am legit scared of them.  It is a tremendous positive to see anything of LGBT roots put into a position of strength, power, and intimidation. 

Just remember, don’t start nothin’, there won’t be nothing.’ 

Emily

Facinators

Dorigen,

Please explain facinators.

Emily

Emily,

I didn’t really know what a fascinator was until I started planning for my wedding.  They are basically clip on headpieces; a head accoutrement that falls just short of a hat on the continuum of “things that go on your head.” 

There are all sorts of things I was blissfully ignorant of prior to my wedding, such as:  

Engagement Photoshoots (yikes)

Reception Photo Booths (and the importance of moustaches on sticks)

Eyelash Estensions (so natural looking!)

And of course, The Wedding Blogs To keep you informed of all the trends your wedding will be a failure without. 

Coincidentally, this was around the same time as the Royal Wedding, which really brought fascinators mainstream in the U.S.  

It is traditional in Britain for ladies to wear ridiculous objects attached to their heads at formal events, and I kind of love it.  Here is a fun slideshow of royals in fascinators

And here is my fabulous mother-in-law in her fascinator at my own wedding!

So that’s fascinators.  Until the recent British Formal Headpiece Invasion, I think the main use of fascinators in the U.S. was for moms who really wanted you to know their newborn was a GIRL, dammit.  

Fondly,
Dorigen

Pantsuits

Dear Dorigen,

We received a question from my girl Danika; and I quote…

Douche prints out. Using homeskillet back in. I am assuming the home slice is also back on the table. Can you please explain pantsuits to me?

YES – “home slice” is definitely on the table, and as far as I’m concerned it never left; however, it does need some Miss. Havisham dusting off.  In fact, Miss Havisham‘s outlook on life would have vastly improved had she used the Urban Dictionary as a word-of-the-day resource.   True of us all.

Also, I will happily explain pantsuits.  First, let’s define our terms, because “pantsuits” and “pant suits” are two very different beasts.

Pant suits can be cute…

No my name ‘aint baby, it’s Jackie, Miss Brown if you’re nasty.

Meanwhile, pantsuits, are not, nor can they ever be, cute.

Yes? My name is Baby...

Who knew (other than Google) that the elimination of a single space would result in such catastrophe?

“Pantsuits” are matchy-matchy, often bright/citrus colored, often elastic-implied, synthetic material outfits that are always worn as a unit.  These are not separates, honey, so don’t even try it.  They are a single step from a nurse’s uniform and worn by ladies a half step away from the nursing home.

I fully plan on wearing these comfort-over-style-sets, while sipping iced tea and eating cheesecake at the Shady Pines retirement home.  Please join me.

Emily

Emily,

I feel like we have ignored the men here.  I wasn’t even sure the casual two-piece suit for men still existed, but lo and behold it does!

Favored by the stylish urban man of a certain age in the 1980s and often seen headed to/from church on a summer Sunday on Lisbon Ave in Milwaukee, this was the casual jazzy alternative to a more formal suit look.  And I am so happy to know this website exists.   For all your colorful suit, walking stick and alligator skin shoe needs!  

Dorigen