Commes des Garcon; avante garde fashion

Commes des Garcon

I LOVED this top row. ‘Unfinished’ garments that I would straight up wear.

Commes des garcon

The architecture they created to display the show was just ineradicable.

Forgive me for not posting sooner on the MET’s Spring Costume Institute’s exhibit, Rei Kawakubo/ Commes des Garcon: Art of the In-Between. This show is smaller than last years, but in my opinion, exceedingly more impressive. The layout and architecture that the curator used to display the show was a work of art itself. The Architecture creating two stories and abstract shapes  made this show almost be sensory overload, but in the best way possible.  Seems like a contradiction right?  Well, Rei Kawakubo is not here to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and neither is this show. Her brand, Commes des Garcon translates to “Some of the Boys.”  She is a Japanese artist who was not interested in keeping with tradition.  She turns traditional ideas on their head. Take the journey through the show though photos below.

Comme des Garcon, dealth dress

There are little black dresses sewn into this dress. Creepy as hell.

Commes Des Garcon

The cut and style here was so dreamy and a little creepy.

Comme des Garcon

This front dress, I’d wear it.

The first thing that caught my eye was the Birth/Marriage/Death section.  The Victorian era cut and look speaks to my romantic soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commes Des Garcon

The tailoring on these jackets reminded me of Alexander McQueen. Just loved these sleeves!

The suites were amazing.  I loved the tailoring.  This grey one does not seem to be very practical, but that was a trend I could tell though the entire show.  She does not care if the garment is practical or adheres to some fashion ‘standard.’ She just creates what she likes.

 

 

 

 

Commes des Garcon

Red tartan completely made me think Alexander McQueen.

Commes des Garcon

The sleeves. I’m in love with the one on the right behind the grey.

The rest of the show really got into abstract creations.  It was a wild ride into the art of “I really am creating art and not functional fashion.”  And I liked it.

 

 

Commes des Garcon

I could see how this influenced other styles. I liked the cage-like black ribbon detailing.

If you are looking for avant garde fashion,

Commes des Garcon

This was crazy! Looked like baby bottoms sewn onto an outfit.

there really is no one better than Rei Kawakubo.  I felt like this was an art show that happened to be clothing.  Truly an interesting and fun exploration into what is fashion, what is art, and is there really a difference? Perhaps not.

 

 

 

 

I really loves these colors and feudal Japanese influences.

Commes des Garcon

At first glance these seems normal, and then you see there are random bumps and lumps where they would not normally be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commes des Garcon

I would wear some of this in the heart of winter in New York.

Commes des Garcon

The head pieces here reminded me of Tim Burton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom, Period!

This post is about periods!  That’s right, periods.  Ladies, if you are anything like me, when it comes to figuring out what to wear for five to seven days when you are menstruating can be so horrible .  (we are going to get really real and personal here ya’ll!) I have never been able to use tampons during my period. The pain was too much.  Since I started menstruating at thirteen I have had to use pads ever since. This has lead to years of chafing, ‘diaper’ rash, unintended leaks or massive fear of leaks every single month. I could only wear pants because I was so afraid of any sort of disaster and would wear only black undies during this time. I was getting SO fed up.  I decided to try the diva cup, but honestly it was not much better than tampons.  SO, enter period panties.  While riding the subway into work one day, I saw an ad for THINX underwear.  Underwear designed and built to be your pad and underwear all rolled into one and specifically for that time of the month. I went to their website and was sold.  Here was my thought process:

  1. The cost of pads or tampons a year is more than the cost of a set of four period panties.  And since the panties will last longer than a year, I will be saving money in the long run.
  2. Waste: I will have less trash and waste I am putting in a landfill every month and who doesn’t want to do their little bit for the environment?
  3. I might be able to wear anything I want again!  Skirts, dresses, colors other than black!
  4. They support women in countries where the education and access to hygiene products are at an all time low so the women there can be empowered! How can I not want to help?!

HyperFocal: 0

SO, I ordered a set of four (they have deals if you order more at one time). Once I received them, the next month, I used them. I.Was.Sold.

After six months of using them now, here are all my thoughts.

PRO’S

  • The freedom alone has been amazing.  I never have to worry about stuff slipping, chafing, giving me toxic shock syndrome, etc. I just put them on and go and not think about it until about 8 hours later when it’s time to put a new pair on. I want to wear a dress? Done.  Skirt? Done.  I, as a general rule, never really wear white on my period, but these, I feel I could risk it (If only the underwear cam in flesh tone so you know, people couldn’t see my black undies under my white outfit!).
  • ‘Free Bleeding’ has never really seemed like an off thing since I have always used pads.  I can understand how women might freak out, but trust me, after the first few “OH NO, OH WAIT” moments, you will be fine.
  • They are easy to clean. Surprisingly enough you feel pretty dry (until like hour 7 on a heavy day).
  • The cut is surprisingly sexy.  The lace they use with the actual fabric is pretty and I don’t feel like an ugly bloated balloon the entire time I’m on my period.
  • and honestly it is just really empowering in my opinion to not be such a slave to constantly changing out things and making sure I am not leaking, offending, or uncomfortable.
  • For women who are even going through the change or have passed it this could be a nice option for other little leaks that happen with age (ladies, we all know it’s coming one day).

CON’S

  • After months of use now the underwear is stiff in the area with the extra padding in the crotch.  It is clean, for sure, as I hand wash and also cold machine wash, but after months of use it’s not as soft as it was when I first got it.
  • As a large girl, the hip huger panties do not stay up on me as it folds over my tummy, so the only ones I can wear are the high waist ones (pictured above).
  • The lace in the high waist undies are gone and it’s just mesh now.  I think the lace is sexier.

So, in essence I say, give it a try ladies! What do you have to lose?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

I have only used THINX, but there are other companies that have undies or pads that are like this to.  They are below:

Lunapads

Anigan

Vv SkiVvys

Dear Kate

 

Fall Fashion Means Boots

FALL is here!  This is my absolute favorite season.  The colors of the clothing and the colors of the leaves are a harmonious blend of beautiful crisp air change.  I can start drinking hot tea and getting cozy in sweaters! Also, did I mention boots?  I never liked boots until I moved to New York where boots are a necessity.  Follow me on my wish list for wonderful fall fashion finds below:

Sweater:

H&M: I have a love/hate relationship with this brand.  They make cute clothing,hmprod but never in plus size I feel.  Take this hooded sweater for example.  As a tall girl, the idea of a sweater being able to cover my hand, AMAZING!  But this sucker only goes up to size 12.  BOO! Look how comfy it appears though.  I could snuggle up in this for days. If anyone has an APB on a sweater like this in size 16, you let me know!

 

Skirt:

16waut_wg675_spk_w01Boden: I am quickly falling in LOVE with this clothing company. Their product is really well made and almost everything goes up to size 18, and TALL! This tweed pink skirt is so bright and modern retro, I’m in love.  It comes in 5 color options.  If you want to look smart, classic, and a bit original, this skirt is for you! Also, if you want to get me one while your at it, I wont say no!  Size 18 Tall please!

 

 

Hat:

cn11046282Old Navy: I am a Gap Co. obsessive, I can’t lie.  These days there is a lot of cross over in the three brands, Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic, when it comes to accessories. SO, for that very reason, I’m digging the less expensive but just as cute felt hat from Old Navy.  It comes in tan as well. I feel like I should wear hat’s more often and this style has now worn on me enough to warrant me wanting to sport it!

 

Boots:

160182_6_1400x1400Payless: If you follow my Instagram feed it is no surprise I LOVE Payless.  They are a very reasonably priced shoe that goes up to size 12 with cute shoes.  These create a trifecta of wonderful and also painful as I often want enough shoes to break my bank three times over.  This Fall, these cute ankle boots, which are all the rage, come in brown, olive, and black.  AND these go up to size 13.  Holla’ at us big footed mavens!

 

 

Splurge:

c9131_pk5651_mJ.Crew: I have a confession to make.  EVERY fall and winter I want to buy every coat J. Crew has!  The cuts, color, styles, everything!  This year they have tweed, velvet, and more.  This vibrant pink jacket I think would go great with my dreamy Boden skirt.  J. crew also goes up to size 16 and has tall options.  ALWAYS a plus in my book. Christmas presents accepted year round.

 

Do you have any Fall Fashion finds you are excited about? Share them with me in the comments! Happy pumpkin (carving, eating, decorating) everyone.  I’m off to debate grabbing my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season 😉

 

Fashion Through History

Fashion defines us as a culture and as a person.  It has been the way since mankind started living in communities.  Long before I was a fashion blogger in NYC I was creating art. During this time I started thinking about how fashion defines us, in particular how it defines women; specifically in history women are defined by what they wear.  Social status, marriage status, work, or the ability to survive without working, could all be read by what a woman wore. In many ways it still can. When portraits were painted of women for potential suitors (the original selfies, am I right?!), their necks were painted long.  This was not because women had longer necks then but instead it was to highlight the jewels they wore.  It was a way to say “Hey, this woman comes from wealth!  You should marry her!”

With this in mind I set out to create an art series showing the evolution of fashion through western history. This series was fun for me to create.  Looking at it now I want to add works that reflect a more global perspective of the evolution of fashion and how it relates to women of other cultures.  But for now, you can enjoy the images below.

For more works of art you can check out my artist web site: www.redladylocks.com.

Roman Woman

Roman Female Apparel. Fun fact (or misogynist fact, you decide)! Women in this era were not allowed to wear silk as the male leaders felt women wearing silk was too suggestive and revealing.

MidEvil Woman

Mid Evil Upper Class Woman Apparel

Elizabethan

Elizabethan Upper Class Women Apparel. Notice how there is more ornate embellishments which evolved form the more streamlines Mid Evil apparel? History has an ebb and flow to style.

MarieAntoinet

This is specifically a French dress a la Marie Antoinette [who was responsible for transforming an entire nation, and then the European continent’s way of dressing]. If you can, look up the paintings by Vigee Le Brun. She expertly pained the Queen and her family showing the fashion of the time.

JaneAustin

Regency Era Apparel.

Victorian

Victorian Era Apparel. The corsets! I can’t breathe!! 😉

1920

1920’s Flapper Apparel. Is it wrong that I want the 2020’s to have the same fashion?

 

 

Body Positivity and Me

This weekend I listened to a pod cast from This American Life called “Tell Me I’m Fat.”

You can listen to it here: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/this-american-life/e/589-tell-me-im-fat-44948070?autoplay=true

Listening to this was hard, wonderful, inspiring, and difficult as well as so many other

things I cannot put into words to describe, all at the same time.

Red at four years old

Me when I was 4 years old. One of my favorite pictures of myself.

To understand why I was a tornado of emotion I feel like I should give you some history about my life.  When I was very little, (3, 4, & 5), I was very active.  I ran, I danced, I swam so much my hair turned green every summer.  Then, being molested changed how I interacted with the world.  I stopped my fun activates and become more withdrawn.  Then, another tragedy stuck my family.  My sister’s father, my step father, died before my sister was born.  The double punch a few years apart in my life left me with few outlets to express my emotions because as a child I did not have words to describe what and how I was feeling.  So, I did the only thing I had in life, I ate.  I ate for everything.  I can remember sneaking food.  I remember feeling ashamed about it.  But mostly I remember having to buy fat girl clothes at the age of 7/8 for my first grade year.  I absolutely hated shopping.  Kids being kids, I was ridiculed for being tall and fat. And each comment landed hard.  And with each comment I just kept eating.  By the time high school rolled around, all 5’11” of me was still over weight.  I joined weight watchers my JR year of high school and got pretty thin, for me.  And then more emotional crazy happened and gained it all back.  The next decade of my life has been filled with losing weight, keeping it off for a while, and gaining it back.  It was not until about the age of 27 I started to like myself and by the age of 30 I have embraced who I am, extra weight and all. Everything in this pod cast brought up every negative experience I’ve had with my weight from myself and others around me throughout my life.

Red at 25

Me at 25. This is the thinnest I’ve ever been at 170lbs and a size 10.

From being ridiculed by my peers when I was younger to all the experiences I’ve had trying to date at my current weight. This is why I had to write a blog about it.  I know how hard life can be at my size and have become more aware of the types of scripts I say to myself about my size, and others size as well.  I’ve grown more compassionate about all women and their bodies over the past few years.  I’ve really worked to embrace the body positive movement.

It is hard for me to be so body positive  because just this year I realized my relationship with food was a disastrous one.  I have an eating disorder.  I am an over-eater, also known as a compulsive eating disorder. So, admitting this to myself, it is hard to reconcile being a large woman and also needing to work on and control how and what I eat. Does this mean I cannot like myself at this size since I’ve gotten to this size due to my compulsion?  I can’t eat cake and candy anymore, so am I a hypocrite for saying other women should never feel shame if they eat it when I myself feel ashamed in myself for eating it? There are a lot of emotions that have come to play every day of this journey so far. As a result I’ve had to do a lot of work on my mental and spiritual self.  I have always considered myself a healthy person and my doctors would agree.  According to my blood work and test results I am a perfectly healthy woman.  However I’ve come to realize health is a very malleable concept.  I am working on removing emotions from how I eat and just eating to survive.  To me, when I can have an emotional day full of my current eating triggers (like a random guy telling me I am gorgeous or talking about

Red at Art Show 2015

Me at 32, 215lbs, size 16, at my art show in the summer of 2015. I’m wearing shaping undergarments for this dress.

spending money I don’t have) and not immediately eat my feelings that will be when I am truly healthy. Whatever my outside becomes or is once I’ve reached that level of healthy, I have to be OK with and right now, because of how I got to the weight I am, it is really difficult for me to be OK with it, but I am working on it every day. This is why most of my photos are only selfies these days like the featured image here, and the image to the right is the first full body picture I’ve let anyone take in about five years.

Now what does this have to do with fashion you might ask? Everything.  How we view ourselves directly relates to how we present ourselves to the world.  And part of that presentation is the clothing we wear.  Every day I make a choice to wear something that I know I’ll feel good in.  There are days where I challenge myself to wear something I would not have chosen a few years ago because it “exposes” me in a way I never allowed myself to before, even at my thinnest.  This has helped me in slowly building my confidence.  And this can be applicable to anyone of any size.  Do you love wearing that pink sweater?  Then wear the hell out of it! Need a confidence boost?  Wear that outfit that makes you feel sexy! Let us all strive to be someone who loves themselves regardless of our size, shape, or cultural pressures.  To me that is what being body positive is. How about you?

Who I am, What this Blog is About, and You!

Welcome to Art She Wears!  My name is Red and I am a visual artist and an aspiring fashion maven. About ten months ago, at the urging of my neighbor (shout out to kick ass neighbors who encourage you to do great things!) I started an Instagram pho-tog to document my daily outfits.  The response was positive.  I’d never been much of a writer, but my friends and family  kept saying, “Why not start a blog?!”  Well, ten months later, here I am, starting a blog.

Pink Flats, perfect for spring!

Pink flats with T-Strap, Size 12, from Shoes of Prey.

What will my blog be about?  Well, the obvious answer is fashion.  I am a tall (5’11” in flats) and currently at the time of writing this a size 16 (yea, I told you my size and I’m not ashamed of it). I also have a large foot, size 12. I will focus mostly on how to find clothing that fits someone who is tall, plus sized, and has large feet because that is the lens through which I see the world.  But, I celebrate every person at any size; more diversity in the world the better!

Besides fashion, I want to try and get you to think about your own fashion as a form of art.  In a nutshell my outlook on fashion can be summed up like this: Let’s create something today! If that means creating a look for work, for fun, for going out, whatever it is, I look at it as an artistic creation and every person can be an artist this way.

I hope you join me in this experiment of fashion and art and give me feedback on what you would like me to talk about, focus on, or share. And remember: Wear it because you love it, it makes you feel good, and because you are a work of art.