Monday, October 23, 2006

while I'm away

I'll be away this week. Remember to take the trash out. Don't fight over the remote. The emergency numbers are by the phone.

When I return I will be moving on to talking about Laura and Vionnet, plus home economics. Kora is really into home ec. Then I want to know what the deal is with safaris. Is jungle fever going around again? And of course we will discuss the matter of why Uli didn't win. (She was robbed!)

Meanwhile, break into small groups and talk amongst yourselves. Here's the topic: Is Laura the new Martha Stewart? What suggestions do you have for various segments on her show: Laura Bennett's Living Fabulously?

last (slam) dance

This is my final Jeffrey post before moving on to discuss the other designers' collections. I'm afraid that punk was not entirely out of my system. It was, shall we say, impacted -- and this little rant is its colonic therapy release.

Another installment of: bloody hell
(or kora ranting on a tangential topic)

jeffrey the punk

I know I made fun of his rat-tail and Spinal Tap rocker style (he had it coming) but I have to say that I liked the song that he played for his runway show and in the end it's all about the art, man.

It is true that lovely models and kih guest critics Insouciance & Apéritif (at left) have been known to repeatedly refer to him as a poseur rock star, but they are French and only listen to Europop so what do they know.

Anyway, he won for chrissakes so why should we cut him any slack? He's laughing his way to the bank.
an aside on dorks and fools and being cool:
That said, I don't imagine myself as the arbiter of what is punk or what is cool. Let's just remind ourselves who is speaking, shall we? I'm a bona fide geek. But geeks are sort of like the modern-day fools. Their role is to mock the powers that be. And they often know a surprising amount about cool stuff. They just don't know how to act very cool.
I really do have a topic and a point . . .

This is not about Jeffrey as much as this is about the judges. This is is about how the judges seem to believe whatever Jeffrey tells them. Of course I'm exaggerating in this rant. That's why I call it a rant. But somebody's got to take the piss out of Michael Kors and it might as well be me. (Be assured, there will be a "kora on kors" post soon!!))

Okay, that was just the set up. So hang onto your eyeliner, your chains and your flannel my goth, punk, and grunge rockers because I'm heading into earbleed feedback ranting:

My point is that the judges know diddly squat about punk/grunge/goth/and whatever else they called it. It was all the same to them. They might as well have called it what my mother did: "that music you young people like to listen to."

In the early 80s Michael Kors and Nina Garcia were probably doing more important things than going to see the Meat Puppets play on an off-night at a country western bar in some nowheresville in the midwest.

They most certainly had something better to do than go to the Replacements show when Paul Westerberg was too drunk to perform.

However, they could not have been doing anything more important at the time than having the privilege seeing Hüsker Dü's last show.

That isn't to prove I was some kind of hip punk. It just says I was a college student . . . who went to some good shows and some shows that sucked and in truth it says that I usually had boyfriends that liked cool music . . . otherwise I could still be listening to the Carpenters, who, by the way, totally rule.

My point is that I know just enough to know that the judges know jack shit about this stuff and, more to the point, Jeffrey has greatly benefitted from their ignorance.

Jeffrey can tell them that a green and white barbershop quartet jacket is punk.

Or he can tell them that it is inspired by Japanese demon stories.

They will, apparently, believe anything he tells them.

Since he's won Jeffrey has been acting like some sort of Obi Wan Kenobi dispensing faux Zen wisdom about taming the monkey in your life (by spanking it or putting it in a time out?) and saying that he would never be so mean and petty like Laura etc..

Yeah. It's rich. Aside form the Vincent-like self-delusion it takes to believe that about himself, I'd just like to point out that Jeffrey may not have cheated but he certainly wasn't the model of candor, let alone basic decency. In fact, I'd crown him the king of the bullshitters. (Keith and Vincent tried, but let's face it, in the end no one believed them.) Jeffrey figured out the game and he played it to win. It's all about character and drama. It's all about the story. It doesn't matter if it is true. I can't say that I disagree. In the end it is just a tv show. A reality tv show. That's entertainment. I don't find it good entertainment. Or even very interesting entertainment. I like Project Runway when it is about the creative process and the work of fashion design. And I like the fun and funny and interesting personalities on the show as well. I would not count Jeffrey among them. But the ratings go up when the intelligence -- and integrity -- of the show goes down. So it goes.

A few recommended readings & a classic cult film:
Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century by Greil Marcus
In the Fascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992 by Greil Marcus
Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad
Repo Man (1984) DVD Widescreen Collectors Edition Re-issue. Directed by Alex Cox. Produced by Mike Nesmith. (Yes, that Mike Nesmith.) Click here for a review.
Duke: I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.
Otto: That's bullshit. You're a white suburban punk just like me.
Duke: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Emilio Estevez in a scene from Repo Man (1984)

recommended reading

Here are a few book suggestions, from the relevant to the random, in reference to my post discussing Jeffery's use (or not) of Japanese ghost and demon stories. To read that post scan down or click here.
Japanese Ghosts and Demons: Art of the Supernatural by Stephen Addiss
Ukiyo-e: An Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Prints by Tadashi Kobayashi
Tattoos of the Floating World: Ukiyo-E Motifs in the Japanese Tattoo by Takahiro Kitamura
The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion by Yuniya Kawamura
Fruits and Fresh Fruits (photographs of Tokyo street fashion) by Shoichi Aoki
Inventing Japan: 1853-1964 By Ian Baruma
Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things By Lafcadio Hearn
Kwaidan (1964) Directed by Masaki Kobayashi (wide-screen DVD re-release)
Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth about Reality by Brad Warner
Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization Publication Date: November 2006 (you can pre-order now) by Ian Condry (Click on Ian's name to go to his web site and listen to samples of Japanese hip-hop.)
NOTE: There is nothing authoritative or definitive about this list. Please feel free to add your own relevant or random recommendations!