gillis and her big mouth

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Month: April, 2014

Fashion Forward?

I followed this link ( on twitter which breathlessly extolled the many virtues of a fashion collection entitled, Pangaea. It was work done by a designer I’d followed during a Project Runway season so I clicked on it. I enjoyed this designer enough to follow him on twitter, so I had high expectations.

After clicking, I was transported to a world where Cher’s touring wardrobe circa 1990 was reworked. And overworked. This was the era when she wore large stylized Mohawk headpieces and coordinating costumes that emphasized the reproductive zones on her body. Cher’s outfits were black, these new designs are mostly white. Cher’s outfits celebrated curves (despite the fact that Cher had few and was generally very lean), these new outfits obliterate them by covering some of them with a leather, eye-shaped trim that looks a bit like white duct-tape placed haphazardly across the part of the body that might house breasts, if models were allowed to have anything beyond nipples on their chest. The nether region is treated to some serious fringe which functions as an arrow to the crotch and rear. It is one of the least sexy, least “animal” looking things I’ve ever seen. In fact, it looks like something I might have tried to cobble together for a dance costume in the world’s saddest talent show. Have I mentioned I cannot sew?

I did not see these designs walk the runway in person, and these photographs may not do them justice, but this collection isn’t interesting, edgy, bold, or sexy. I know soccer moms such as myself are not the intended audience, but it begs the question- who is? Punk rockers wouldn’t wear this, it’s too slick and silly, not edgy or real enough. Young, professional, urban women- the usual target demographic for designers- would have trouble finding the right context for these clothes. And when the post-apocalyptic warrior chicks come out of the stainless steel pods in 50 years, they are going to need more protection than this collection can provide. Fringe cannot stop bullets, radiation, or coffee spills. Take my word for this.

I have a feeling that if this collection is the next, big thing, I’m going to be one of those women who ends up fashionably frozen in time. We all know her. She is still wearing shoulder pads and blue eyeshadow. She didn’t have to “rebuy” leggings when they made their triumphant return a few years back because she still has the pair she bought at The Limited in 1985. I never wanted to be this woman, I’ve tried to remain fashionably relevant within reason, but if we all start wearing these leather Eye of Horus patches over our breasts, I’m done. And I’ll be collecting and hoarding as many cardigans as possible.


I Saw it First

My husband has joined my exercise group. Just seeing that on the page irks me a little. There, I’ve said it. My group. He joined my group. The group that supported me through a 30 pound weight loss. These beautiful people helped me believe I could do it and they’ve dragged me past the margins of fitness into the path of strength and health. I’m about halfway there, I have a bit more weight to lose, but beyond that, I’m nowhere near the fitness level I now aspire to because of this group.

So what’s the big deal about my husband joining in? After all, he did ask me if he could. He has had serious health issues and he needs a regular exercise routine. He wanted to make sure it was okay with me before he joined and I could find no reason to deny him the positive experience I had. No reason that wasn’t ridiculously petty and selfish that is. I couldn’t tell him I wanted these two hours each week to myself without being known as someone else’s something. I couldn’t tell him that I didn’t want him to find something in the experience lacking either. He can be critical and I didn’t want him to turn that glare on my community. I didn’t have it in me to share how much it has meant to me to finally have a group that doesn’t make me want to run screaming from its dysfunction, so I shrugged and said, “Sure, you can join Get Fit, it’ll be great. We can help each other.” But I didn’t really mean it.

The truth is that I am a very self-centered person on many levels. A few years ago I would have denied that, would not have owned up to my territorial ways, but now I see no reason to run from who I am. I never seem to get very far when I do. And gosh, people love how direct I am, let me tell you. Knowing how hurtful I can be when I let all my truthiness hang out, I kept my mouth shut and let him join. Let him. As if it wasn’t open to anyone with a checkbook. But you know what I mean.

So far we’ve had two classes together. Both fairly basic, no TRX straps or intricate sequences of exercises, no partner exercises. It’s actually okay. Probably more than okay if I can get myself to admit it. I can’t say that it feels great to be in it together because I’m still mourning that tiny slice of autonomy that I felt there. I have a feeling I’ll get over it and it will be great, but for a little while it will continue to feel a bit like it did in middle school when I discovered a friend bought the same shirt I had. I just want everyone to remember, I saw it first.