From the New York TImes' dance critic
"You have a more interesting life,” the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood once told The Independent, “if you wear impressive clothes.”
[Fabbers: what's the most impressive thing you're not wearing lately?]
"Over the past few months, I have found myself in an embarrassing situation. I have a closet full of impressive clothes, and while life is strangely interesting right now, it’s not because I am wearing any of them. They have nowhere to go. They hang, sadly collecting dust and wrinkles, until every now and again I climb the spiral staircase to my version of a walk-in closet — it’s the shabby half of the second floor of a loft with racks from The Container Store — to give them a shake. But mostly I zip in and out.
I hate the phrase “wearable art”; I’m not a collector. I don’t like the word “fancy” to describe clothing. In recent years, I am turned off by dresses and skirts. I like to wear clothing, no matter how bizarre, as casually as possible; to mix and match according to mood and (crucial) weather; and if I fail, it’s like writing. I can try again tomorrow.
I like to recycle. If I fall out of love with something, instead of regretting it, off it goes to Beacon’s Closet — the Beacon’s on Bogart Street. I love the staff. They love my clothes. When I take stuff there, I usually find something better. Before the coronavirus happened, my time of rest and relaxation was a deep dive through the racks after a Sunday matinee. I didn’t have to buy a thing.
This might have something to do with how I was raised. My brothers confirmed that when we were growing up there were occasions when the family would walk off dinner at our local TJ Maxx, the only shop we could go in where there was something for everyone. At home, “TJ” was spoken with the sort of affection a normal family might use for a beloved pet. The minute I moved out of the house, my father took over my closet. We all know we have a coat problem. The only thing missing at my parents’ house are empty hangers.
A few years before the pandemic, I began toning it down. Interesting is a tricky word. While I dress for the art form that I cover — dance deserves respect — I was starting to feel scared that I might end up looking like the mom on “Schitt’s Creek.” I have seen real-life versions of Moira Rose at Dover Street Market. It is not for me. Clothes shouldn’t wear you. You can’t buy style. And right now the only fashion that matters is showing that you care about someone or something other than yourself. It’s a face mask and the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
But even though fashion can seem trivial at the moment, it’s still comforting to see someone out there — during an evening stroll or in line at the pharmacy — who knows what they’re doing with color and texture.