Author Archive

The WORN Fashion Journal’s Stylish Scary Movie Marathon

Previous installments of our WORN Fashion Journal series can be found here. Most recently: Anna’s Parents Review Paris Fashion Week.

INT. TORONTO’S EYESORE CINEMA ON QUEEN WEST – NIGHT

A tall brunette (ANNA) and her significantly less tall blonde friend (HALEY) are in deep concentration, furiously browsing through the horror movie section. ANNA is already in her pajamas, eagerly anticipating the shenanigans of the night that will follow. Her pajamas are from the clearance section from some outlet store, but she is totally rocking them. Seriously. She should work in magazines.

Suddenly, there is an ominous creak as the door opens, which is weird because the door to Eyesore is usually just propped open. HALEY and ANNA both jerk their heads around, expressions of sheer terror upon their faces. A sinister looking man stands before them (HALEY’S BOYFRIEND). He holds a bag of peanut M&M’s. HALEY, ANNA, and HALEY’S BOYFRIEND exchange solemn nods, their mission clear. As the camera pans back, the following words flash upon the screen:

THE WORN FASHION JOURNAL STYLISH SCARY MOVIE MARATHON

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The Eyes of Laura Mars

Vertigo

Don’t Look Now

Disturbing Behavior

The Red Shoes

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In Which Anna’s Parents Review Paris Fashion Week

The end of Paris Fashion Week brings to a close the major shows of the Spring/Summer 2014 season. You know who has a lot of opinions about clothing? My parents! Though neither of them usually gives much thought to what happens on the runway, there is no shortage of critical fashion analysis when I go home to visit, particularly from my mom (see: “You’re not going out in that, are you?” “I don’t think that’s supposed to be worn as a dress,” and “Isn’t this funky? I think this is funky.”) I joined them both on Skype last night to find out their thoughts about some of the more famous collections.

The Judges

1. Claire, a.k.a “Mom.” She describes her look as “very casual.” Her go-to outfit is black pants and a top with a three-quarter length sleeve. Her favourite places to shop are Winners and the Bay.

2. Mark, a.k.a “Dad.” He says his favorite outfit is “jeans, sneakers, and golf shirts.” He likes to pull his sweat socks up all the way when wearing them with shorts.

The Show: Gareth Pugh

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 2.22.31 PMClaire: Look #1. Really? Why/How/When/Where would anyone wear the headdress? And what is it?? The model’s face looks grumpy and quite frankly I don’t blame her.

Mark: The models look nasty. Like really, really mean!

Claire: Look #11, I like this one. Look #14? Inspiration for a Halloween costume. Hey, you asked dad to participate???

Anna: He was online.

Mark: Don’t let me influence your picks. Just think of me as that Simon guy on A.I.

Claire: #16?? For heaven’s sakes – the hat is sooo distracting that I don’t even look at the outfit.

Anna: The designer actually has a background in costume. A lot of big pop stars like Lady Gaga and Beyonce have worn his work.

Mark: ATTITUDE!!!!! Did you see the link to the David Bowie article I sent you?

Anna: Yes, dad, we’re doing something completely different now.

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I Am Jack’s Tacky Red Leather Jacket: Fight Club Fashion

Nobody loves their stuff as much as people who hate their stuff. Let me clarify: the people who place the greatest amount of thought, care, and effort into their stuff tend to be the people who are very seriously opposed to the concept of stuff. “It’s a prison, man,” they might say, or get very wide-eyed and talk about how the things you own end up owning you. These people have probably, at some point in their lives, watched or read Fight Club. The story that, as a very funny friend pointed out when I mentioned writing this article, is the literary/cinematic equivalent of wearing a fedora in your OkCupid profile pictures.

Mallory knows what I’m talking about: “You have to lose everything. Everything includes pants.

Pants are a thing, so.”

I re-watched the movie for the first time since I was about sixteen last week; I also read the book for the first time ever. Then I watched the movie with the DVD commentary. It was the longest six hours of my life. The whole experience reminded me of working at some fairs and shows where every other vendor was simmering with low-grade hostility towards me, because I was there with a fashion magazine. I was the enemy. I would be lucky if I escaped with some tight smiles and minimal eye contact, because every so often you would get some really pretty teen wearing an amazing leather jacket and vintage thigh-high Docs and this perfect shade of purple-red lipstick who wanted to lecture me on why I was shallow, or didn’t understand that material objects are meaningless, or that fashion with a capital ‘F’ was going to steal my soul.

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The Vogue-iest Parts of the September 2013 Issue of Vogue

Previous installments in this series can be found here.

“Emma Bloomberg, the foundation’s 34-year-old chief of staff, stands poised and seemingly unflappable in discreet jewels and one of the quietly elegant sleeveless sheath dresses she favors (the better to show her impressively CrossFit-toned arms).”

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“Spritz, dab, splash, roll. There are only so many ways to apply a fragrance – or so we thought.”

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“’Emma and Chris are very discerning about the folks that are allowed into their circle, and they’ve put together a very curated group of friends that’s like one big family,’ says Anton”

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“’I live on three island: Manhattan, one off the coast of Maine, and Key West,’ she says – each of which she fills with much-beloved botanical watercolors by Gertrude Hamilton, antique sailors’ valentines, and all manner of things Victorian.”

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“Next time a foodie friend takes out their phone at the dinner table, they may be doing more than sharing a picture of quinoa salad or tuna tartare.”

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“My two daughters – Ursula, six, and Tess, three – had been asked to follow Caro up the aisle, along with eight other children, on the most important day of her life. It was an honor I had been wondering if they would live up to since last summer, when the request first came.”

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“But before envying the supermodel for both her otherworldy beauty and her virtue, know that she’s also real. Sure she may want her family to go packaging-free for a week, ‘but I’m not going to be psycho mom telling Auden he can’t have a Clif Bar’ she says.”

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A Really Long Conversation About Fashion and Museums

Previous installments in this series can be found here.

Haley: So. Fashion and museums! Big topic.

Anna: You and I both had a lot of thoughts about this year’s Met fashion exhibit, Punk: Chaos to Couture. In early May they had a party where everyone came with “punk” inspired fashion. There was a lot of fashion’s elite, a lot of designers, starlets, actresses, models–

Haley: –The Gwyneths.

Anna: The Gywneths

Haley: The Jessicas.

Anna: Neither of us have seen the exhibit in person, though we both watched the livefeed. Actually, I had to cut in and out, because I kept going like this. [Let the records show that Anna facepalms.]

Haley: It was TOO painful. I have so many thoughts. One of the most horrifying moments was when Vivienne Westwood showed up with a picture of Bradley Manning pinned to her dress. It was like, legitimately punk, to hijack this event being held for the one percent, to confront them with, “Oh, here’s a photo of a person that you’re probably detaining illegally because he did something that challenges people in power.” When she started to go on a political diatribe, her mic was cut out and she was pushed out of the way.

Westwood is, at this point, pretty much part of the establishment. She’s earned a really serious level of respect from her peers as a living designer. AND she’s more or less responsible for what we think of as the pseudo-official “punk” look, which I hate saying, but there it is. Yet even someone in her position was not allowed to be political at this event. She was being way more punk in spirit than the Met was by trying to recreate what the CBGB’s bathroom looked like.

Anna: Clothes are such an important part of every sub-culture that I don’t think having a punk exhibition is a bad idea. But I want to ask what they were trying to accomplish with this show. If they were trying to celebrate the pure aesthetics of it, fashion at its most superficial, commodified level, well congratulations. There were a lot of metal studs. But if we want to talk about what punk is as an ideology, as a very flawed ideology, that’s a different exhibit. I mean, to the Met’s credit there were probably way more women and people of colour there than at the front row of a punk show in the 1970s.

Haley: I’m nodding emphatically

Anna: When I was shaking my head at the Met, it wasn’t because I was worried about them tarnishing the so-called purity of punk rock’s legacy. With punk there is so much bullshit already.

Haley: For me, it was never about feeling like this subculture had been co-opted, because its not my subculture to complain about. I always thought like it felt like a weird vanity project for the Met, and of course for Vogue.

But to defend the Met, even though why would you need to defend the Met because they are THE institution to rail against if you’re ever going to pick one, but I did hear curator Harold Koda speak at the Bata Shoe Museum a few years ago. It was genuinely wonderful, because he is so brilliant and such an important figure in fashion. He said something weird about how he envies the museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, which is where he used to work, because there are some very strange rules at the Met’s Costume Institute. They don’t have a permanent exhibition, so they’re always in the process of building two shows using what they have in the archive or what they can get donated. I feel like that rule is where we get a lot of these weird kind of filler exhibitions that don’t really make a lot of sense. It wouldn’t surprise me if they just happened to have enough clothes to fill 70% of a punk collection and they said, “OK, let’s just fill in the rest with whatever we can find and just do it.” How often do you get something like the McQueen exhibition?

Anna: Which brings us to the idea of fashion in museums AS A WHOLE.

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Concealer? I Barely Know Her! (Dies Laughing)

Previous installments in this series can be found here.

Here is a partial list of terrifying things I had to do while I was a beauty school student: apply cake liner to the inner lash line. Sit with a pound of clay on my face molded to make me look like a burn victim. Volunteer as a model for an aesthetician exam only to be told that my assigned student needed to perform a bikini wax to graduate. None of these experiences came close to matching the terror and apprehension I always felt about matching foundation shades. 



There are a lot of really simple skills you learn at beauty school. They aren’t easy skills – they’re just straightforward. Your teacher will say, “If you apply red lipstick in exactly the manner I’m demonstrating, it will look good,” and then you’ll mimic her and the red lipstick will go on perfectly. Eye makeup for television, bullet wounds for film, contouring for brides – all of these are complicated techniques with step-by-step instructions practically guaranteeing their success. But matching makeup to skin color is a completely different beast.

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The Meanest Skin Care Advice

Here it is: there is no cream, wash, toner, serum, vibrating brush, or whatever that will help your skin. That’s the truth. Deal with it.

When I worked at cosmetic counters in department stores, I would always, always get people asking for the creams that really worked. Like we were coconspirators; “don’t give me that fake shit you give to all the other customers,” they seemed to be saying, “you can trust me with the real deal.”

I always, always, always struggled with this aspect of the cosmetics industry. There are those who would like you to believe that all makeup and cosmetics is bullshit, and that’s just not true. If your goal is to paint your lips a different colour, makeup will accomplish this. If you want to achieve the illusion of thicker eyelashes, there are products that will do just that. But there is absolutely no product on earth that will reverse wrinkles, undo sun damage, permanently moisturize dry skin, or most offensively of all, lighten your skin tone. Sorry not sorry.

I am lying a little bit. Let me back up.

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Everything I Know About Contouring I Learned from Sex and the City

I was finishing beauty school right around the same time Sex and the City was ending. I looooved Sex and the City back then. I used to watch it more or less every day. I was 21 years old, I had no friends, and their relationships seemed like a dream–just four women trading quippy quips about shoes or whatever all day long.

Even as a considerably less intelligent 21-year-old, I always knew there were bad elements to the show. I hadn’t even learned the word ‘heteronormative’ yet but I knew the characters were way too obsessed with it. Pretty much everyone I know has since renounced the show, but it still comes up all the time. I’ve resigned myself to a life of comparative think pieces.

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