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Posts Tagged ‘king’s road’

For Hallowe’en this year, BMad suggested that he and reprise I the costume M and I wore  many years ago to the infamous (and yet-to-be-topped) “I See Dead People” party hosted by J and LHR when they lived here in T.O.

Is it a totally appropriate costume for our workplace? Maybe not…. On the other hand, sometimes people are drug addict/punk rock stars who do murder their drug addict girlfriends and then do o.d. in jail and who would we be if we were not raising these important issues for discussion with the young minds of today?
(Also, no one except [some of] the adults in the building knew who we were supposed to be*.)

I look like an idiot in these, as I was trying to look sulky and bratty, but had a bad case of the giggles, brought on by BMad’s gleeful joy at wearing eyeliner…

Just so you can see that our shoes are in character, too.

*My favourite overheard comment of the day was from a conversation between two grade 9 girls:
“Oh! Did you see? It’s so cute! Mr. P and Ms. O came dressed as grunge rockers!”
Jesus wept, people. Jesus wept.

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I think I found this amazing photo at this wonderful blog.

As BMad would say, “Pretty great.”

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I know it is hard to believe when you look at me these days, but probably the most enduring aesthetic influence on me is the punk movement. I love the 50s, too, but I am not exaggerating when I say that, every single day of my life, I have to talk myself out of donning holey tights, army boots and something with metal studs on it. I still don’t really (not really) believe that such outfits are inappropriate for a lady my age.  I am also not 100% convinced that dyeing my hair eggplant-coloured next fall is a bad idea.
This inability to let go of the punk aesthetic is, by the way, largely responsible for most of my middle-aged sartorial gaffes.

I would 100% wear Johnny's outfit today. It is one of my favourite looks ever.

So I felt it like a physical blow just now when I heard that Malcolm McLaren died of cancer this morning. Some of you will remember the postcard that hung for years in my locker and, later in my dorm room and in various apartments; it was a photo of a punk couple on the King’s Road in London, taken in the mid-80s. (It is for another time to debate whether charging to have your photo taken for tourists is über-punk or selling out….I vote for the former, however.) Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols, along with the still-influential Vivienne Westwood, helped create a sartorial movement that visually echoed the primal scream that was punk— a violent rejection of the socio-economic oppression of Britain’s underclass.

Just look at them: those are some fantastically stylish blokes, those Sex Pistols!

Punk was raw, new, dangerous and kind of scary and, to me, endlessly fascinating. It still is.
The clothes and hair presented me with a way to express my own rejection of a world into which I felt I did not fit. I was never truly a “punk”– how could I be? I was born too late and in the wrong country and I am too afraid to ever really break any serious rules. Also, in those days, had I shoved a safety pin through some part of  my face, I think my very accepting mother might have found her tolerance pushed to the limit. And I was never rejecting my mother or her values– I was rejecting the values that surrounded me at school and in my small town.
(Where my mum often found herself saying, “She’s a NICE GIRL. Really,” as she wheeled her cart through the grocery store with me in tow, sporting some kooky get-up and haircut. Obviously I was a nice girl: would I be doing groceries with  my mother if I were not? 🙂 )
Nothing I ever wore or did to my hair seems remotely outrageous when I look back on it, but I know that our town and our school were not ready for the few of us who dared to be different. I always longed to look as wild and dangerous and cool as the boys and girls who lived the movement for real.
(Remember Cicely/Sid, anyone? She was so outrageously hip!)

In any case, I never did make it to Sex, the iconic shop in the King’s Road and the brainchild of McLaren and Westwood, but I always wanted to go.  Both McLaren and Westwood managed to survive punk (when so many didn’t) and to stay true to the ethos while (and what could be more punk rock, really?) also becoming wildly successful. LHR and M know that it is my dream to own a piece of Westwood’s work one day; her sense of tailoring is exquisite. Like McQueen, she is a master of deconstructed structure. And, as you can see in her Fall 2010 Ready To Wear collection, she remains true to her punk rock roots, no matter what she does.

Rest in peace, Malcolm McLaren.
Or in whatever a punk icon would prefer to rest.

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Thinking back to one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog, I realize I haven’t quite used it to its full potential.  Hopefully, the title has tipped you off. It’s a chance to share what I’ve (or you’ve) never worn. In doing so, it should provide a resolution to this problem in one of two ways.

  1. You dear YYZ or YVR or YYZ’s Mum or the few other lurkers we have on here can provide me guidance as to a potential outfit I could pull together around the said piece
  2. You dear YYZ etc. can tell me that it was a poor purchase and I can move on.

Now both of these resolutions are perfectly acceptable because at least if the choice is number 2, I’ll feel better because:

  1. I can stop wasting my time and energy trying to figure out what ‘goes’
  2. I will feel better about the purchase/acquisition as the item will be documented digitally and I’ll feel less guilty about not having worn it
  3. I can remove said item from my overly crowded little London home and J will be happy that I have one less item in our household.

So here goes. In fact these were the boots that I thought of immediately when I thought “what have i never figured out, but wanted to like so much.”. I believe I bought these 4 summers ago in the King’s Road*. (I’m in London, we say “in” vs “on” Don’t ask me why I’m not the English major) When I saw them, I had to have them. They were so cool. I was going to be cool. Plus they were on sale, whoohoo!

Remember, NOTHING is a good deal if you don’t wear it. So, Folks is there an answer for these puppies?

Proof: that I haven’t  worn them. They are in the  blue box at the bottom of my shoe boxes. Not exactly easy access.

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What I’ve BARELY worn:
Boots: They’re navy, turquoise and orange calf-high flat boots. The  turquoise toes and heels are patent and the navy  sock is jersey (form fitting). The  orange accents include soles and elastic bands up the calf. The Brand is Strena by Jose Antonio from a shop called Sukie‘s at 285 King’s Road. Please Help. Are they ready for the museum, revitalisation or the bin?

A bit of commentary on the King’s Road:

*When I was looking for a good link for King’s Road, I came across this blog entry. I love the description of the street and its evolution. For those of you in YYZ, it sounds like the transformation of Yorkville from Bohemia to tourist tap. Although, we do love Yorkville when the Toronto Film Festival kicks off. YYZ, you should try to go out and be a Satorialist there.

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