thoughts on a pile of accessories

On July 25, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

These accessories from Monday’s post look so good without me.

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It struck me that this is how I usually see my accessories and clothes (and pretty much everything I own): isolated, out of the context of an ensemble, waiting to be used rather than in use.

The thoughts then meandered like so:

Even or especially when in use, I often can’t see things I’m wearing. Necklaces and earrings, invisible, only noted in the mirror periodically. And clothes…I don’t actually see what I’m wearing once I’m past the initial putting-on. I feel them, I know them, but I don’t really see them (except, in my case, later sometimes, in photos). Rings and watches, bracelets, maybe…but I’m not typically looking at them, or paying attention to them. They, along with everything else, are temporarily assimilated into the body, and I forget about them until they get in my way, somehow, or until someone else comments on them.

Masses* of objects waiting for a purpose, to be put to use. Even in an Iris Apfel mood (here’s a great conversation with her), I can only wear so many things at once. This ties into my interest in displaying the dormant objects. I want to wear them, sure, I want to be the kind of person who would and does wear them, but also I want to see them. And in a way I can only see them when I’m not wearing them. And in a way, the pleasure of wearing them is due in no small part to the appreciation developed over extended not-wearing of them, during which they became familiar in a manner that is entirely distinct from the familiarity established in the wearing (which has its own potentially powerful appeal).

*Of course I have too many objects, despite always culling, always curating.

Thinking about dressing (clothes or accessories, makeup, etc) as an act of decoration, whether careful or careless. Thinking about a closet as a jumble of decor options, as a store might have a box of candles, ribbon, flowers, standing by. Thinking how odd for our culture to elevate (increasingly, it seems) that box alone, without the store or the window display or any application whatsoever. It’s almost preferable, the objects in the absence of any application, in a pure state of being. A shoe without a foot.

[Amassing metaphors is a pleasant activity. Let me know if you have any good ones.]

I get it, though. I often like objects for themselves alone, and don’t even intend to wear them much at the time of purchase. How could I, when there are so many others rotating in, competing for air time. But I rationalize: the wearing is to be stretched out over some decades (’tis a sound bargain!). This is an extremely careful and discerning kind of consumerism, but still a flagrant one. There is something a little monstrous about it.

crafted: patched beanie

On February 3, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

This generic stocking cap/beanie has been sitting in my closet for years, forgotten (why did I ever get it in the first place?), but I came across it on a bad hair day recently and what do you know, I like it. It has the effect [like baldness, or very short hair, or a swimming cap] of isolating and so throwing a spotlight on the face, which results in a whole new set of instincts about presentation. Namely, I want to wear unprecedented volumes of eyeliner.

After years of passively owning both the stocking cap and this cute little whale patch (which I think I got when I was 10 or so, and have somehow preserved all this time), I finally happened to think of them both in the same moment, gathered needle and thread (I sewed a thing!), and lo, a new and improved hat was born.

I inherited this thread from my great grandmother...

I inherited this thread from my great grandmother…

Theorize that part of me has the precise aesthetic appreciation of a little Korean girlchild*.

*Exhibit A: my current cellphone charm is a stuffed baby turtle:

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I want to wear it all the time now, provided eyeliner. And black eyeliner, too, which I almost never wear. Like so:

Urban Decay 24/7 liner in zero

Urban Decay 24/7 liner in zero

I like accessories like this; something slightly out of my normal style range that inspires me not to look like myself and to experiment with entirely new patterns. Thus expanding my range and allowing for still greater expansion.

The only thing is, once I put it on, I am committed. Can’t really take it off…disaster underneath. [This is the trouble with hats, for me. Also my head is kind of big?]

Still, satisfying to have raised a dormant object up into a state of usability.