TUNDRANAUTICA

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Posts in the fashion category

The New Cold War

In a fashion showdown, who wins — Rus Clothing or Moods of Norway?

Moods of Russia Moods of Norway

Moods of Norway h/t goes to Nick Gillespie

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Packers win 34-16!

Victoria Hall Disaster Memorial, Mowbray Park - Sunderland [WINTER REDUX]

Shopping Cart with Paper Cup

Fox

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This Lady of GaGa! The feelings inside me are incredulous. Her stairs don’t have attainability to the attic. Cannot reach the garret.

But what’s next for the small bird of cuckoo? Not a bird of prey — this leader in the outre fashion method. (“Exaggerated Fashion.”)

She flanks the Fuck-Me Pumps (Salmon Color) if she expects to be taken seriously as tussock fashion. A shield of fish.

Still, GaGa culture seeps from every hole. To inspect a GaGa photograph is to inspect some handsome veal. Its substance is innovative. Not unlike my intestines after hearing the song of GaGa. (Ha ha — just having some exact fun with you.)

Seriously, what to consist of? Leggings to papaya inside a frothy ball? And foaming? WTF?

Now we know.

Advance the alienation of real-life ghost product (suit divers). GaGa…check. Further estrangement producing a frogman suit — made from prize-winning flues of wattle. Now we have translucent GaGa. To advance the alienation of real-life products — her diaphanous costume.

It’s not meat curtains for me — you dwell on my threshold, GaGa. Rikoshetiruet out of the box.

GaGa, no less starlet than tender yeast-eaglet.

Very great.

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The American Dream, revised, is simple: sell out.

Startup businesses lust for acquisition. Researchers and inventors hope some giant will license their patents. Indie film directors dream of shlocky four-picture deals based on video games. Popular musicians count up street cred to trade in for TV ads. The idea of rising to the top and building something huge feels obsolete to many people. Forget being Carnegie and Vanderbilt, Buffett or Bono, Oprah or Tiger. Instead, let’s sell the company to Microsoft, the invention to Lockheed, the barre chords and hairstyle to Saatchi. The new dominant male strategy is to find the alpha dog and grovel, profitably.

This raises a question. If we’re not going to be superstars and tycoons, why are we working so hard in the first place? Selling out should be easier. The entitled American middle-class kid does not work hard, but the money must flow. When you need to sell out and there’s nothing to sell, what do you do? Work is for chumps and art is hard.

In coastal Orange County, where I live, the problem is acute. There’s an oversupply of young men with great ambitions and little energy. If you’re not an athletic star or a hot DJ or loaded with cash from Dad’s mortgage business, what the hell are you going to do to be #1?

The answer for a lot of these guys is bizarre: start your own clothing line.

This would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. Fashion design was for homosexuals and women, full stop. But something odd happened in those years. Surfers and skaters were the first to trade cred for activewear. It made sense for the board shorts and t-shirts to get a personal brand, and the MTV era had just arrived. Stars like future murderer Gator and Tony Hawk did very well, and others noticed. Skate and surf manufacturers all rolled out their clothing and accessories lines. Everyone else followed. If you had a bit of cool to trade, you could sell hats and shirts and all the other junk, and give away your stickers so your customers were ads for an ad.

This phenomenon percolated down through sports to music, dragging along DJs and performers, until just about everyone who could be described as “cool” was associated with a clothing line.

But as noted above, not everyone had cool to trade.

It turns out that’s not a problem. If you’re a partying dude with a wide social circle of other dudes who fistbump you and vomit at the same bars, you’re already gold. Run off a few thousand stickers and give away a hundred t-shirts, toss hats at friends, slap the stickers on fast food drive throughs and junction boxes, and keep dumping money into it. If you’re constantly annoying and willing to spend a lot of money on it, there’s a good chance you’ll succeed. The blackletter type and swirly designs of companies like Affliction are everywhere. I personally know three engaging sociopaths who created their own lines of clothing and did well. If there are enough stickers and flyers and drunk friendly dudes wearing your stuff, you can become a minor mogul of Men’s Casual.

The sell-out dream is now perfect. It’s no longer necessary to build any credibility in order to trash it for money. You can get the same effect by throwing your own money into stickers and shirts and promoting them constantly, which is the kind of behavior the typical O.C. bro dude already finds natural. If you don’t have money yourself, another cheerful drunk does. And the weirdest part of the whole cycle is this: they sometimes do sell out to a big company and do very well. For every 100 red-faced stickered idiots there’s one Paul Frank.

I’m not attached to traditional ideals of masculinity. That whole business is too stupid for anything but humorous use. But there is something jarring about the wealthy and privileged young men in my town and their Jagermeister-fuelled pursuit of fame and fortune in Men’s Ready-to-Wear. But you have to admit: a straight trade of party popularity for business success is a better deal than years of actual effort. All the enterprising bro dude needs is money and a screenprint design, and the rest is done by competent graphics specialists and unfortunate Mexican laborers.

The progression is from those who do, to those who sell to those who do, to those who make t-shirts to sell to each other in hopes that those who sell to those who do will buy these and sell them to those who do, who will sell them to Wal-Mart.

The whole thing smells of empires in decline. Which, I think, will be the name of my new clothing line.

Conrad Heiney

A BORSCHT-IN 2009

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