Although I am not dressed completely spot on for this topic, I am lightly going to talk about New Romanticism. I was a little too cold in the snow to show some swashbuckling pirate looks typical of the New Romantic style, so instead I opted for a cozy 60s or 70s faux fur coat, my strapping snow boots, and a matching turban that I had coincidentally pinned a moon brooch on. I think the gold accents helped make the outfit glamorized enough to fit the description of New Romantic fashion.
I’m not going to talk about the history of New Romanticism so much here to prevent this post from sounding like a wiki. Just as a quick background, New Romanticism was a music and fashion movement in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s. Just like the obvious in punk culture, the message behind this movement was the anarchic expression against the mainstream; however, it was also an effort to glamorize gloomy social hardships that were happening at the time by emphasizing flamboyance in a narcissistic way through their clothing. I couldn’t agree with their sentiments more, but that might just be the optimistic punk in me. I will say however as with everything else I am into, I dislike all the fetishism and visual display of sexuality, which was also characteristic of some of the New Romantics. Bands associated with the movement included Brian Eno, Roxy Music, and Adam and the Ants who displayed the New Romantic look sartorially well. Vivienne Westwood designed especially for Adam and the Ants and was one of the early designers for the romantic look. Other designers included Colin Swift, Stevie Stewart and David Holah.
Adam Ant is probably the prettiest post punk New Romantic. Rob even proclaimed his man crush on him. Although I wasn’t going to add on to that, I do want to say that I love his music with the Ants, and I want his band jacket.
As most of you have already noticed, being a modesty blogger, I don’t really talk much about the problems I see everywhere with sexuality as much as I talk about what inspires me in my clothing. If you highly doubt that I am not aware of these problems, because I have built my entire blog around sexual purity in clothing, then you are correct. I have all my writings on my philosophy grouped in a section of my blog, and I only bring it up once in a while. There is so much going on with promiscuity all over the world that if I blogged about everything that bothered me, it would just be very depressing and very negative. I’m so aware of these things all around me that I honestly rarely read anything that talks about modesty for modesty’s sake, but instead I choose to ponder on things that give me inspiration such as the beauty that I find in untapped resources in music and in film. There really is nothing wrong with reading about the dangers of carelessness in clothing as it relates to lust and self preservation, especially if you are still unsure about the decision, want to be encouraged, or want to teach others about it. Although, I am at a point where my senses have been so incredibly heightened to the specific problem of sexual impurity all around me, that I believe it is not doing me much good to dwell on the problems themselves. The good thing that resulted from my sensitivity to this matter is that this blog was created and has hopefully inspired many to pursue a more attractive presentation of modesty to others who might not understand. In my personal life, this sensitivity has caused me unnecessary pain, but it has thankfully allowed me to be a vessel of some sort to shed light on this issue. In all honesty, often times I wish that I weren’t so sensitive to my concerns. It has been both a blessing and a curse to feel so strongly against impurity.
Despite my saying of avoiding negative talk, I am going to, at least for this post, address some things that have been on my mind lately and present the following in a more constructive manner to the best of my abilities:
Commercials that should cause commotion – If you have not seen the latest Tide with Acti-Lift Detergent “Too Short” commercial, you may view it on YouTube. While searching for the video link, I also stumbled upon an ethics site that discussed whether the message was or not ethical in nature—to which most concluded that the commercial was nothing too unethical to note. Although not at all pornographic, the subtle message of this commercial screams “Dad, you’re an old fart who can’t appreciate my choice to wear mini skirts. Mom, you’re the best for trying to side with me!” To the pro-choice feminist, this commercial is to be raved about. It celebrates putting down the actions of the male head of the house, the father. It rejoices in the individual expression of the tween to wear whatever she likes, with the other female (the mother) supporting her. To the true “feminist” supporting femininity and modesty, this commercial does just the opposite in her viewpoint. Although I have to admit I never enjoyed when one of my parents (especially both) told me what I couldn’t wear, I do see now that some of the choices I made back then weren’t very wise. I can still argue that some of the things they didn’t want me to put on were probably just a matter of distaste in preference over morality. The immoral side of my wardrobe then, though, I do agree was just a stumbling block to my self-dignity as well as to the minds of the men around me. As for my preference for wearing some conspicuous pieces for my safe self-expression, I would still wear the majority to do this day with no bones about it. As subtle as the Tide commercial is, it is still harmful for young girls to garner the wrong strength from this misleading advertisement. Even though I must say there are much more blatant commercials out there with visual sexual content in them, that still doesn’t make this commercial okay.
Strategically placing enticing content – Although I have not confirmed this, my friend Imon pointed out to me that Victoria’s Secret’s stores are always placed in the first floor of malls where all the men or unisex stores are placed. Why not place the lingerie store where all the women’s clothes are? I can only assume that it was strategically placed where it is now to be seen by men in hopes of buying stuff for their women while looking at other women’s boobs. A very similar commercial strategy is used to entice grocery shoppers to buy the last minute useless magazines, junk, and batteries displayed next to the counter—stuff that would otherwise be forgotten if they weren’t there. I think displaying candy and beef jerky where they are visible is okay, but displaying eye candy of almost naked bodies and beefy jerks isn’t. Also, can the commercial cops at least (if it cannot be eradicated) please have the unavoidable TV commercials, street ads, and magazine covers be grouped in the mature-only section where they are harder to access and cannot be freely seen by avoiding eyes including faithful men and innocent children? If you are interested in reading about what I wrote about magazines, you may view it in my post, “Are You a Cosmo Girl or a Kosmios Girl?“
Changes in movie ratings over time – For some of you who may not know, the rating PG13 was a recent addition to the movie rating categories. It enabled the display of nudity in a non-sexual context. Tell me, if a bodacious woman were to stand still in the middle of the room without doing anything in front of a thirteen-year-old boy in all his raging hormones, would that kid not be sexually enticed? I still believe that nudity, partial or full, should effect an R rating in any movie. I am glad though that the ratings have been much improved throughout the years. Movies such as Clash of the Titans (1981) and Sixteen Candles (1984) had full frontal female nudity and were only rated PG. Chaplin (1992), as an example of a loose PG13 rating, had constant full frontal female nudity as well. While the ratings have been improved throughout movie-rating evolution, what is okay to display as far as sexuality has become much looser. The movies I have listed here and many others that have sexual content in them are still awesome movies in my opinion, but I think they did not need all that sexuality in them. Great directors and stories should speak for themselves without having to use sex to sell.
Unrealistic women’s combat and winter outfits (and bodies)- You see women dressed in bikinis or scant clothing in action movies and games, but is this picture realistic? Wouldn’t these women not want to be bruised and scraped easily by covering it up with some kind of metal instead of exposing their skin? One of the very few women in video games who actually wears full armor, although not entirely fool proof as some of you Metroid gamers might know, is Samus from Metroid. I don’t know about you, but I love my skin too much to want to see it scabbed when I can just cover it up with more clothing easily. One of the reasons I did not learn how to bike properly as a kid (but was good at swimming and enjoyed hiking) was because I told myself that I would rather drown swimming than see my legs and arms have scabs from possibly falling off a bike. Although that was just a completely silly notion, it does make sense for someone to want to have her body safe during physical activities. This same annoyance comes to me when women dress like it’s summertime in the cold. I for one was known to dress like that in high school, but now I admit, that was just stupid. As for female animation characters with size E (for enlarged) chests and long Jack Skellington legs, haven’t we already expressed our childhood disappointments with Barbie’s unattainable and abnormal body? It’s not realistic. Men can work out to grow muscles, but what does this depiction encourage women to do—get cosmetic surgery?
“Safe” web browsing isn’t really safe- Even with internet filter software or even just Web site–built filters, surfing on the Web is never safe, especially for sexual content. I advise you to tell men who want to fight for purity not to use Google images to search for pictures of anything. A search for the most innocent thing you have in mind will almost always have an unrelated image(s) of naked bodies. If guys need to look up images, use another search engine to do this or just use the regular search box (not images) to look for them. Youtube also has unrelated videos show up with obscene thumbnails with your currently viewed video, but what to do about it is unbeknownst to me, because Youtube is the happenin’ place to view Internet videos. I would suggest having the males view Youtube with someone else to decrease temptation. For everyone else, Youtube, I must vouch, can be a total time-waster if you just stay there without a goal of what you want to see in mind.
Restrictions aren’t only for children- Although my husband and I are customers of the wonderful ClearPlay technology that can be set to skip questionable scenes in movies through its customizable filters, the way the Web site or even the staff present itself—at least as it seemed from my correspondence with an employee—implied that the restriction it has created through the use of this video player was for parents who have children. My husband and I—although we’re planning to have children—and our couple friends who recommended us the player do not have little ones, and we need it for ourselves. The product is clearly being used by us married couples to help keep our minds pure and focused on developing and expressing sexuality only to our mates. Obviously, avoiding movies isn’t the answer to outer-marital lust, but it does help somewhat not to have those uncalled for sexy images lingering in our heads. Even with that said, I wouldn’t just say that ClearPlay and all the other filters out there are for families and married couples. I believe that restrictions should be placed on everyone wanting to lead a pure thought life. Single men especially are as prone if not more prone to impurity in their thought life as married men (or even single or married women).
These are just some of the things that have been on my mind lately, and some of them are so important not to ignore that I might just write a separate post about them. I kept these in bullet form to give you just a quick glance at some of the problems with sexuality that need to be worked on. Restriction and boundaries are absolutely necessary in my opinion for a human’s well-being. Some I’m sure will argue that curtailing certain things for ourselves doesn’t give us a good picture of the world, but that is not considering how some things actually harm us. From a scientific and societal view point, isn’t that where what we call evolution brought us—removing things that cause us harm to build a better self? We can but shouldn’t engage in everything. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 says that everything is permissible, yes, but not everything is beneficial to us. I can relate the problem of sexuality to the problem of obesity through this passage. It just makes sense.
This post has been rated R for ranting, and it has ended. For now.
Hey all! To those who read my tweet about my next “social suicide” post, this isn’t it! That should come next week.
I’ve been featured again on Independent Fashion Bloggers‘ Links à la Mode for this week. As I usually say, I strongly advise you to practice caution as you go through these links. If you haven’t been noticing, I’ve also been blurring parts of the images of IFB’s graphic because I need to have at least whatever image displayed on my blog represent the nature and purpose of à la Modest. I repost IFB’s feature whenever I get chosen for the week as part of their requirement, so I really can’t omit links or even have the time to go through all of them to check. I am however leaving you with my links for the week beneath IFB’s links as part of my new tradition for every Links à la Mode feature I get! Enjoy and have a great weekend!
“I have confidence that spring will come again, Besides which you see I have confidence in me”
Within this week’s links I kept noticing a resounding honestly in the heartfelt posts. When we blog or choose an outfit we are putting ourselves out there for all to judge, and it’s not surprising that doing the activity can have an affect on our confidence for better or for worse, especially when feedback starts coming in.
There’s also been a sense of rebellion in the air: from the emergence of the punk style to controversy over Vogue, and in the week that saw the spectacle which is the Golden Globes rises a questioning of what the red carpet is all about.
Links à la Mode: January 20th
A la Modest Drawing inspiration from Kabukis, Rainbow Brite, Ladytron, and Padmé Amidala while on Tatooine
By Anika Who gets to label me and my worth? I do! An honest account from this curvy fashionista who fiercely supports all of our rights to label, embrace and love our fashionable selves, what ever our size.
City of Glitter To Cover-up or Not To Cover-up? A post exploring foundation and its role in our self-esteem.
Le Suivre Vendredi – Cameron from Midnight in a Perfect World featured me for her first Le Suivre Vendredi of 2011. This is such an honor. Thank you!
Fashion that Repels- For Those About to Shop mentioned me on this post as a “leader in the (modesty) movement”
V Magazine, “New Direction” – Orphaned Apparel blogs about the designers from the “New Direction” editorial in V Magazine. My favorites are from Mary Karantzou’s Fall 2009 line. Amazing patterns!
Dog Dyeing: China’s Latest Trend- For those of you Arrested Development fans, remember one of Lindsay’s usual outrageous business proposals called “Dip-a-Pet”? Well, it’s real in China.
Self plugging- My Twitter account where I constantly share what is on my mind; My Tumblr account where I constantly share what is currently giving me inspiration; My Formspring account where you can (constantly) ask me just about anything (and anonymously).
I looked up “dip-a-pet” after I jokingly asked Rob if I could have our dog’s fur dyed red to match my hair. Here is me, the oddball with the surprised face, reigniting with my old bright red hair once again:
My poor dear husband caught the flu, and I think I might have gotten it too. Ah, at least I work from home and can turn in homework online—wait, those things aren’t really good in this case! I just went back to school yesterday after a two-year hiatus, and I think I need to do a better job juggling my work, chores, blog—and now—classes. Being a housewife is a tough job especially once the kids come, but I must say, I’ve never been happier. All the load in the world seems insignificant in comparison to all the love I get from a husband with whom I share my life. If I am sickening any of you yet, I also want to add that I have an awesome dog who just lays around, looks cute, and does nothing. I love him, too. What I Wore: Attention blouse from my mother – Vintage necklace from eBay – skirt from Fashion District – George boots
I am wearing pink with purple, which I think might be the girliest of all color combinations. Purple is also my least favorite color (sorry populous purple lovers), and as far as pink goes, I wear the color very sparingly. Having these two colors on me in these photos was something out of the ordinary. When I was about thirteen and shopping for what I believe was my first blue eye shadow, one of the girls I was with told me that she thought purple would look good on me. Of course, I shrugged off that comment and bought the blue eye shadow.
Pink with purple also reminds me of my vicarious childhood exposure to Lisa Frank paraphernalia. The rich girls from elementary school seemed to have a collection of those epileptic Lisa Frank hologram stickers in their Lisa Frank sticker books and Lisa Frank stationary stuffed in their glittery Lisa Frank backpacks. I don’t remember really getting into anything Lisa Frank especially since they were quite expensive and also because I was into the Sanrio scene more. No, I never had Hello Kitty as one of my favorites even though she is incredibly cute. My favorite Sanrio character has always been Bad Badtz Maru. One of the guys from my high school who used to like me got me a whole bunch of Hello Kitty stuff, which I have since gotten rid of. Not all (Asian) girls like Hello Kitty the best or like pink. He really did shoot himself in the foot with all that money he spent on me. Very sad indeed.
See how much cooler Bad Badtz Maru is?
Here is a neat list I found of all (or most) of the Sanrio characters with pictures. I also remember liking Pochacco, Spottie Dottie, and Kero Kero Keroppi a lot.
Before I go, I thought you might like to know what I’ve been reading for leisure. You’ll find a photo of the four books I am currently working on, none of which are my textbooks:
Drawing inspiration from Kabukis, Rainbow Brite, Ladytron, and Padmé Amidala while on Tatooine
Japanese fashion editorial (unknown source)
Ladytron – Destroy Everything You Touchh
If I had only waited the day after to take these outfit shots, this would have been better, because it totally snowed a good five inches. Because of the snow, the meeting with Project Redesign got canceled, and I now have more time to talk in front of the mirror as I prepare for my speech. Although I don’t recall ever pretending like I was talking to someone I used to fancy in front of the mirror (think 80s movies), I talk in front of the mirror all the time to rehearse speeches. If I am having a bad hair day or have just woken up and don’t feel like getting all done up while I rehearse, I just talk to myself without the mirror. I guess I also have no shame in saying that I do this all in the bathroom.
What I Wore: Bonnie and Bill sweater – Marks and Spencer skirt – Filipiniana necklace (Thanks, Gayle!) – Bonnibel wedges
All over the fashion blogsophere, I’ve noticed that several of the same female artists have been raved about for their personal style. I hate to admit that I am bored of seeing the same names being talked about over and over again, and sadly, I am not a huge fan of those artists either. Sure, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine and Zooey Deschanel of She & Him are not too shabby in my book, but has anyone ever paid attention to some of the rare girls in the music scene who rock really hard? I am tired of hearing Feist’s vocal copycats and seeing Inara George’s outfit clones everywhere. I may be missing out on fairly good talent probably because I have an aversion to senseless hype, but I cannot help but overlook the obvious piece-by-piece lack of originality either. Alison Mosshart of The Dead Weather and The Kills is one rad chick with some serious and complex layering abilities, coupled with rockin’ raw talent.
I usually see Alison clothed in layers of the patterned cardigan and graphic shirt combo during the warmer days and wrapped in more patterned scarves during the colder days. She’s almost always piled with necklaces and other nondainty jewelry in almost every outfit, with feathers, studs, skulls, leather, or rubber bands being the most worn. Take a cue from her with fearless pattern mixing, too. Rules do not apply! Although I really like Alison’s layering and pattern mixing (which is what I would like you to hopefully gather from this post), I think her commonly used skinny jeans are a bit too tight, so don’t jump to making her your role model right away. I purposefully didn’t include the photos that show a lot of her bottom half for this reason, but what I probably don’t ever foresee her wearing is a mini skirt or a cleavage-baring top (maybe once). I rest my case. She is cool. I make very minor clothing compromises with artists that have talent too great to ignore. As I am thinking about this, maybe I am giving Alison too much credit for her music, actually. Just so you know, she isn’t your typical female artist—or at least not the type of girl that gets buzzed about in your latest and lamest fashion communities.
The two black and white photos below are by Dave Sims:
Scans from Vogue
Here are the Kills live at The Basement performing one of my favorite songs of theirs “Tape Song” from the album Midnight Boom. I like seeing musicians use their instruments—sometimes it can even be more appealing than their music videos:
This Joseph Ribkoff jumper with the glittery bow and detail was what I wore for New Year’s eve. Although it was made for an adult female, I felt just like a tot from the ’40s in overalls. It was really difficult to slip out of too when I needed to go to the bathroom (something I had to go through many times due to constant liquid intake). By the way, drink a lot of water—doing this’ll save you hundreds of dollars buying Chapstick.
Here are some pictures of me in the same outfit in one of the rooms in our house (my favorite room where we stash our collection of cool) with a bunch of posters on the wall. I just realized that the best poster on the wall *ahem* was covered by my hairy phat back (Did I say hairy? I meant very). It was the poster which I designed for The Turtle Neck Store‘s first show, combining the front and back cover, which I also designed, of their first and only EP. I guess by using exactly the same image from the album cover and only changing the proportions to pass as a poster, I was either cheating, a bit lazy, or just a bit pressed for time. Either way, that show was a success. It was a good thing I married the cute guy on vocals shortly after!
Oh yes, check out Bobby the bichon, a recurring character on this blog. He almost does the same number of poses as I do—only he is a true natural and shameless au naturale without his harness and diaper on. I have a dog named Bob, and a husband named Rob. Together, we are confusing.
I actually have a lot more photos to post from the fun-filled weekend right after New Year’s day which I am going to put up some other time. It’s been a while since my last post, so I’m hopefully going to write more frequently now that the holidays are over. For a little comic relief (if this entire entry wasn’t enough), I also misplaced my tripod somewhere (which I am assuming I still have in our car’s trunk from our trip to VA Beach). Because I didn’t have a tripod for this holiday ham, I used a guitar case, a wobbly UPS box, a TV, a CD, a cassette tape, and books stacked right on top of each other to get these photos taken in this angle.
As a heads up, I’ve been invited to speak (gliterally speaking!) at one of Project Redesign’s meetings next weeek. Project Redesign is a local annual high school fashion project founded by the former Miss Maryland. I had the pleasure of attending last year’s event. You can read my post about it from May of last year, or if you’d like to attend, you can view the calendar for this year’s event. Word to myself: Not sure if I can talk with no one talking back for a holy thirty minutes.
As a second heads up, the giveaway for Sweet Edge’s winter accessories set will close at the end of next week! Sweet Edge just added a whole bunch of cute things in the shop for you to pick from and even customize. Think bows! If you’re reading this, you are lucky because you get a chance to have ANOTHER entry! Just leave one more comment with your favorite new item.
What I Wore: Joseph Ribkoff overalls – Petite Monde shell – Crocs sandals – FYE specs – Sam’s Beauty bangle