1) have a sister who modeled. lauren was the girl who, in every single picture, was dazzling. even though it was the eighties, her hair was high, and her dresses made lacroix look tame, she stood out. she almost radiated. i hated her. she told me that all you had to do was throw your shoulders back, pivot your hips to camera, and smile, using your teeth. i thought she was drinking. it couldn't be THAT simple. but, i tried it, cause i was gay, vain, and desperate to look good in a picture. it didn't work.
so, when confronted, she told me about the secret.
2) you have to practice. every face is different, but mirrors are our friends. eventually you'll see the angle, the smile, and the eyes that work. so i did, and it got better. but not perfect. i kept practicing, and nothing improved much. so i tackled her in the hall, held her down, and threatened to spit in her mouth, until she relented and told me:
3) you have to fake it. she said "look. you have to fake that you are happy. that you are laughing. and that's key, cause everyone looks better when they're laughing, or coming right into or out of a smile."
and she was right.
why this ramble? cause men need to learn not just how to dress themselves,
but how to present themselves,
and how to make sure the world sees them.
cause a good portrait goes a long way to securing what you want these days . . .
it is a social-networked, blogged, im'd environment.
but i've recently been pondering the possibility of a "uniform" for day to day.
not having to go into an office,
where the "jeans and a blazer / pants and a tee" attitude made getting dressed pretty easy
(there is no uniform for creatives in my field, but there was always a desire on my part to dress it up a bit, not treat the position with any disrespect.)
has made my day to day
a bit of a dilemma.
my upstairs neighbor is a writer,
and laments the "sweatpant" issue
which i gradually began to understand.
when the days bleed a bit, it's far too easy for a guy to slide into sweats, a tee, anything that makes it easy.
but i found that made me depressed.
i LOVE clothes.
i have started mandating a dress up moment
and hence, the uniform idea.
i've spent the last few years limiting the palette i buy to colors that work for me,
that make me feel powerful.
it's a very navy and stone colored world.
now i've narrowed to shapes, pieces, labels even
that fit, marry, and make me feel
powerful, comfortable, adult.
does this constitute a uniform? and if so, do other guys find themselves
not in a rut,
but in a refined form of presentation?
i've told my friend todd a few times
this is the way a MAN dresses.
you know, if you're the guy who can pull off the
"handsome" not "cute" thing,
or the guy who can be called
or the guy who can legitimately claim to have smoked and ridden horses
and been on a billboard.
or if you want to BE that guy,
then gilded age is your label.
doesn't matter if a purse falls out of your mouth when you open it,
these clothes are gonna butch up your world, fast.
what you can't tell from the pictures
(though feel free to click on them and examine with fervor)
is the attention to detail in this line,
the fact that much of it is still woven on original 19th century looms in north carolina,
or the density of the fabric and unexpected weights and hand-feel in the mixing and layering.
this is a man's line,
that doesn't seem to borrow from anyone else's line,
and doesn't go nostalgic.