Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The flunking funk | The Fashion Dungjen

Usually when the temperature begins to drop I have a heightened sense of style. There is so much more than can be done -- layering, sweaters, scarves, boots. It's the best time of year to have to wear clothes. Really.

This fall, though, I'm struggling. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I need to find some new inspiration and fast. Something has to get me out of this funk, but what? Suggestions?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Curly hair | The Fashion Dungjen

If everyone with straight hair is so damn jealous of curly hair, and everyone with curly hair is growing to like it more, why is it so impossible to find pictures of women with naturally curly hair? I need inspiration for styling and haircuts, but it doesn't seem to exist. Does anyone else share my frustrations?

If you have curly hair, please send me pictures to thefashiondungjen@gmail.com. I'm going to do a blowout with great curly hair -- make it a resource for all girls in the same predicament. A database of curly hair, if you will. Be a part of the project!

And, if you have friends with curly hair, spread the word!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Guest blogger: Heavy metal fashion | The Fashion Dungjen

When my friend Nick Grever asked me if he could write a few guest spots on my blog, I wanted to say yes. Maybe it was because I thought there was no way in hell Grever could write something fashion related. I mean, just click the first link in his guest post and you'll see how I feel about his style, or maybe it was because I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce my readers to something different. Grever has a completely different perspective on fashion since he and I don't share the same ideals of style, but nonetheless, Grever is always the most interested in what I have to say about fashion. Do I get it? Nope. Does it matter? Nope. What resulted is a pretty good post about heavy metal going couture. Did I ever think those two words would be used together? Nope. Is it happening? You betcha.

Hello Fashion Dungjen readers (Dungjenites? Dungjeneers?), my name is Nick Grever. Yes, that Nick Grever

I offered to write a guest post or two for Taylor and, for some crazy reason, she agreed. She probably wants a day off, but who am I to judge?

But, what exactly qualifies me to make any sort of comment on fashion in any way? I mean, did you read the column I linked? Well, I don’t really have any sort of high fashion knowledge. I don’t know the difference between Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana. I don’t get excited about fall fashions. The last time I looked at a Vogue was in line at Kroger.

But what I can do is observe. I can watch people; watch what they wear and when they wear it. And the job I’ve held for five years now has allowed me to do exactly that. I’ve been working at Hot Topic since I was 16 years old. I’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly and the WTF moments of every day fashion. For the past three years, I’ve been at Newport on the Levee, a primarily nightlife location. This has added another wrinkle to my observations. And one major trend is the proliferation of heavy metal themes becoming couture. And while I may not be the most knowledgeable fashion guru, I know my metal (shameless plug incoming: www.heavy-metal-war.blogspot.com). And what I’m seeing is more and more heavy metal aesthetics being utilized for so called couture. Affliction and Ed Hardy are the main lines with these themes, along with the massive amount of offshoots and imitators.

Neither line is exactly “high” fashion, per se, but both are higher up on the line than most clothing in general.

And what exactly are these companies utilizing when they charge $50 or more for their products, namely their shirts? Well, let’s see:
Skulls, Chains, Hot Chicks, Old school tattoo designs

Interesting … I’ve seen these aesthetics before ... Somewhere …

Hot chicks and skulls

Affliction and Ed Hardy are taking heavy metal imagery and turning them into high-value couture. And furthermore, these labels are being accepted and even flourishing within the general public. And that’s pretty big considering the shirts are expensive. Really expensive.

What’s even more shocking is the fact that these shirts are beginning to count as “dressing up.” Go into night clubs around the city and you’ll see girls in nice dresses and guys in T-shirts. It’s a weird sight to be sure.

But what caused these labels to get so popular, in spite of their price points and generally unaccepted aesthetics? Well, for affliction at least, UFC had a part in it. Many of the fighters attached themselves to Affliction, designing their own signature shirts and wearing them into the ring. With UFC getting more and more popular, it only makes sense that their respective clothes line would as well. And with some mainstream metal acts like Pantera and Ozzy picking up the Affliction banner, they gain even more credibility.

But perhaps the real reason is that Affliction and Ed Hardy skirt the line between rebellion and the mainstream. They have just enough of an edge to give the wearer that beloved feeling of power and strength, but not going over the edge and into scary (or at least what mainstream culture considers scary) territory.

But I wonder, how many people who so devotedly wear the Ed Hardy and Affliction label actually know the origins of the aesthetics they are sporting, or if they even care. Not that it matters per se, but as someone who has a closest full of bloody, skeleton-filled, evil, demonic, violent apparel, to see these same themes on guys who just got home from watching a Bengals game kind of weirds me out.

And, it appears that things may be coming full circle. Lead singer of Judas Priest and arguably the most metal person alive, Rob Halford, has created his own high end clothing line, called Metal God. And Slipknot, possibly the biggest metal band in the world had their own line as well, entitled Tattered and Torn. The line, exclusive to Hot Topic, seems to have been short lived, but is notable nonetheless.

Perhaps due to my background and love of all things metal, this change in the fashion landscape is a fascinating one to me. Will it last? Who knows, nothing changes faster than the public’s tastes. But for now, it seems like lines such as Affliction and Ed Hardy are here to stay. I guess we’ll just have to see if the bands and art that inspired said lines become mainstream too. I just hope I never have to pay $50 bucks for a Slayer shirt…

Best Tweet of the day | The Fashion Dungjen

From @jillystrunk88: "why would lindsey lohan put out a fashion line? she cant even dress herself most days"

I could not agree more.