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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Red Carpet
hat
catvalente
When I left junior high--I graduated high school at age 15, so junior high was pretty much my high school--my guidance counselor signed my yearbook, because I was just the kind of dork who made friends with all the teachers and wanted them to sign her yearbook. I still remember what she wrote:

My hope for you is that you wear something interesting to the Oscars
.

You must understand, I was a painfully awkward kid who exhibited a lot of enthusiasm but not a lot of volume control or grace or adeptness with pretty much anything except writing, for 15 year old values of  adept-at-writingness. The idea that a grown-up not only thought that I would somehow, someday, end up at the Oscars, literally her only concern for my future self was that I wear something interesting. To you that might sound odd, but to me that meant: she knows I'm gonna turn out ok. She's so sure of it that her only worry is that I might wear something too conservative when I inevitably go to the biggest event ever. It filled me with confidence and pride, which were in short supply for teenage Cat, I assure you.

Now, as a grown-up girl, I know that it is highly unlikely--though never say never--that I will ever go to the Oscars. I mean, sure, Gaiman gets to go, but he's a superstar and that's what superstars do. And even if I did go someday, the bar for interesting is set so high these days I can't touch it on my tiptoes.

But I've been nominated for a fair number of awards. And they're pretty much all like the Oscars to me. They're not televised, they don't have a red carpet, but they're pretty fabulous all the same.

This fallen world gives us so few opportunities to wear ballgowns and jewels in one's hair, I jump whenever I get the chance. Frankly, I think we should all up the fashion factor at SFF awards--is this the future or isn't it? Glam, baby. Go glam or go home. I loved the mini-red carpet at the Hugos, it was completely awesome. (It actually occured to me this morning that I have this giant "We're really sorry" Expedia credit and could actually go to Australia for Worldcon this year.  Except I promised myself last year that I wouldn't go to any more Worldcons unless I was nominated for the Hugo, as the price is equivalent to about 3-5 local cons and I just can't justify it--and I don't think I've a snowball's chance at the Hugo this year. But it's nice to think I really could go.)

It doesn't have to be space-glam or elf-glam. But I would love to see awards costumes get seriously spangled. When I was little I thought being grown-up was a never-ending parade of glittery dresses and champagne, and part of me still thinks that should be so. I don't think there's very much chance at all that I'll actually win the Norton, but goddamned if I'm not going to be there in my orange brocade dress (oh yeah--thanks to jaborwhalky  for hooking me up) grinning from ear to ear. Clothes matter. They make us feel different, make us enter another space where we can be anything. We tell the world how we want to be seen by the clothes we wear. It's a beautiful and complex system of codes, fashion, and men do it, too, don't you think they don't. The next time a guy says he doesn't care about clothes, offer him a pink shirt and see how fast he starts caring about black. (And yes, I know the anxieties pink signifies--but that only proves my point, that clothes are the letters we write to the world, and they all speak. Loudly.)

So I won't be at the Oscars. But I'll be at the Nebulas, and I'll think about Mrs. Weetman, like I always do. I wore a sparkly dark blue torch singer dress to my first loss at the World Fantasy Awards, a tiered burgundy Victorian thing to the Tiptree ceremony--and I'm gonna be a cleavagey spangled pumpkin-girl at the Nebulas. Hell, I might wear this thing on the beach for the shuttle launch. I hope it counts as interesting. I hope I've done Mrs. Weetman proud.

I myself am wearing a purple evening gown to work today, because I've been so BLAH all week! Because sometimes... we just GOTTA!

This is a fun post, a beautiful post, it makes me want my silver high heels RIGHT NOW.

But that would be impractical.

I like you, jeweled thing. I like you in jeweled things. Or in jeans.

You always look like an empress.

Send her a picture from the shuttle launch- after all- that is way cooler than the Oscars! I am sure she would be thrilled and very proud for you!

I think you may have just inspired a short story. I hope it's a short story, anyway. These things have a tendency to get away with me.

Right this moment, I'm trying to think of some reason why I *need* to own a sparkly ballgown dress...

...and wondering how hard it might prove to find Mrs Weetman and point her to your LJ. ;)

She had a friendster page, and I messaged her then butgot no response--she was in her 80s then, so she may well not be around any more.

When I was little I thought being grown-up was a never-ending parade of glittery dresses and champagne, and part of me still thinks that should be so.

this! a hundred times this! i enjoyed this entry a lot. spangle on.

Agreed.

(This is why I throw parties. ;-)

And even if I did go someday, the bar for interesting is set so high these days I can't touch it on my tiptoes.

Oh, honey, please.

Bjork's swan dress crossed with Victorian mourning garb.

Interpret as you will, but I'm thinking black taffetta bustled skirts and feathered corsetry, plus jewel-spangled combs in your hair.

Interesting's easy.

(You *do* have a mythpunk army at your disposal, you know. ;-)

Also: I totally want to see you in all your pumpkin-girl glory. :-)


(Yes, it counts as interesting).


Clothes matter. They make us feel different, make us enter another space where we can be anything. We tell the world how we want to be seen by the clothes we wear. It's a beautiful and complex system of codes, fashion, and men do it, too, don't you think they don't. The next time a guy says he doesn't care about clothes, offer him a pink shirt and see how fast he starts caring about black. (And yes, I know the anxieties pink signifies--but that only proves my point, that clothes are the letters we write to the world, and they all speak. Loudly.)

This.
I'm a bit of a fasion nut, and this is a big part of why. <*is an anthropology geek*>
Clothes are how you flag your phamily, when you haven't quite found them yet. I can be dowdy and boring in a black suit, or I can be a dominatrix. It all depends on my shoes (and, okay, the cut a bit too. But mostly it's the shoes).
Whee! Fashion! :-)

I might also add, while the Oscars do see an array of remarkable dresses.... they seem to have barely tapped the sartorial possibilities of the ladies hat...

1. At a Frank Zappa concert back in the day, some people were booing the security staff in their uniforms. Zappa: "Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, don't kid yourself"

2. Happy Rhodes, "If I Ever See the Girl Again": required listening for this journal entry. Link when I get home.

3. Semiotics. Clothing is a language, as are many other things we don't think we're paying attention to.

4. I've always owned at least one pink button-down since I started buying my own clothes. Confused about why I wouldn't want a pink shirt.

Many, many men would not wear pink if their lives depended on it. I almost chose lavender, because that's a second hated color among a lot of men. But most of the guys I know don't branch out much beyond black.

That is why I go to conventions, so I can dress up in the dresses that I've made and have so I can feel pretty and not be me.

I feel like...me and not me. Liminal me. I like that space.

So give me excuses to design headdresses to go with your fabulous gowns!

ZOMG!

My worry with headdresses is they always seem to require an updo, and I like to leave my hair long.

Do it for the shuttle launch. It is even bigger than the Hugos. Compare model rocketship that sits on a mantle to giant rocketship that shoots into space. Just choose carefully it would be horrible to unintentionally ruin a pretty gown.

It isn't the Oscars. It isn't the Hugos. It isn't a Nebual or even a Spectrum. But, by Freyja, I am going to lose the Darrell Award in style again this year!

Little black sparkly cocktail dress, black thigh-highs with crocheted garters from an 1897 pattern with red ribbons in them and gold sandals.


The ladies of the Literary Underworld always dress to the nines on Saturday of a Con. Corsets, glitter, sequins, evening dresses. And we are fabulous.

Edited at 2010-02-25 08:05 pm (UTC)

Come to Australia!!! It's going to be so much fun.


My hope for you is that you wear something interesting to the Oscars.


All I want to do is quote you from the icon. :)

I completely agree with you on this. I often look at beautiful dresses and shoes and jewelry with crystals and pearls, that I could afford and want but won't buy because, honestly, when would I ever wear it? And this makes me sad. I was hoping my grown up life would have operas and cocktail parties and glittering lights, and so far, it doesn't.

I'm going to wear something fabulous to "Oedipus el Rey," though. Exactly how I'm going to reflect the barrio-retelling of a Greek tragedy in my clothes, though, I have no idea.

Yes yes YES.

Fashion is so much of how I present myself to the world. And I love the masquerade quality of it all, even if I'm a gal with lots of pudge and could never buy much less wear Rodarte or Alexander McQueen. (Oh, Alexander.) I will continue to dress like the baby of Lady Gaga and Joan Holloway everyday I'm out and about and I will love it.