Friday, June 19, 2009

Immigrants Returning Home

Oh America, the home of Hemingway, airplanes and reality television. At one time it was also the birthplace of boat shoes, seersuckers and button down oxfords. It seems though that these elements of Prepdom have migrated to land far away, becoming warmly welcomed immigrants to Japan. The New York Times ran a a very interesting article on how the WASP uniform has become oh so very Japanese. After it's outburst in the 80's Preppiness in America has been viewed as boring, cookie cutter and circumscribed to a certain stratosphere in class. Yet according to Coleman, the Japanese have embraced our thrown ot style and worn in it extremes, from head to toe with vivacity. And well it doesn't look boring or unoriginal on them.

Looking at the photographs in the 1960's Japanese book "Take Ivy" is almost surreal. It's strange to see college kids dressing so thoughtfully and put together. But the paradox is that though the outfits seems polished and orchestrated they seem simultaneously unassuming and nonchalant as their owners walk across the lush green lawns. And I guess that's the appeal of the sartorially preppy way of life. There is this innocence and naivete to it but at the same time a security. While the leather pants and the bomber jackets may make us feel like we are living life on the edge we feel safe and secure buttoned down in our collar shirt and madras shorts. I guess the streamlined clothes make us in turn view life more simplistically, or as simplistically as clothes can make us feel. In these times the decadence of the 80's nightlife is coming back, with neon colors and exaggerated silhouettes. But as the one side of the fashion rope pulls the other side must as well. Which is the prep style is coming back into play with brands like the Band of Outsiders and magazines such as Prepidemic. Both of these looks provide us with an escape but with two entirely different mindsets. Seeing pictures of the preppy collegiate students one gets a sense of confidence that is entirely different from the 80's nightlife look. A confidence that everything will be fine, that life is always peachy through Rayban wayfarers. So take out your boat shoes and your navy blue blazers, the immigrants are finally returning to their homeland.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wilde 'N Out

Usually when I think of the of the word Oscar visions of packaged cold cuts come to mind. Yet even though Oscar Wilde does not have a snazzy commercial about B-O-L-O-G-N-A he stays in the forefront of my mind with his everlasting supply of witticism. Here are a few that I particularly love:

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination. " (pshh what's a little credit card debt? Imagination is priceless after all).

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction. " (You know a man is clairvoyant when he can predict the face of botox).

"Only the shallow know themselves."

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying. " (Alas, it is a curse, but we must learn to live with it.)

"I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world." (Perez Hilton's motto)

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast." (The self justification for the not-morning- people across the globe, of beds .)

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." (The philosophy of rehab bound, African baby adopting celebrities everywhere.)

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about. "

Now even though Oscar Wilde was imprisoned, ridiculed for his dressing sense and accused for having an affair with an underage boy toy you must admit, the man's got style.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"I am always thinking 'What am I doing here? Is this the way I am supposed to feel?'" - Jack Kerouac

I'm always thinking this. I always feel like I am not feeling enough of something, that I am not taking advantage of the situation for all it's worth. It's almost as if you're worried that you are not as happy or sad as you should be. My last day of high school was in a word, anticlimactic. I wasn't severely happy nor was tear stained depressed. The indifference of it all made it seem unreal, like I was a spectator watching someone else's life.

" I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television – you don’t feel anything."

This little insight from Andy Warhol encompasses how I often feel at those rising moments, at how I felt today. Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet, maybe the surreality of it all is causing the numbness. When I was looking around the field I felt I was watching a teen movie with cheesy dialogue and actors that couldn't quite deliver the ending. All throughout high school I was plagued by an inadequacy. A feeling that something about me just wasn't enough for the environment, that my inability to saturate into all the colors made me perpetually a couple of steps behind. And to me this is what high school has always been defined as, a wait of some sort. Yet it is not the type of wait where you are resting but the type where you are running, where you are trying to catch up to some point of complete saturation encased in ambiguity.

I cannot lie and say the cliched line of "I had a horrible time in high school." Because a select group of people I have met have made it all the worth while. Through them I have gained a confidence and a self possession that you really can only obtain from your peers. And though them I have felt as if I have asserted and solidified my character into something that wasn't so familiar and comforting as family. I have spent 13 years at this school and there's no denying the fact that the people and the school always will be a large and news 12 spotted part of my youth. But I'm tired of running in the wait. These past years I will keep in my body like an appendix, something I once needed but have evolutionary outgrown. I guess it's fitting that today was anticlimactic because after a climax everything goes downhill, and well, I'm kind of looking up from here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Just for a couple of days.

P.S. Doesn't this photograph make you want to learn photography?