23 July 2012

the hautiest couture around.

There are real dreams—the things you want to do and actually might (someday)—and then there are half-assed dreams—the kind of 'wouldn't it be cool if...?' scenarios you entertain when you're on the verge of falling asleep, spacing out at work, or soaping up your here-and-theres in the shower. File this one in the half-assed bin, and understand that it's not a practical objective. It's just a theoretical fantasy. Like a concept car or an exciting Bela Tarr movie. (Is that my second or third Bela Tarr dig since I started this blog? I've lost count.)

I want to design avant garde clothing. I mean, clothing that is so avant-garde that in most cases it can never be worn—or if it can, it's so ridiculously impractical and contrary to all common sense that it's maybe unusable or dangerous.

Starter Ideas:

1. A dress made out of wood. Now I'm not talking about a wafer-thin veneer here, one that might be fairly rigid but malleable. What I'm talking about is a 'fabric' that is really a one-inch thick solid shell of oak, stained in a deep coffee color which will hopefully highlight the grain. Obviously, a wooden dress must be made-to-measure. This couldn't be something that you could find on the racks at J.C. Penney for any old lumpy woman to get into. It would certainly be easier, of course, if the dress could be assembled in pieces and then 'fastened' together around the wearer with, say, wood glue and nails, or hinges, or whatever; but one of the prerequisites must be that the dress is one piece, without hinges or other movable elements, before the wearer puts it on. Needless to say, you cannot sit in the dress, but you should be able to walk in it if the skirt portion is made into enough of a bell-shape. We shouldn't aim for anything form-fitting on the lower half—certainly not a pencil skirt. Also, another issue with the wooden dress will be its weight. It will be extraordinarily heavy, and as such, it must be worn by a sturdier kind of woman and only for a relatively short period—which is fine, I think, because part of the appeal of the dress is its elusiveness. It should only make rare appearances in public. One mustn't grow accustomed to a wooden dress. It should be a sensation—an impossible thing which astounds us by its sudden possibility. (Other considerations: splinters, pressure marks on the skin from the weight, unwieldiness, woodworms, termites, sun-damage, etc.)

2. Dog feces necklace. This one is fairly self-explanatory, but a few stipulations should be underscored to preclude an inferior product. Sure, you can find dog shit all over the place on this great planet of ours, but you shouldn't settle for the first turds that catch your eye. You must be selective in shape, color, and consistency. Especially moist dog feces may be laid out in the sun to dry, but you shouldn't get your hopes up with fecal specimens that are not solid. They will never mature into a satisfying consistency. (Trust me on this.) I find turds from smallish dogs supply the best 'beads' for your necklace because the overall effect is established through the plurality of turds, not from a few massive turds that create undesirable shapes when worn around your neck. (It doesn't take a genius to realize that a necklace made from four long turds will always form a parallelogram when worn. I don't find this appealing in a necklace. More turds will allow for a more flowing and flexible drape around your decolletage.) You may also want to use similar-looking turds for the majority of the necklace, and then select an exceptional, discolored centerpiece turd as a dominant 'jewel' setting. After the turds have been thoroughly dried (and shellacked, if you wish to go a more conservative route), a wire with a strong cord tied to the end should be threaded through the turds lengthwise. (Other considerations: staining, odor, disease, physical deterioration, etc. All of these qualities make for a wonderful but ephemeral piece of jewelry.)

3. Vermicelli wig. This one's labor-intensive, but I think it's well worth it for the Wow Factor. First, overcook a giant pot of vermicelli (or a smaller pot if you want a tidier, wash-and-go hairstyle). We do not want al dente pasta in this case since we are attempting to simulate hair. While you are waiting for the vermicelli, you might as well use this time to shave your head. In order for this to truly work, you really must commit to it. You don't want the bulkiness of your real hair under the vermicelli hair. That would be unsettling. I recommend using electric shears to finish the job quickly and efficiently—and so as not to give yourself enough time to change your mind. Now you must find a skull cap of some sort... You could use a yarmulke or one of those rubbery bald caps used at Halloween, or you could depilate another wig you already have. (Maybe you've already tried my idea for an earthworm wig, but you've grown tired of it.) Lastly, carefully glue the vermicelli, in tight bunches, to the skull cap. Make sure you avoid unevenness. The vermicelli should be consistently dense throughout. (Other considerations: dogs and other animals may try to eat, difficult to style, difficult to wash, easily damaged, etc.)


  1. Add fire and handcuffs and that wooden dress would probably make a very effective portable execution chamber. Solid oak is expensive though.

    1. Pshaw. Solid oak can't be any more than a haute couture dress from Chanel. The wooden dress is a bargain, I tell you.

  2. I think the wig (avec tofu meatballs) is a must-have.

    Too bad the new season of Project Runway has already started.