I turned 53 yesterday. We celebrated by pigging out on sushi at Nishino, then joined a group of friends for the Art Institute of Seattle's Underground Couture Fashion Runway Show. Why would a 53-year old heterosexual want to spend one of his precious few remaining birthdays at a fashion show? It's Premium T.'s fault. Earlier this year, I decided at the last minute to stay home on a night she had planned to to settle in for some serious chick TV. She wouldn't change her plans, and I wound watching not just one episode of "Project Runway," but four of them. We spent a good part of the early hours of the morning critiquing the designs and designers. So when the chance to do this on my birthday came up...
Anyway, it was great fun. The winning designers came up with a concept based on the Seven Deadly Sins, where each model promenaded in a couture ensemble based on one of the sins. (They all aimed to inspire lust, it seemed to me.) Other impressive designs included a sort of dashiki-desert robe kind of thing of vermillion fabric with gold print; a bustled wedding gown (a clear winner with the 9-year old girl in front of me); and what looked at first like a Standard Black Minidress, except that it also included a white lace bib -- a sort of contemporary pilgrim thing. A bad good girl, as it were.
Less impressive was the use of clashing colors, although I'm told that it's an anti-fashion fashion statement. I guess the intent is ironic, if no less clashing for that. One guy modeled, for no apparent reason, a pirate suit complete with puffy shirt. Some things didn't work that well, but even those reinforced one of life's truisms: If you're young enough, you can wear anything.
Now, here's something about modeling that I don't understand: Why is it that the models adopt a severe facial expression that announces to one and all that the last place in the world they want to be is on this runway in these clothes in front of those people? A member of our party has done some modeling; she suggested that when you spend all day locked in a small room without food or water, being turned this way and that by dressers, the last thing you're capable of doing is smiling. On the way out, we checked with a group of models. Apparently amateurs, they shrugged and said that they had been told not to look too happy.
Musical aside: Blogging on the first sunny day of spring while listening to Gary Louris' Vagabond and fell0w former Jayhawk Mark Olson's Salvation while Premium T. prepares poems for submission turns out to feel pretty good. Check out Olson's impossibly lovely ballad "My Carol" here.
The U.S. Navy in its infinite wisdom promises that Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Dickinson will never "wear her uniform again in the service of our country." "Service" is perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, as Dickinson's offense is moonlighting as a call girl for the D.C. Madam. Maybe I've seen The Last Detail one too many times, but bear with me for a minute: If the Navy discharged every sailor who had been to a whorehouse, just how many would they have left? (See poll to right.)