Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Marching - On and On


That's my mother and Ian's best friend Sh
The ladyfriend and I made the trek to DC to participate in the Women's March.  As both my parents and our son live there, it was an easy trip to make (and no outrageous hotel costs to bear).  I knit five Pussy Hats with Manos Del Uruguay yarn, which felt so right as it benefits women in rural Uruguay. It was great seeing women in the hats at the rest areas along the way. 

We were a little concerned about crossing the border, having heard about Canadians and other foreign nationals being turned away at the crossing near Montreal, QC; however, we still carry American passports and decided not to pretend we were going somewhere else.

At the border, the conversation went a little bit like this:
Border guard:  Where are you headed?
Me:  Washington, DC
Border guard:  What's there?
Me:  My parents live there, and we thought we'd check out the march. (For some reason I thought "checking out a march" sounded reasonable; it was better than "I thought we'd take part in a revolution.")
Border guard asks a few standard questions - are you bringing anything in, and so forth.  Then he just looks at us, hands us back our passports, and lets us go.  Whew!

I have to say, when we came back to Canada, the Canadian border guard asked us how the march was and whether there'd been any problems.  He seemed quite interested, and not in a negative way.  Oh, Canada!

The march was fantastic.  By all accounts it was one of the largest rally/march in recent history.  I've been to a lot of marches in DC, going all the way back to the anti-apartheid marches in the '80s.  I went to the anti-Strategic Defense Initiative (aka Star Wars) rally in '84 or '85 (I shared a cab with Amy Carter while in DC - hah!), pro-choice rallies galore, and of course many Amnesty International marches and demos. 

Some images from the march -
Crowds at the Metro


Loved this!

These two guys were totally out of their element; they couldn't even handle the volume of our rally cries!  Wait 'til they experience the full extent of our wrath!

My dad and my ladyfriend

Got to meet one of my favourite fashion journalists - Lynn Jaeger!

The love is big, and the hats match!
So now we're home, and as such often the question of how to maintain the momentum arises.  However, it seems like the current administration is going to keep those fires stoked with the executive orders coming out of the White House.  But as we know, it's not enough to be incensed. These troubled times require action.  Thankfully there are a lot of ways to engage in the battle.

I've been referring back to this post, Twenty Things You Can Do When the World Is Terrifying, regularly.  (Think it was Karen who sent me to this post...)  I also believe in Craft as Solace, which reminds me of this cross stitch I uploaded here once before -
The ladyfriend and I are committed to being informed and get headlines from The Guardian and The New York Times.  I'm also listening to Democracy Now! and the NPR Politics podcast.  We've sent money to the ACLU (thank you, thank you, thank you) and will be sending money to Planned Parenthood (also a big thank you to them - I used them for gynecology exams before I had insurance, and they were ones I went to when I needed to find out whether I was pregnant).  And of course, we'll be sending postcards, marching, and resisting the normalization of the fascism we're facing.

Stay nasty, my friends!
The boy had to work but went to protests on Inauguration Day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Highly Suspicious

Dress:  Aida Barni
Vest: Dolce & Gabbana
Tights:  no label
Boots:  Timberland (thrifted from Mom)

Monday, January 23, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Stay Nasty, My Friends

Pussyhat: knit by yours truly from Manos del Uruguay yarn
Dress:  Piazza Sempione
Shirt:  Rachael Mara (ebay)
Tights: Pierre Mantoux
Boots:  La Canadienne

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Tie-Breaker

Shirt:  Banana Republic
Tie: Carlton (thrifted)
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights:  Hue
Socks (not seen): SmartWool
Boots:  La Canadienne

Monday, January 16, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Ahoy, Matey!

Jacket:  Comme des Garcons
Shirt:  Saint James
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights:  Hue
Boots:  Marc Jacobs

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Always Looking for Something

Shirt:  Izod (thrifted)
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights (not seen): Hue
Boots: Aquaitalia

Monday, January 9, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: A New Year Ahead

Shirt:  Karen Klein
Skirt:  Banana Republic
Tights (not seen):  Wolford
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Some Reflections After a Year of Not Buying New Clothing

It started around Christmas 2015.  I really didn't want any clothing for the holidays.  I'd done the Life Changing Magic purge in October and was well aware of how much clothing I still had.  On this day, last year, I decided to go public with my make/mend/thrift pledge for the year, and here are some of the things I discovered.

1.  It wasn't that hard. 
This bare fact really hits home how my approach to fashion and style has developed over the past few years.  I had two moments (here and here) where there were dresses I coveted.  These moments happened early on, and I'd say they were more a knee-jerk reaction to associating liking something with owning it.
 
2.  It's not about you.  
It wasn't as though I were parading about, making a statement, but if buying clothes or fashion came up in conversation, I'd tell people that I wasn't buying any new clothes.  Some people responded as though I were judging them by my actions.  Others wanted to question my guidelines - for example, trying to undermine my pledge by saying that thrifting was buying something new.  Listen up, buttercup, these are my guidelines.  You can make your own if you want.
 
3.  I can make it if I try.
Okay, that sounds a bit more serious than it was.  I made the mustard sweater as well as the Brooklyn skirt in a gorgeous purple.  I have the pattern and fabric for the culottes (although it's not khaki), and I have patterns and fabric for all kinds of other projects.  That mustard sweater has become a staple in my wardrobe, as I'd imagined it might be.  The beautiful thing is that it goes with a lot of things in my wardrobe.  This year, I'm making jeans.
 
4.  Make what I like; like what I make.
Yep.  That seems like it should be "duh," but in previous years, I'd find that I'd make something and not be that happy with it.  I'd buy fabric, because it was cute, but then find it maybe too cute for me.   I also ripped out more than one sweater that had been knit years ago (one that I probably knit in the late '90s!).  I've already reworked the yarn from one of those sweaters (originally a Rowan pattern) into a cardigan from the first issue of Making (oh, be still my crafty heart!).  I freakin' love that cardigan.  Even the fact that I had to get more yarn (gasp - how would it ever match?) wasn't a total disaster.  I simply alternated rows of the old with the new, on the back (crafty, crafty, crafty) where I don't see it (hah!).  No one's the wiser!

5.  My personal style is emerging.
I know - it seems like my style is pretty finessed already.  But what I'm learning, still, is where my making and my investment in style and fashion are intersecting.  This is still under development, for sure, (currently working on an essay about it), but in a very deep way, I'm grappling with how my identity intersects with my style.  Yes, I'm asking existential questions around fashion - hey, why not?  I'm trying to get to a place where who I am is the identity communicated by my style.  Stay tuned for that one.

I haven't felt the need to make a similar pledge for 2017, but that's only because I'm really not into shopping like that anymore, and that's probably one of the best outcomes of last year's pledge.

Happy New Year!