Mar 7, 2015


by Weng Fen (via)

When I was 19, I lived in China. My time there sticks with me like the smell of fried onions in a cook's apron.
ORDOS, A MAGICAL LAND in the just north of China, is a dazzling pearl in the world history and culture. That’s what it says — verbatim, in ungrammatical English — on a plaque that greets you as you enter a rotunda in the Ordos Museum. ... Signs welcome visitors to “the famous tourist city,” “the most excellent tourist city” and “the top tourist city in China.” The word Ordos itself is a kind of boast: In Mongolian, it means “many palaces.” The outside world has come to know Ordos by a different title: as a ghost city.
It is true that China is in the throes of a transformation without analogue or precedent. Experts say that in the next two decades, hundreds of millions of rural Chinese will move into hundreds of newly built cities — the biggest building boom, and the largest migration, in human history.

- "The Colossal Strangeness of China's Most Excellent Tourist City" for T Magazine (link)
I've never been to the city of Ordos. I am haunted by its condition. Recalling the strangeness of finding something desolate in China gives me feelings that I just can't shake. I will never forget the times I spent in places like this. My reminiscence lives somewhere between dysphoria and elation - somehow like the calm surprise of discovering a bruise as you run a finger down your leg. I can't stop thinking about deserted streets where welding sparks shower from the tops of rebar and cement sky-scrapers as they are pieced together at all hours of the night and day. I can't forget assembling around car trunk wares with friends during warm spring nights on the edge of the desert. This article and these photos have captured a feeling and a comprehension that I have never been able to convey.

Mar 3, 2015

Who Madeleine Østlie

Who is Madeleine Østlie? Is she an editor? Is she a photographer? I found this shoot titled DISTRICTIC MTV in her portfolio.

Who are these models? They're so badass. Who put this together? It's so badass. I am so sick of fashion trying to sell stuff using dead fish and a deeply exclusive sense of self-importance. I want to experience stories and ideas told by people who are using fashions as a medium.

Interesting from the same source:

via Madeleine Østlie

Even when I am in a state of 'fashion disgust'. I will never stop exploring. Discovering something that feels original, passionate, and honest is like hitting a way-point when I thought I was hopelessly lost. Maybe, because fashion magazines were my most accessible window into culture growing up, I am still deeply interested in the work within their pages. I revered the presentations that spoke the loudest and felt the realest. This particular one would be a good example.

Nowadays I appreciate fashion advertising and editorials as cultural compasses. I like to see how the interests of designers trickle their way into society. All things start somewhere, and the process of wearing things starts with a designer. So, whether you like it or not, sometimes flared pants will be the freshest thing in the supermarket.

CAT workboots, for example, are being showcased in this shoot. I recognize them as Timberlands at first. I don't see this as an advertisement for these boots, even if whoever was culling these pieces for this story had them placed in their hands. Timberland boots are one of your few options for footwear if you are in prison. Since their design, these work boots have now acquired the power of a million stories. (Interestingly, Timberland boots used to carry a lifetime warranty for any consumer, though the offer has recently been revoked to incarcerated peoples.) These boots are being applied to this project like a texture; they were picked to tell, not sell. This texture shows me two girls owning a massive male street swagger. The fashion in this shoot is acting as a foil to highlight both the status of black men and the flex of women.

If you ever do see an advertisement for Timberland they will show you either 1) a proud and massive workman with a jackhammer or 2) Nordic guy with a rugged leather satchel full of important documents and ice-climbing gear walking briskly along a cobbled city street.

Paper glossies are obsolete now, I am grown up. It's time to get real.
Fashion is made by gigantic threshing machines threaded by the commonwealth as their uber wealthy and self-absorbed multi-national overseers Instagram pictures of manicured fingers clutching pastel-colored French macroons #tru. I am not interested in fashion that sounds like a little klipp of heels in an alley.

I haven't outgrown fashion, not in the slightest! The clothes are finally starting to fit. If I want things done my way, maybe I should just start doing them myself.