“People want to look effortless and carefree with their clothes because it could be conflated to imply they have their shit together and don’t worry about their body. There’s no anxiety in Céline or a beautifully cut Lanvin skirt. But anxiety is part of my identity, and I like clothes that bring it out. If I have to suffer this mortal coil, you’re gonna hear about it. Everything I do is out of the anxious death drive, let’s be real.”
CLOTHES & CLASS:
I participated in a panel with some very brilliant people: HERE for Adult Mag
Durga: I’ve spent the first half of summer re-reading Virginia Woolf. And so, my response to clothing at the moment is motivated and confused by Woolf’s “frock consciousness.” In her diary, Woolf talks about “display,” what she describes as “where people secrete an envelope which connects them & protects them from others.” She likens herself to the other; she was after all an outsider. “These states are very difficult (obviously I grope for words) but I’m always coming back to it…Still I cannot get at what I mean.”
That’s why so much of Mrs. Dalloway (class) and Orlando (gender, of course——Tilda played Orlando in the film adaptation) are devoted to the potential and futility of dress. Clothes had a psychological currency in her writing, even though her relationship to clothes was always fraught. Woolf considered herself to be a serious woman, but she was interested in pursuit, not definition. Of course she loathed excess in writing, ornamentation, etc., but I think Woolf’s scrutiny of style was her way of reconciling with how she felt as an outsider. She and her characters were on the margins: not pretty enough, living privately in public, feeling the doom of one’s position (especially a woman, anxious to please and placate, but also incapable). Dress figures prominently in her writing because she’s afraid to describe it, perhaps to describe appearances at all; I also have a fraught relationship to clothes, and as a writer I worry that I too, too often, rely on physical descriptions.
Elaine May during postproduction on Mikey and Nicky:
"May seemed to enjoy the minutiae of editing (in its way, a visual analogue to improvisation), although at times her habits became erratic. Some nights she would return to the editing bays after the editors had gone home, with Cassavetes in tow, and systematically undo everything the editors had done that day, then disappear for forty-eight hours. Cassavetes, Falk, and the writer Peter Feibleman were among the chosen few allowed to visit. At some point during postproduction, Jeannie Berlin also moved into the Sunset Marquis. May herself rarely ventured out, save to troll from her suite to the cutting room, her figure wraith-like, her face occasionally painted with intense mask like makeup. She had forbidden the maids from entering her private bedroom for ten months, and when she left the remaining production staff found rotting banana peels and apple cores strewn in her bed, the charred remains of TV dinners in the oven, the blackout curtains across all the windows. She’d written notes to herself in lipstick across all the mirrors. May seemed to lived primarily on pills and health food. At one point she even commanded an underling to bring her only pink food. "If you put any salt in the food," May told one waitress, "I will die right here."
From Rachel Abramowitz’ Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?