Flip Flops and Fur

flip flops and fur, blankstareblink.comOctober 31 will mark the second anniversary of Blank Stare, Blink. Paula and I started this blog to consciously insert ourselves “into fashion”. Beyond the years of almost daily back-and-forth emails we exchanged of fashion folly, we were always the bystanders—the fans, watching the stage of fashion.

However, since the invention of Style.com, Instagram, and the many other online places that spread Fashion Week photos, stories, and gossip, you can be anyone and everywhere during the collections shown in New York, London, Milan and Paris.

I’ve been a model getting my make-up done by the one-and-only Pat McGrath. I’ve been an editor inside Diane Von Furstenberg’s Paris apartment. I’ve been a buyer sitting front-row at every major show. I’ve been invited to parties, gatherings and intimate dinners along with all the other fabulous and beautiful taste-makers. But during all this viewing and voyeurism, I feel isolated and excluded.

As the same cast of characters smile, pose their signature pose and mindlessly upload images of their pounds of “it girl” invites, it all just kind of looks the same.

When I was young, middle school to be exact, I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine in front of the lockers at school. It went something like this…

While wearing pegged 501 jeans, creepers, t-shirt, leather jacket and a shaved 1/4″ flat-top, I said, “Yeah, I don’t look at fashion magazines. I’ll never look like those girls, can’t afford the clothes, and going through those pages will just make me feel bad about myself.”

For years and years, I didn’t look at magazines. I liked my style, knew what I wanted and how I wanted to look, and in my defiance didn’t need to be told anything. I was dumb and thirteen, but right about one thing: I never wanted to be in the category of the same.

Fashion has the ability to warp your senses and confuse your being. Fashion is truly about following, while style is about being yourself. But with all the access those wires get crossed, at least inside my brain, and I can’t remember who I was and what I stood for.

This weekend after getting ready for an event, I asked my husband, “Do I look fashion forward?” As soon as the words left my mouth I felt like an idiot. A fake. What does that even mean? But how he replied woke me up, “You look like you. You have personal style.”

For someone who was never an it girl, or looked like one of the beauties on the pages of Vogue, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be a taste-maker like Eva Chen, Mira Duma, or Anna dello Russo for just one day.

But every day, I’d much rather be the five-year-old who wore a bathing suit on her head for a year because that delicious yellow suit with a duck on the tummy might not have fit on my body anymore, but it sure fit on my head and made for a stunning hat. Or the girl who wore flip flops and shorts with my fur. Now that’s style.

7 Responses

  1. bettie8it@sbcglobal.net'
    shaz

    Jen
    Great Story. Harold is spot on. You and B are both the most stylish chics I could ever wish to be. Happy Anniversary ladies. Shaz.xx

  2. hillaryfrileck@mac.com'
    Hillary

    I love that pic! And I also admire how you never look at fashion mags and roll so great by the beat of your own drum but don’t ever look ridiculous, always awesome. Happy Anniversary!

  3. ahassett@nytimes.com'
    Anne Hassett

    Great story and happy anniversary to you both! Thanks for your fashion validation–now I don’t feel guilty for buying that DA-NANG coat yesterday that I was on the fence about because it was too edgy and grungish. I love it and will wear it proudly!

  4. aratner@nyc.rr.com'
    andrea

    Happy Anniversary BSB ladies! You two may not be “it girls” on style.com, etc., but you are it girls to me! You both have unique voices that resonate with me and that keeps me coming back to excitedly read your posts! Keep doing what your’re doing!

  5. makeupbystacymc@gmail.com'

    I loved reading this. It’s a good reminder to try and follow your own instincts when it comes to what feels right on you. I love that pic by the way! Happy Anniversary!

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