Friday, November 25, 2011

a little yee-haw! goes a long way

I've declared a moratorium on adding t-shirts to my wardrobe. Call it the t-minus shirt rule; only shirts with interesting details, forms, and colours (with sanguinary limits) allowed. The plain ol' flabby tee is thusly banished, except for those hot summer days when a shirt has to be exposed to sweat, sunlight, and all that summer in sunny Southern California brings with it. Or laundry day. Or housecleaning day. You get the idea.

A few weeks, I shared one of my two most recent acquisitions - the gangsta pranksta shirt from Lip Service. This week, I'd like to share with you my second addition: the Scully Range Frontier Engineer Shirt. It's an Old West style shirt with a button-on cavalry bib and large silver-tone buttons. Cost: roughly 55 bucks from

Since this was an online purchase, I didn't quite know what to expect. The fit especially concerned me. But the good news is that the shirt fits and it more than passes muster. The heavyweight cotton denim is thick and sturdy - perfect for the cooler weather - and the style is worth a yee-haw or three for being different from the usual dress shirt.

This is not me wearing the shirt. I tried getting a picture of myself, but when that didn't work out I figured you might prefer to look at this guy.

Scully is actually quite a compelling brand, with some really beautiful cowboy shirt designs that burst with details, some of which (like the clustered buttons) invoke a contemporary sensibility.

Shepler's doesn't seem to offer much by way of Scully shirts for women, but they carry some beautiful pieces like this fringed jacket:

You'll a lot more, including shirts for the ladies and more garments for men and women, at Scully's website,

The funny thing is that I never thought I'd turn to Western wear for wardrobe choices...except for the fact that I did buy a beautiful skull-laden cowboy shirt from Shrine many years ago...proving yet again the value of embracing the unexpected. Lesson learned? Oh yes, I think so. Open your mind, and a cowboy might ride in. Or something like that.

On that note, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful and fulfilling Thanksgiving.

Note: Usual disclaimer about the images, which were borrowed from for illustrative purposes only and will be taken down at the copyright owner's request.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Frumpy Felicitations!

Wow, being official feels so... Official! I'm super happy to be a part of the Fashionoclast and I hope you're finding the news palatable, too!

Stop by any time!

My bio, "blue-eyed floozy," is taken from a line in a song.

Name the artist and song and win a prize!*

*The prize: A haiku or limerick in your honor. Choose your tribute wisely!

Friday, November 18, 2011

howdy, pardner!

For quite some time now, I’ve been asking myself what The Fashionoclast needs to get a bit more oomph. And maybe some “Boom! Goes the Dynamite.” And maybe some of that ol’ razzle-dazzle I keep hearing about. I didn’t get an immediate answer from the 8-ball, but I did get a multiple-choice:

The Fashionoclast needs…
A) Voluminous facial hair styled like Salvador Dali by way of the Yeti – to win the World Beard & Mustache Championship, of course.
B) Designer jewelry made from Hollywood's recycled tweets.
C) A chic floozy.
D) A celebrity lint museum.
In other words, someone to zing the place up, to pull rabbits out of hats, to be a Hardy-Har-Har to my Laurel, if you will. After a few false starts, it finally dawned on me to ask the one style blogger whose posts at her blog Pump Up the Frump, I am compelled to follow with something approximating piety. Someone for whom fashion is fun, experimental, non-judgmental…and really, just fun. Fashion can be serious stuff, but it’s great to be reminded that it doesn’t have to be. Oh, and puns. Who can resist a harbinger of puns?

You’ll have noticed her charming guest posts over the past few weeks, but to make the introduction officially official, I’m pleased to introduce you to Becky Haltermon, who has graciously agreed to take up residency at The Fashionoclast and ensure that it remains a 100% frump-free zone.

Becky, anti-frump activist and harbinger of puns.

For bonus points, she’s a self-described “blue-eyed floozy” - hey, it’s in her bio – which just goes to show you something about multiple choice questions, but I’m not sure what.

In other news, you’ll have also noticed that I’ve been doing some much-needed redecorating. New logo, newish colour scheme, decluttered page...All that remains is to hear from as to what you’d like to see in future blog posts. The Fashionoclast will remain a source for eclectic forays into the wild jungles of fashion, but this blog depends entirely, of course, on you beautiful readers. So please don’t be shy about telling us what you'd like to see. Chime in. Pipe up. Speak out. Type, type, type! The comments section is breathlessly waiting for you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

LA goes comikaze!

by frédérik sisa

There’s a lot cooking in the ol’ Fashionoclast stove, including posts on shoes, beauty products (and “handsome” products, too), and fezzes. Oh yes. You read that right. There will be fez hats in the Fashionoclast’s future. And it will be glorious.

But even bigger than all that, if anything can actually be bigger than a fez, is a big announcement accompanied by a big blog makeover. You’ll have to be patient, however. So while I get all that organized, this week’s light and airy post is a brief report from LA’s seedling answer to the infamous juggernaut that is San Diego Comic Con. Called Comikaze, this LA expo had comics, collectibles and memorabilia, and panels on various topics. There were celebrities on hand – I glimpsed the likes of Marina Sirtis, Virginia Hey, Garrett Wang, Robert Picardo, and Stan Lee. Overall, it was a fun, if disorganized, experience lacking a strong contingent of independent comic artists and writers. Strangely, even the major players like Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse didn’t have a presence at the expo. Still, before every oak comes an acorn, and there’s definitely the potential for something bigger in the years to come.

So what about the costumes? As with Comic Con, there were plenty of fans on hand dressing up as favourite characters from comics, TV/films, and video games. There was the usual: stormtroopers and other armoured Star Wars characters, Batmen of varying quality, X-men, and so on. I wasn't really too bothered with taking pictures, if only because, while nice, very few really stood out. Still, as a lead up to the most beautiful costume I saw at Comikaze, here's a few snapshots. If you click on the images, you might get
to appreciate just how fuzzy they really are.

This young lady is dressed up as American McGee's Alice. She sheepishly confided to lacking the vorpal blade, but I think she achieved the overall look rather nicely. I'm assuming the costume came from Electronic Arts'/Spicy Horse's merchandise website...pretty good quality, actually. Note the skull and ribbons...

No comic book event is complete without characters from the Batman universe, and these two ladies didn't disappoint with their classic presentation of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Kudos to Ivy for daring to walk around on the cold concrete floor of the convention room.

Blood-soaked costumes, huge blades, and chain saws...I was actually impressed that the guy dressed as Silent Hill's Pyramid Head was willing to lug around that helmet on his head.

Finally, the most beautiful costume of the expo, a steampunk ensemble that draws on 19th century aesthetic and embellishes it with wonderfully detailed mechanical wings. I'll say this about steampunk: they take their fashion seriously.

I'm looking forward to seeing what next year has to offer!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In the High Seventies

I'm a big fan of vintage clothes for approximately 928 reasons.


It's better for the planet. It makes for a more interesting and individual style. It helps you fill your afternoon wondering, "Why on Earth did someone feel the need to make a stiff, suede minidress?" (And, more importantly, why did I feel the need to buy it?)

Plus, on the everything-old-is-new-again, some historical stylistic references can seem awfully relevant. Behold: Disgruntled masses making their cases via the occupation of public spaces.


These photos are from 1973 from the Environmental Protection Agency's Documerica Project. Photographer Tom Hubbard captured the action in Cincinnati's Fountain Square and immortalized some incredibly fabulous fashions, too.


Inspiration: go!








See more of the images at How to Be a Retronaut.

All images by Tom Hubbard as part of the DOCUMERICA Project 1971 – 1977 by the Enviromental Protection Agency.

Check out a mostly vintage '70s look I donned the other day on Pump Up the Frump.

Friday, November 4, 2011

a shirt tale of gangstas and prankstas

by frédérik sisa

The gangsta's prank is...clogs?

Shirt: Lip Service
Jeans: Levi's
Clogs: Sanita

When I feel the need to reinvigorate the ol’ wardrobe, I tend to shop for something specific. I rarely simply browse for something I might happen to like. For this round, I had it it mind to find clothes that would 1) Reinforce the dwindling goth content in my wardrobe; and 2) replace t-shirts with more interesting button-up shirts.

Unfortunately, finding interesting shirts has the tendency of being only slightly less difficult then finding the Grail…at least that’s what I thought until I remembered the old goth brands I could get from Melrose stores back when Melrose was hip and indie. Shrine. Lip Service. The classics with a cutting edge. As I browsed online goth retailers, I eventually found my way to the Iris Noir Boutique and a dangerously sharp Lip Service item with an overcooked name: the “Gangsta Pranskta Snap-Up Punk Goth Shirt,” (ugh) priced at a reasonable $59. Fancy buttons, an ornamental belt that fills the role of a tie, epaulettes with D-rings, and all-black…a definite win all around. Here’s a closeup:

And there's more, as Lip Service's catalog, some of which is sold by Iris Noir, proves.

The only restriction I’ve found in wearing the shirt – admittedly a self-imposed restriction – is in carefully balancing the overall look to avoid an overly aggressive military look. Hence, I’m not going to be wearing this shirt with my Corcoran combat boots. Also hence; the clogs that soften the look – a result I could also get with a pair of Converse or my Demonia Deviant sneaks.

A side-effect of my little hunt, besides reconnecting with a subculture near and dear to me, has been to see how much has changed over the years. Shrine seems very much the same; beautiful fabrics, theatrical sensibilities, a romantic attitude. Lip Service still has the ass-kicking, in-your-face attitude I remember, although it’s popularity and reach often makes it seem like the edgier, grittier but still commercial cousin to Hot Topic. And I don’t have anything against Hot Topic, incidentally, despite the sneers it might get from the cooler-than-thou hipsters. In fact, I appreciate how Hot Topic keeps the counterish-culture alive and well in the mainstream awareness despite the disconnected authenticity that comes from mass retailing.

But I suppose a more thorough discussion of gothic couture will have to wait for another time. For now, I’ll leave you with the thought that I bought two shirts in this round of wardrobe boosting, though the second isn't from any of the goth brands. What was the second shirt? Stay tuned to find out…