Three Short (and One Longer) Reviews About Documentaries

We loved Bill Cunningham: New York. We are ridiculously excited for the Advanced Style film. However, we don’t limit ourselves to only critically watching documentaries explicitly about fashion. When Toronto’s Hot Docs fest rolled around a few months ago, the Wornettes took to the theatres. We noticed that there were documentaries on a variety of subjects in which either clothing played an integral role to the subject being explored, or the underbellies of parts of the fashion industry were exposed. Here are a few short reviews—and one longer one—about docs that got us thinking.

She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column
Dir. Kevin Hegge (2012)

Hegge combines present day interviews and archival footage to tell the story of the most badass lady fronted art-punk band Toronto has ever seen: Fifth Column. For those not familiar with the post-punk, pseudo psych group that featured a cast of rotating musicians, as well as three solid members (GB Jones, Caroline Azar, and Beverly Breckenridge), they fused art, music, and zines to create a style that was truly their own. Fifth Column came before riot grrrl, and Kathleen Hanna speaks in the film about what an inspiration the band was to her. Kathleen may have written “slut” on herself, but Fifth Column first insisted that “All Women Are Bitches.” Band members GB and Caroline explain in the film their philosophies on fashion: the faker, the better. The bigger the hair, the heavier the make-up, the more “ladylike” you were. As Judith Butler says, all gender is drag, and the girls in Fifth Column seem to really understand this. // Jenna Danchuk

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Dir. Brett Whitcomb (2012)

Flower-adorned, dressed in a sequin bikini, and riding in on a horse. No, this woman is not on the beach—she is entering the wrestling ring. GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling tells the story of the first all-female wrestling program that aired from 1986 to 1990. Each actress turned wrestler had a persona assigned to her and a dazzling ensemble to match: Americana was decked in stars and stripes and Amy the Father’s Daughter in a crop gingham top, Daisy Duke shorts, and pigtails. They were expected to stay in role 24/7 and developed their character by adding to their original costumes with corsets, accessories, fake accents, and even live animals to reflect their own personal style. When a wrestler of GLOW slipped on her leopard gloves or crimson cape, she took on a persona that gave her presence, confidence, and the strength to dropkick and put her opponent in a nelson hold, and look glamorous while doing it. // Jill Heintzman

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Très Click: Snozzberries and Zou Bisou Bisou

Field Notes on Fashion and Occupy (Part One)
Who says the fashion police don’t exist? (I’m sorry, I had to.) During the Occupy movement, protesters were targeted for what they wore. In moments of clash, clothing becomes political and as The New Inquiry puts it, “Fashion is endowed with the potential to inform a political reality.”

Podcast: Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant on CBC Radio’s Q
Hanging corpses and Zou Bisou Bisou may have been the highlights of season five but seriously, can we talk about Trudy’s nightgowns and Sally’s gogo boots? Janie Bryant sits with radio host Jian Ghomeshi to talk Mad Men’s character style evolution. Heads up, those pretending to be hard at work—the link takes you directly to the podcast. Fast forward to 39:40.

Swimwear as a Fashion Over the Decades
Hey! You look kind of cute, in that polka dot bikini, girl. And in that one-piece. And that bathing gown. In any kind of swimwear really.

What Fashion’s “Ethnic” Prints Are Really Called
Ever come across an intriguing print you wanted to know more about, only to see it frustratingly labelled as “tribal”? Stop sweating. Refinery 29 breaks it down for you in this smart glossary.

Part of this world, part of another
Gene Wilder’s got more taste than a snozzberry. Letters of Note unearthed his correspondence to director Mel Stuart in which he recommends specific sartorial ideas for Willy Wonka’s wardrobe, from the hat “two inches shorter would make it more special” to the pants “slime green trousers are icky.”

Crushing on Emi and Pygmy Hippo

If Jayne Mansfield and Shirley Temple had a lovechild, it would be Emi. Born in East Hollywood, this whimsical, first-name-only gal was raised by her single mother who taught her that creativity has no limits. When she’s not busy making her own clothes, Emi can be found with a big bow in her hair behind the counter of her cute novelty gift shop, Pygmy Hippo. She talked to WORN about beetle jewelry, her astroturf obsession, and sharing clothes with her best friend.

How did you dress in high school? How has your style changed?
I just wore what I liked and dressed to suit my moods, but I didn’t really learn to sew until I was 17, so I was just stapling and glue-gunning all kinds of shit together. Back then I had dreadlocks (it was the ’90s, okay?) that I’d dye a different colour of the rainbow every month and I had these insane 8” tall stacked sneakers that had fake Adidas stripes on the sides, which I’d paint with nail polish to match my hair colour! I feel like I was a lot more adventurous when I was a teen. I used to wear my grandma’s hospital gowns backwards with huge baby diaper safety pins to keep it shut down the front! I was also really into astroturf and covered everything from shoes to bags in it, and when I finally learned to sew, I made an astroturf bustier with a gingham tablecloth skirt that I was really proud of. I still have it in my closet!

You’re a good friend of Marie (AKA Agent Lover) who we also have a mega crush on. Do you ever swap clothes with her? Or even coordinate outfits?
RieRie’s my #1 boo! We definitely go over our outfits when we have an event we’re both going to, especially when there is a theme involved (love a theme!), but we haven’t coordinated our outfits to match like the Doublemint Twins or anything…YET. Luckily, we’re pretty much the same size so we can borrow each other’s clothes when we want and we also share custody of a lot of our shoes. Something I love that Marie started doing is buying little accessories in duplicate! If there is something I’m really crazy about, I can guarantee Marie will love it too and vice versa, so we’ll just buy two of whatever item we’re fawning over. I know this seems weird, but I promise it’s not—it totally works for us!


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Mai Wornette

By day, I’m a production editor who hustles people to meet deadlines. By night, I’m a freelance writer who muses mostly on feminist-y issues for various websites and magazines (shout-out to Shameless!). Before that, I took journalism at Ryerson University where I made up one half of the editors at the campus’s feminist magazine, McClung’s, which called for a diet of jelly beans and bad instant coffee.

Some of my greatest hits in fashion were when I was a kid. I rocked a pretty sweet romper that had a dizzying pattern of alphabet letters. I also donned some dangerously wide red bellbottoms that I paired with a matching nautical vest. Hot or what? Presently, most of my fashion cues come from the streets. In the web world, I’m particularly influenced by street style blogs, especially LookBook and Street Peeper. In the real world, I get inspired by staring at regular people’s attire behind my big dark sunglasses (I promise it’s not as creepy as it sounds).

I am overjoyed to be working for WORN in the editorial department because I believe in its core message that fashion shouldn’t be disposable.

Current Inspirations

xoJane.com
I was but a mere fetus when Sassy launched, but I always felt like I missed out on a revolutionary time for teens. Luckily, the defunct magazine lives on in the web, sort of. It features real, hilarious, and intelligent female writers (and a couple of boys, too) who candidly talk about everything from nail polish to sleeping with Terry Richardson.

Olaf Hajek
He’s a world-renowned illustrator from Berlin who happens to be incredibly handsome. I have one of his Flowerhead fashion paintings hanging on my wall. You can get lost in his paintings for hours; they are bizarrely gorgeous.

EcoSalon
I don’t know about you but when I hear words like green, sustainable, eco-friendly, natural, and organic, it sparks feelings of ooey-gooey goodness on the inside. Fuse those words with fashion, food, and culture and you get a guilt-free way to indulge in life while caring for the environment.

SF Girl By Bay
When I moved into my new apartment a month ago, this San Francisco girl was my ultimate décor mentor. Take that, Debbie Travis! She regularly posts stunning shots of stylish interiors. This post is the best of the bunch.

My Mom Is A Fob
Maybe it’s because my mom lives far away so I don’t get to see her often, but I turn to this blog a lot to remind myself of her cuteness. It is totally jokes!

photography by Brittany Lucas