It’s hard to picture a time when people would put on their mink coats and white gloves just to go flying. I don’t know about you, but for me, airplane attire is a ratty hoodie and slouchy sweats. But Prudence Black’s The Flight Attendant’s Shoe takes me back to a time when flying was a spectacular occasion that was nothing short of glamorous. Black chronicles the uniforms worn by flight hostesses of Australia’s international airline, Qantas, from 1948 to 2003.
Uniforms could seem like the antithesis of fashion—wearers are bound by restrictions, stripped of individuality, and awash in homogeny. But after the Second World War, becoming a stewardess was a dream career due to its chic allure, and The Flight Attendant’s Shoe quickly reveals that a relationship between utilitarian uniforms and high fashion does exist. Black contextualizes the subject within crucial events—changes to the flight attendant’s uniform echoed changes to the broader landscape of Australia’s social, industrial, and economic history.
2011 was the year I finally embraced wearing lipstick. I have what is commonly referred to as a “gigantic mouth” and always thought lip colours would call negative attention to it. Not only that, but my gigantic mouth is paired with huge teeth, which means I’m constantly worried about getting lipstick on said huge teeth. However, 2011 was the year I learned that wearing lipstick makes everyone look better. It seems to work some sort of psychological magic on other people: your skin appears clearer, your eyes seem brighter, and you just generally present the appearance of someone who is very polished and together and not hungover at the WORN office struggling not to barf on Serah-Marie’s laptop. Not that I would know from personal experience.
I still try to save lipstick for special occasions. I like the creamy texture of lipsticks for more civilized activities—drinks with friends, job interviews, that sort of thing. Lip stains are better for everyday wear because they do what the name implies: they stain your lips and then leave the colour there for a long-ass time. If you’re working all day away from a mirror, you can trust a lip stain to stay more or less in place; if you’re at a sweaty dance party, a lip stain won’t bleed all over your chin when you wipe some errant vodka from your face. Again, not that I would know from personal experience.
For this edition of “This Shit Ain’t Free,” I present a round-up of some lip stains currently bouncing around the bottom of my purse.
COVERGIRL OUTLAST LIP STAIN IN SCARLET PUCKER
I either got this lip stain through MAGIC or through STEALING. I was holding it in my hand at Shoppers, and I swear I thought I put it on the counter with my toothpaste and Twizzlers (anti-cavities and pro-sugar, I am nothing if not counterproductive). The next thing I knew I was outside and my receipt didn’t have the lip stain on it! Ah!! So, technically, I did not pay for this shit. But I MEANT to.
Not that I advocate accidental shoplifting, but I have to say, I’m sort of glad I didn’t pay for this. It’s not so great. I really like the colour, but the formula is very drying. I find that the texture just calls attention to how dry my lips get in the winter. Sometimes I layer it underneath the above mentioned creamy lipstick to give the colours more depth. Otherwise I have to pile a bunch of lip balm on top of it (Kiehl’s #1 is the best, don’t even try to fight me on this). It’s definitely not my favorite. I give it 1 smooch out of 4 potential smooches.
JJ Levine’s Switch Project
Montreal based genderqueer artist JJ Levine’s Switch photos depict couples in different-gender dress, awkwardly posing as if at a spring formal. In these diptychs, partners change outfits, and each person gets a chance to dress as “girl” and “boy,” despite their gender identity.
David M. Halperin, “Style and the Meaning of Gay Culture”
Halperin’s recent article discusses the significance of “style” to gay male culture: “To inquire into melodrama, camp, irony, drag, bodybuilding or Art Deco as “gay” styles is to seek the content of gay culture in its practices — to describe the intervention gay culture makes in the world as it is given. Everything depends on the all-important and elusive meaning of style.”
Becoming Judy: Jonathon’s Story
Pride Toronto helped produce these short videos in which a few LGBTQ folks tell their own unique stories. Drag queen Judy Virago talks about dressing up and being queer.
Queers and Steers: Night of 1000 Dollys
This long running, country western cult party on Thursday June 28th at the Gladstone Hotel pays tribute to “country’s greatest drag queen;” Dolly Parton. Don your gaudy blonde wig, chaps, and glittering cowboy boots while you enjoy watching performers like Keith Cole, Lex Vaughn, and The Tennessee Mountain Homo Choir.
Text by Jenna Danchuk
Image by Brianne Burnell
If you crossed a V.C. Andrews novel with fashion nonfiction, you would end up with House of Versace, the deliciously trashy story of the ups and extreme downs of the Versace legacy. Gianni Versace, founder of the opulent design house, lived a life of glamour and lavishness until he was murdered on the steps of his home by a crazed fan. It is with this moment that author Deborah Ball (a former Wall Street Journal reporter) begins her narrative. The novel reads like the kind of gossip magazine you pore over in a grocery checkout line: no salacious detail is overlooked, and no family secret left in the dark.
Chapters are in-depth and meticulously researched. While, of course, we delve deep into the early childhood of Gianni, older brother Santo and diva-in-her-own-right Donatella, pages upon pages are also dedicated to detailing the background of the celebrities that get introduced. Armani, Campbell, Donatella’s husband, Paul Beck, Gianni’s lover, Antonio D’Amico, and eventually Gianni’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan, are each given a proper biography before being woven into our tragic hero’s timeline.