Unbinding Binaries: A Panel Discussion on Clothing & Gender Identity (UPDATE)

UPDATE: MARCH 9, 2012

First, WORN would like to thank everyone who has voiced their concerns. WORN is grateful for any and all constructive criticism, and we know that your feedback will make our future events so much stronger.

In light of all the feedback, we have decided that a panel discussion is simply too small a platform for this kind of conversation. We now believe that we do not currently have the time, the space, or the necessary resources to do this extremely important topic the justice it deserves; we ask for your understanding in postponing this panel discussion until we can do it properly.

We thank you for your intelligent commentary, your necessary feedback, and your continued support. Please send us all your feedback via email. We want to hear from everyone what WORN can do to enable a platform for this crucial conversation, and to be an ally to a community that we have the utmost respect for.

Love,

WORN Fashion Journal

Bundle Up with Love

The first chill of winter wind cutting through my layers always takes me back to my childhood, when the bitter cold always evoked the same feeling of dread in my bones: the horror of the winter parka. I vividly remember trying to sneak out the back door into the rolling hills of the first snow; tiptoeing across the icy tile floor to slowly open the squeaky door, I almost expected my mother’s slightly annoyed voice to stop me in my tracks with, “Wait, wait, you forgot your winter coat!”

I can still feel the overwhelming entrapment puffy garments meant for me. Stuffed into those marshmallow-like neon jackets, I was sweaty and annoyed, completely paralyzed from moving my arms in any practical manner and certainly unable to maneuver through the snow at a reasonable speed.

Apparently my mom enjoyed this feeling. Every year she pulled out her very own puffer, an item we coined her “sleeping bag coat,” turning her into a small human taco in a black insulated tortilla.

I freed myself from the chains of the puffy winter coat as soon as I was old enough to reasonably make wardrobe decisions for myself. I use the term “reasonably” quite loosely. For years I waded through the North Vancouver snow in next to nothing, always near hypothermia but never quite humble enough to admit it, especially to my triple-layered-taco mom. By the time I realized I was sick of feeling hypothermic every winter, I was already off to university in Toronto, a land that all Vancouverites warned me was, “so cold you couldn’t even go outside in the winter.” My very stylish father was alarmed by this news, and in order to ensure my survival in the desolate artic tundra of Canada’s East, he vowed to buy me an impenetrable parka.

True to his word, on the first day we landed in Toronto, we went shopping to find the ideal warm winter wrapping; I ended up with a fantastic navy blue twill parka lined with light blue silk and layered with pockets of down insulating the inside, complete with an Eskimo-style fur hood and big shiny silver buttons.

Although my mother was a little disappointed I turned down the black shiny puffer-coat options she had presented, when she felt the weight of my new parka she was satisfied; I would be warm.

Over the years, having suffered through winters full of nagging and many claustrophobic moments of being buried under too many layers, I’ve come to realize my mom was just trying to teach me the most important survival skill in a Canadian winter: staying warm, inside and out. In retrospect, the donning of the winter coat was always linked with hugs and kisses, warm shortbread cookies, and homemade apple cider — all my mother’s ways of keeping her family as warm as possible. Now in my twenties, I am always eager to layer up each winter with my parka, sweet treats, and lots of love — proof that mothers always know best. My mother, to this day, still wears her sleeping bag coat, proudly donning it every holiday season.

Alyssa Garrison
Photography by Erika Neilly

Book Review – 60′s Fashion: Vintage Fashion and Beauty Ads

This nearly pocket-sized mini-book doesn’t hold the appeal of extensive text or impressive knowledge to share, but it sure offers up some amazing photographs and quirky advertising that’s almost guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

A member of the Taschen Icon series, the hot pink paperback is miniature version of the much pricier coffee-table edition. Not much writing sits between the front and back cover, only a short prologue by Laura Schooling of Style.com that outlines the era and delves into a short description of what it was like to live during the 60′s, handily including translations in English, German and French.


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Perfume Pandemonium

Chanel no. 5, inherited from my amazingly stylish Great Grandmother

My mother is constantly reminding me how odd my ideas about the world are, one such idea being my fondness for scents. For the past five years or so I’ve developed a complete obsession with scents. For me, scents are always connected to a feeling, a situation, or more specifically, a look. Over the past five years I’ve been dedicated to expanding my personal set of scents, and as a result I’ve acquired an overwhelming number of perfumes from the last five birthdays and Christmases.

My first grown up perfume, Hermes Concentre D’Orange Vert

Regardless of my mother’s rambling, I secretly don’t think I’m that peculiar. I have more fondness for the idea of a feeling than for a real object, like a handbag or a pair of shoes. My vintage Chanel No. 5 will forever be the hugs of my great grandmother, even though she has been dead and gone for two years now. She wore that scent in life, and she lives through it now.

Chance by Chanel, for vintage-inspired outfits and long bike rides in the park

Coco Chanel once said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” Not to side with Chanel and condemn you no-scent-zone folk, but perfume is a huge part of my daily life. Not only do I express myself through the scent I choose to wear each day, I can even sniff out olfactory characteristics on those around me, and when I have a fond memory, it’s always laced with the scent of the moment. My scent habits have become so concrete that those who know me well can decipher my mood on any given day.
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