Remember When It Used To Be Warm?

Worn to WORN: Jenna Wornette dressed somewhere between "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and "Bewitched"

What inspired this outfit?
I was going for loungy, light and dream-like. It was really hot out that day, so I wanted to be comfortable, but still fashionable and a little eccentric. Most of my clothes are second hand – looking like they were made somewhere between the ’60s, and the ’80s. I like the colours, prints and the attitudes associated with those times.

Tell me about one of the items you are wearing.
My dress is from the Salvation Army across the street from the old WORN office. It was under $10, which automatically makes it a great item. I love the quilted panel and the slight point in the seams of the chest – darted busts intrigue me. The colours are amazing and the print is genius – it’s the wings of butterflies.

What is the best book to read in this outfit?
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. This is a dress to take drugs in, if I’ve ever seen one.

What style icon would wear this outfit?
Endora, Samantha’s mother on Bewitched. It has the retro housedress vibe to it, and my recently dyed black hair has a witchy feel to it.

outfit credits // Dress, earrings and bracelet are thrifted from the Salvation Army, shoes by Betsy Johnson.

photography // Hailey Siracky

Worn to WORN: Jill est Très Chic

What inspired this outfit?
Classic starlets (hello Brigitte Bardot, Jean Seberg, Audrey Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick) have inspired my love affair with stripes. I think I must own at least a dozen striped shirts and this has become my go-to look. I am probably destined to be a jailbird.

Tell me about one of the items you are wearing.
My watch was a gift from someone who traveled often, and it allowed me to keep track of the time in both of our time zones. Sometimes I change the black dial to wherever I want to be in the world.

What is the best book to read in this outfit?
This outfit makes me feel as if I should be in Paris, and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway makes me feel the same way. Hemingway depicts his life in Paris so beautifully; I think if I were to jump into the pages in this outfit I would feel right at home.

What style icon would wear this outfit?
I think Brigitte Bardot would approve of my stripes and bow! She may have even had the same iPhone case if they had been invented in the ’60s—as she once said, “I really am a cat transformed into a woman: I purr, I scratch, and sometimes I bite.”

Outfit credits: Skirt from Topshop, Shirt from Zara, Watch was a gift, Shoes from Urban Outfitters, Bow from American Apparel.

photos by Hailey Siracky

Book Review: Fugitive Denim

Rachel Louise Snyder’s Fugitive Denim comes with the tagline, “a moving story of people and pants in the borderless world of global trade” — and that’s exactly what it is. Having had no previous introduction to the ins and outs of things like global textile laws or the mechanics of a cotton gin, I was prepared for a book full of hard-to-follow facts and, although determined to learn, feared I might be in over my head. But Snyder (an author, journalist, and professor from Washington D.C.) takes this intimidating subject matter and makes it not just interesting, but relatable. Throughout the book, she shares the stories of people in five different countries: from cotton pickers in Azerbaijan to fashion designers in the United States, bridging our mental distance between the clothes on our bodies and where — and who — they come from.

Fugitive Denim begins by explaining the termination of the World Trade Organization’s Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA) in 2005 — an agreement that, in simplest terms, “set limits on the amount of textiles and apparel any one country could export to the United States.” According to Snyder, limiting exports to the United States meant that no single developing country could have a monopoly on the developed world’s market, giving many small nations (such as Cambodia, Laos, Peru, Nepal) a way of entering a market in which they otherwise might not have been able to compete. With the termination of the MFA, competition would increase and clothing prices would drop. Developing countries previously given access to large consumer markets would now have to compete against manufacturing giants like China and India without help. It’s the uncertainty and upheaval set into motion by dissolving these laws that Snyder addresses in Fugitive Denim. She puts names and stories to the people whose livelihoods are affected by the global textile industry and in doing so, makes readers aware of exactly what exists within every fibre of their pants.

There were moments where Snyder’s story felt disjointed. While the book is organized into four major parts, they have no title to indicate the section’s overlying theme, and the chapters have titles such as, “The Little Volcanoes we Carry,” and “The Ghosts in the Trees,” which are interesting and poetic, but give the reader little indication of what they’re getting into. In a book that attempts to address such a far-reaching and complicated topic, a little structural guidance would have gone a long way.

Most interesting to me was the writing itself. I expected a book about the intricacies of textile laws and their effects around the world to read more like a textbook than a good novel — but it doesn’t. Snyder presents facts with creativity, offering information to the reader through stories about people. One that stands out in my mind is a garment worker and former union leader in Cambodia who notes, after recounting being attacked on her way to protest for holiday pay, “We all die; I wasn’t afraid of dying. In living we lose control.” Along with effectively telling the story of globalized fashion, Fugitive Denim is full of these kinds of small and stirring observations, making it, truly, a moving story of people and pants.

Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade by Rachel Louise Snyder.
W. W. Norton & Company, 2009
review and photography by Hailey Siracky

Dreamland

As a little girl, the only feeling I had toward my sleepwear was one of irritation. Putting on a nightgown meant sleep, and sleep meant having to turn off the light and put my book away and finish reading my story tomorrow. And I really wasn’t interested in that.

Back then, my nightgowns were usually multi-coloured and printed with television characters or flowers or tiny animals wearing tutus. Later on, in high school, I moved on to sleeping in a pair of sweatpants and the neon green t-shirt I won when I played on the Lamont Junior High basketball team. It wasn’t attractive, but it did the trick. Growing up, I learned to care about what I wore to school, but I never gave much thought to my sleepwear. My love of clothing seemed to be limited to daytime only. When it came to sleeping, my thought process was always, “I’m going to be asleep. Who cares?”

But lately I have fallen in love with nightgowns—you know the ones: loose white cotton, sometimes decorated with a lace collar, or ribbons, or ruffles at the sleeves. They are the nightgowns you see on dolls with porcelain faces, or in the pages of the storybooks your grandmother used to read to you. There is something both romantic and innocent about donning a simple, white gown to go to bed — it feels at once grown-up and childlike, like I could be a Proper Lady and six years old all at the same time.

I feel like a nightgown is a very clever disguise. In it, I could easily be one of Ludwig Bemelman’s twelve little girls in two straight lines, or a long lost VonTrapp. You could transport me to the 1960s and nobody would know that I was actually an interloper from the age of wifi and tweeting.

I love clothing for the space it gives me to pretend — to imagine I’m a different person or from a different era, or to somehow identify with a favourite story or film. And suddenly, with a simple cotton gown, my ability to imagine is no longer limited to the daylight hours.

I found my first grown-up nightgown a few weeks ago. I have a feeling it will be the beginning of a collection. Now, instead of having to put away my book until tomorrow, I can pretend at any hour, day or night.

- Hailey Siracky