Contributor Corner: Meaghan Kelly

Similar to each print edition of WORN, our blog requires the hard work of several dedicated worker bees. I was going to say ladies, but maybe that’s a bit too old fashioned, perhaps even a little sexist and really, posts written with some testosterone backing them would be just as appreciated — but I digress. What I wanted to share with you, in what will soon be a regular installment on this here blog, is a brief but interesting look at some of our contributing writers.

I’m excited to get the ball rolling on this little project, and I couldn’t be happier to kick start things by introducing Meaghan Kelly. She keeps her own blog called Left Hand Endeavour, which I may or may not follow religiously. Though her first name involves the most complicated spelling of Megan/Meghan/Meagan/Meaghan I’ve ever come across, she’s endearing as all get out so I let it slide. Meaghan, meet our WORN readers, WORN readers, meet Meaghan.

1. How did you dress in high school?
I don’t know if I could pin point my style because it changed every month or so, but the two I remember the most distinctly were my grungy-ripped-jeans-army-bags-and-granny-sweaters-from-Value-Village phase, and my Lorena McKennitt inspired Wiccan phase (which involved lots of black-flowy-sleeves and dark purples). I think I would have given my left foot to own a pair of Doc Martens at the time, but my Dad thought they were for neo-Nazis and refused to let me own a pair, and my babysitting money just didn’t allow for me to buy them for myself….I was never all that girly, which is strange since I literally cringe at the idea of wearing pants nowadays…

2. Who would you rather be trapped in an elevator with – Karl Lagerfeld, Tyra Banks, or Lady Gaga?
I think probably Tyra Banks? So I could see her get those crazy eyes in person! And provoke her with controversial topics until she has a stroke!

3. If you could dress like your favorite food what would it be?
Mmmm. I think I’d dress up like the spread at a Southern picnic….including (though not limited to) potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, strawberries and of course there’d be some mandatory gingham print in there! Not sure how that outfit would go…but it sounds delicious!
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WORN Cinema Society: ‘Do you know where you’re going to?’

The fashion rags-to-riches story is always potent for the celluloid treatment. It’s a Gatsby ‘American Dream’ trajectory that captures the complications our popular culture has with wealth and fame (Biggie said it best: “Mo Money, Mo Problems”).

In 1975, Diana Ross was at her Sasha Fierce zenith: an Oscar nomination for her turn as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings The Blues, the #1 hit “Touch Me In The Morning”, a duets album with Marvin Gaye. She was Motown’s reigning ‘Supreme’ Diva — the original Beyonce template, the “I’m Coming Out” gay icon, a halo of Medusa frizz with yes, that requisite off-kilter misbehavior (there has to be something to off-set the Mackie sequins).

Which is precisely why Mahogany stumbled as a semi-autobiographical rumination on black stardom: Miss Diana was allowed to overact the heightened version of herself. It was the first misstep of a ten-year-old brand: Time Magazine blamed director/Motown honcho Berry Gordy — who took over directing duties after firing British director Tony Richardson for misunderstanding the ‘black experience’ — for “squandering one of America’s most natural resources”. But just like you don’t watch Valley of the Dolls, Mommie Dearest and Showgirls with the oh-so-serious film theory approaches — you gotta delve into Mahogany with the explicit understanding that it’s camp with a fabulous wardrobe that has something rather profound to say about fashion and cultural/racial politics.
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