Let me just come right out and say that I don’t dress well. I’ve never been a sharp dresser, and that’s probably not going to change as long as two iron-clad factors remain in place: I don’t shop and I don’t care.
Occasionally (weddings, funerals) I will deliver for the people in my life more effort than normally goes into my 365-day uniform of maximum comfort and convenience. The only other thing hanging in the closet next to my winter coat is a sad black suit so ill-fitting its almost precisely the opposite of what it should be: the pant dimensions both Billie-Jean-short and uncomfortably snug around the waist, paired with a jacket so oversized it makes David Byrne’s 1984 gyrations look downright sensible. Whenever a social emergency strikes, I can cobble these forces together with a crinkled tie from the back of the sock drawer and pull off a look that rises blissfully just above the threshold of show-stopping embarrassment.
As a person who spends his life rather preoccupied with the arts, you’d think I might express a bit more interest in something like fashion, and sometimes I do. The appeal of fashion design seems obvious – from the perspective of the designer. Surely there is tremendous satisfaction to be found first in dreaming up, and then realizing though skilled craft, evocative ways to dress the human form. There is also little doubt in my mind that fashion, like music, holds all kinds of secret joys and truths that remain forever hidden from the uninitiated.
But fashion also exudes a force in our lives which can be uniquely problematic. Beyond the studio and the runway, fashion seems to takes on a far more sinister role, especially when viewed from the perspective of consumers and workers living in the world today – this is the world of egregious gender disparity, sweatshops, subliminal advertising, body dysmorphia, consumer debt, and a generalized atmospheric pressure to serve those interested in control and conformity. All too often in this world, fashion – whatever its benevolent origins in the designer’s studio – becomes a powerful tool which has frequently been used to undermine people.
Ugh, what am I doing? Surely anyone still reading this is thoroughly bummed out by now. Probably because I’m not particularly qualified to discuss this heavy stuff in public. What we need here is somebody smarter, funnier and quite frankly more stylish to take up this weighed material. Maybe British film director Peter Strickland is such a person. Word on the street is Strickland’s new horror/comedy film “In Fabric” takes up some of these problems swirling around our cultural relationship to the world of fashion, its hypnotic allure, and its unfortunate entanglement with consumerism and exploitation.
The trailer for “In Fabric” looks super creepy and stylish, and film critics are giving the film high marks across the board. The film is only being screened in a limited release, but our own Coral Gables Art Cinema has once again ensured that we will get a chance to check out this terrifying tale of terminal textiles. But it seems there will be just one screening: tonight at 7:45pm. So click on over to the Gables Art Cinema website and get your tickets ASAP if you are interested in attending the show.
Also, if you haven’t been by the Gables Art Cinema in a while, tonight looks like a fun night to go. Tonight’s screening is a part of a nationwide event called “Art House Theater Day”. There will be a raffle with some giveaways. In an apparent nod to the wry sense of humor of tonight’s film, the Gables Art Cinema is also giving away free CGAC T-Shirts for every ticket purchased for tonight’s screening of “In Fabric”. Now that’s what I call a fashion statement! And just the thing for someone like me who actually could use a new T-shirt!