Wednesday, January 2, 2008

the ugly, the gnarly and the super tight

Like DC, one of the biggest problems with downtown Rome and, well, all of Venice is the presence of tourists. Really, if there’s any group of people to hate en masse, it is any sized group of tourists. Um, myself aside, they’re annoying, they walk slow, they don’t know where they’re going and, worst of all, they dress poorly -- like cargo pants tucked into slouch socks nestled into Rockports and don’t-forget-your-patchwork-pleather fannypack poorly. That sh*t simply isn’t tight.

And like DC, if you are then lucky enough to spy a real-life local in Italy, chances are you’ll be equally unimpressed, at least in his or her clothing choices. In Italy, the gaudiest, goldest and most bedazzled reign supreme, while in DC, the plainest, boxiest most Brooks-Brothersiest seems to gain the most esteem. This conundrum leaves one wondering, which is worse?

It’s kind of like the linear political scale, with fascism on the one side and communism on the other. Both suck enormously, but in very different ways. On the one hand there’s fascism, which seeks to unite and dually discriminate based on superficial institutions. In Italy, they have cultivated their gold obsession to great lengths. Not only is it used to accessorize, but it is used to compose entire outfits, which may not sound that horrifying until you see a Versace dress like this paired with Moschino shoes like these and Dolce&Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli accessories like this and this. Sadly, this effort to elevate only the shiny and gnarly übermensch of Italian fashion left few precious outlets for me, who prefers not to look like something that just popped out of Donatella Versace's anus (um, sorry, but sometimes things call for poop references), to drop some Euros.

Then, on the other proverbial hand, we have DC's fashion scene, which lowers fashion to the lowest common denominator -- ill-fitting pleated pants, Barbara Bush pearl necklaces and, well, haircuts like this. Like communism, DC "fashion" strives to de-class fashion, allowing everyone to look like an asshole regardless of which tax bracket a person resides. Those with liquid cash flows can head to the Brooks Brothers to drop hundreds on a hideous suit. Those with less can hop over to Filene’s Basement and Ann Taylor Loft for a two-fer. Either way, you’ll likely come out looking generic, uninteresting and dishabille.

So this brings me back to my question -- which is worse?

I honestly don't know. But, I have the feeling that in a pinch, I'd have to give DC the honors for being the worst. At least Italians -- minus the gold accoutrements and bedazzlings -- seem to still love their ass-tight tapered pants as much as I do (see Diesel jeans ad above).*

*And to make myself perfectly clear here (given my highly inappropriate metaphor), this is in no way an endorsement of fascism. In fact, in a fashion showdown, I think Stalin would win over Hitler. I mean, that red arm band is hideous and don't get me started on Hitler's hairdo and mustache. Stalin at least wore that pretty sweet double-breasted Soviet military coat in the winter. So suave!


BAD said...

thank you for proving that the spirit of Mussolini lives on in accessories by Roberto Cavalli.
Italian fashion truly is totalitarian. On my one night in Milan in June I went to a club that the internet said was the city's most fun. I was wearing tapered jeans, Bernard Wilhelm shoes and a Rick Owens top, but was ignored by the stone-faced queen on face-control duty as the guidos in D&G button-down shirts and Versace dresses (yes, the latter were boys) strode right in.

Marissa said...

Oh my! Milan too??? I was secretly hoping Milan was a bit more French-like. Dang.

BAD said...

No. Milan is the epicenter of Fascism. Wikipedia says:

"On December 11, 1914, Mussolini started a political group, Fasci d'azione rivoluzionaria ...
This new group was also referred to as the Milan fascio... January 24, 1915 was the turning point in the history of the fasci as their leaders met in Milan and formed a national organization."

Marissa said...

And they were all wearing Versace no doubt.