Fashion Theory 101


Jason: He’s mad because he keeps missing his name in the Crime Blotter. Actually, he is a “really sensitive guy.” What does the second belt hold up, anyway?

Angie: “God Save The @#&*ing Queen! I’m hardcore, I buy my gear at Hot Topic.”

Kristin: Catholic schoolgirl gone bad … Britney meets biker meets ’80s punk.

Gavin: There’s nothing wrong with liberty spikes – if you’re living in London circa 1978! I actually heard this guy talking about his credit card. Somebody should tell him credit cards aren’t punk unless they’re stolen from the Man.

Old guy

Jason: This warms my heart: a tall coffee and a professor. “Yo, prof, love your sensible and posture-balancing sneakers. That jacket is very Dead Poet’s of you. But, I have to ask, are you going to drink your coffee or just look at it? Because there are a lot of poor students who would do anything for a cup, even stand on a desk and recite homoerotic poetry.”

Angie: One of the many mysteries of modern science, the allure of Starbucks and Khaki.

Kristin: These shoes were made for walkin’ and that’s just what they’ll do….

Gavin: Tweed blazer, sneakers – prof. Or maybe Chekhov’s “eternal student.”

Goth 2

Jason: Marching and marching and marching. Doc Martens never say die, but the queen is still dead. That sack lunch is impressively big. I would be the lunch room bully and take it, but those skinny boys can kick ass when they need to.

Angie: Marilyn Manson isn’t Paul from “The Wonder Years,” I am! Now leave me alone.

Kristin: A softer side of punk.

Gavin: Neo-classic 21st-century anarcho-punk. Dressed for Mayday Parade. Listens to Gang of Four. Reads Sartre.


Jason:Does anyone put anything in those damn side pockets? It must be a military-fantasy-war thing. Cool boots with over the top lacing, though.

Angie: Don’t worry, originality usually forms during graduate school.

Kristin:… the millenium Animal House look.

Tight pants

Jason:I love my wild aunt. We sometimes get high and talk about that Judas Priest concert in Detroit in 1980.

Angie: Oh, My, God, I think your Mom’s on campus!

Kristin: A fabulous springtime pink … those pants are like a second layer of skin.

Gavin: An American classic. The Guess Who had her in mind when they sang, “American woman, stay away from me!”


Jason:Stripes! It is ’80s meets ’60s meets ’40s meets hot nanny. Those shoes are the clincher, I want to drink tea with her and debate Amsterdam’s social services. Her hair is stunning. A sweet Bettie Page, who knew?

Angie: She’s as cute as a button.

Kristin: A retro attempt … almost got it.

Gavin:I see many cats in your future.


Jason: Kurt’s dead? Fuckin’ Courtney, man. The good thing about the Northwest “look” is that it’s never out of style and, truth be told, layers are ultra-functional for eliminating sogged out clothing. But, that shirt is so J.Crew.

Angie: Grunge won’t be retro for about 15 years man, you’re getting way ahead of yourself.

Kristin: Very Northwest-esque.

Gavin: “Grunge, what?” More like Eddie Vedder. Probably worships John Irving and John Kennedy O’Toole.


Jason: Boy, why are you smiling so big? What with the cell phone? He is either dealing drugs (smile=weed) or is getting laid by every quasi-’70s hipster girl and boy on campus (tight leather jacket=sex), or both (smile=weed=$= tight leather jacket=sex). He’s waiting for your call, people!

Angie: The Mod Squad called, they want their wardrobe back.

Kristin: Oh my god … it’s John Travolta.

Gavin: I don’t look like that, do I? Lower-East Side? Milan? No man – Southern Oregon, all the way!

Fashion is everything, or at the very least it is the symbolic representation of places you have been , people you have loved or lusted after. It is your ambitions, your political stance, your class (oooh, don’t say that in America) or your camouflage of class.

The “university” is the breeding ground of fashion expression. Even those kids running to their business or engineering classes use and abuse fashion. But we recommend not declaring that outside Lincoln Hall or in the second floor Neuberger hallways: the fashionistas will undoubtedly be disturbed by the fact that, indeed, everyone has aesthetics of dress, dripping with meaning.

Undoubtedly there are those who forcefully proclaim, “I don’t care about what I wear.” But one has to wonder who got them dressed in the morning. Ironically, ‘not caring’ is just another code for one of the many facets of “fashion.” Beyond the individual, clothing is a hyper-communicator. A quick symbolic ‘read’ of the other’s body, and you’re inevitably telling yourself a story of them and of yourself.

Today, we sneak into the Park Blocks for a quick peek at the fashion parade, while our group of distinguished fashion seers/shameless style mongers/cultural critics take aim at the meanings of clothes on the bodies of strangers. For those who still claim not to care, we recall the words of a semi-famous drag queen: “We all care, some just do it better than others.”

jason bio
Jason G. Damron has been hopelessly devoted to finding the perfect assemblage of clothing/hair/shoes since he was thirteen years old and ruined his mother’s wallpaper with black hair dye. He has been a track star, moody poet, disaffected welfare grunge boy, hyper-realized spy, queer cowboy, South American revolutionary and the present incarnation of “just a boy wandering uptown London looking for a DJ to love”. If he really likes your aesthetics he will tell you with a guttural smile, “hey, yo, you totally symbolize.”

Angie will wear anything as long as it costs under $10 and at least two people hate it. She is also an English major.

Kristin Barnhart
I am a product of American mainstream society. My background as a cheerleader and beauty queen provide an infinite source of knowledge on fashion. With Miss America as my guide, I make sure my hair is never bigger than my crown. Proportion is crucial. Not only does my fashion expertise come from my life experiences, I also study fashion literature: InStyle, Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmo and the occasional teen mag, like YM, also examining the E Channel and MTV, to find out what my favorite celebrities are wearing. Longing at the mall with my friends, critiquing other’s fashion, especially shoes, is one of my favorite pastimes. Yet, there is one factor that makes me a fashion expert. I am a woman, socialized into believing this superficial shit, therefore, I live by it.

When I was 13 my mother gave me the green light.

“You want to do your own ‘new school clothes’ shopping?” she asked. “Go ahead.”

I returned with sackfulls from Value Village. She just about lost it.

“Is that paisley?” she asked. “You can’t wear that.”

Oh, I wore it, and I couldn’t be happier. The year was 1985, and I was all about my suede saddle shoes, puke-green sweater and customized army coat. The name patch on the coat read “Smith” – I modified it with a Sharpee to read “The Smiths.” I would soon receive my first “punk” haircut.

Now I’m a 30-year-old sellout with a weakness for Italian shoes and last year’s Gucci sunglasses (purchased at The Rack).