The O-town Scene

January 06, 2011

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Fashion Diet Scene Clothing Swap Exchange your clothes with other stylish ladies at this Scene-sponsored event. All clothes not exchanged will be donated to a local charity. We’re planning on holding the swap in early February at an Oneonta location if there is enough interest. If you’re interested in participating, e-mail Cassandra at 4 O-Town Scene Jan. 6, 2011 Can an outfit be art with so much neutral? I knew I hated the Fashion Diet within the first day. No, scratch that — it was on the eve of my Fashion Diet debut that I knew things were off to a bad start. The first thing I do when I get into bed every night is figure out what I’m go- ing to wear the following day. Usually it’s a soothing ritual that helps me fall asleep. That night, it was torturous. I kept thinking of outfits I’d like to wear, only to be reminded that at least three- quarters of my usual wardrobe was off-limits. I began to doubt all the choices I made. So much gray and navy! One of my personal fash- ion maxims is to never be ordinary. I would rather look wacky or sloppy than boring. In winnow- ing down my wardrobe, I had limited the fun prints and bright colors, thinking they would be too hard to repurpose. Now I was afraid I had erred too far on the side of neutral. Did I have any chance of being interesting? Photo by Emily Popek Emily Popek is on the Fashion Diet, and has whittled her wardrobe down to a minimal number of pieces while she is liv- ing nomadically, waiting to move into her and her husband’s new house. It probably seems silly to be spending so much time and energy worrying about what I wear to work — an outfit that literally 30 people, at most, are likely to see on any given day. But fashion has long been important to me. As a kid, I was convinced “Living under the strictures of the Fashion Diet is like painting with a limited palette of colors” that I would grown up to be a fashion designer. I loved reading fashion magazines, drawing my own designs and reading about design throughout history. As I grew older, my limited artistic abilities combined with abysmal sewing skills dashed my dreams of becoming the next Anna Sui, but I never lost my love of fashion. And I’ve grown to appre- ciate it more as an adult than I ever did as a kid. I’ve tried a lot of dif- ferent forms of self- expression. I’ve written poetry, painted pictures, choreographed interpre- tive dances, molded clay into figures, taken photo- graphs and more. I have rarely been satisfied with the results, always seeing the gap between the vision in my mind and the object my limited skills allowed me to produce. Fashion has been the ex- ception. While picking out an outfit certainly doesn’t rank on the same aesthetic level as creating a painting or penning a poem, it still thrills me to be able to realize a vision that previ- ously existed only in my mind. I realized that living under the strictures of the Fashion Diet is like painting with a limited palette of colors, or writ- ing a poem with a very formal structure. These challenges are supposed to make artists more cre- ative. So how come I just felt stifled?

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