Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No doubt you've seen it, goslings. New Dress A Day is the blog of Marisa Lynch, an amiable and energetic young woman who lives in Los Angeles and who has vowed to make something wearable from the sad-looking muu-muus and polyester secretary dresses that can be had for $1. And she plans to do this every day for a year. She has gotten some very far reaching press coverage today. While I am not thrilled that my favorite $1 Jet Rag parking lot sale was named-checked in the article (as I fear it being over-run), nonetheless Ms. Lynch is a hardworking and imaginative person whose efforts definitely warrant a look-see.

Ms. Lynch has impressive sewing skills , and her step-by-step photos of her sewing projects are very generous and informative. One can learn a lot here, and find inspiration. Ms. Lynch is tireless in her excavation of flawed frocks. She dyes dresses with bad stains, salvages trim, and turns sleeves into belts. At times she will edit a dress down to a blouse to wear with jeans, which is not really my style, but it is done and worn with aplomb.

Ms. Lynch is young, slim and photogenic with a soft, almost Pre-Raphaelite look to her. She can kinda wear anything and still look good. She smiles with genuine glee and makes no effort to look like a model, which makes her even more charming. I like that most of the completed outfit photos show her doing something worthwhile, like drinking lemonade or going to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

As a person who has salvaged many a cheap and damaged dress, I must say I've never gone as far as Ms. Lynch. I cannot make clothing, but I can perform surgery on an existing garment (though sadly the patient doesn't always survive). But I've rarely done much besides alterations, taking in a waist or shortening a hem. I have a much less invasive stance on what can happen to a dress. I might remove sleeves or add a collar, but a 70's dress clearly remains a 70's dress. Ms. Lynch tends to update a dress, bringing it into line with current fashion, which I feel somewhat conflicted about. But it must be pointed out that Ms. Lynch is working with Capitalism's detritus, the recently outmoded (that is not outmoded enough to be back in fashion),the big-shouldered 80's monstrosities and massive muu-muus. It's not like she is taking the shears to a rayon 40's evening gowns (Maude forbid!). Nonetheless, I tend to respect the integrity of the garment. But perhaps I should ask myself: does a polyester dress really have integrity? Is there a reason it needs to be preserved as it is? Isn't wearable the goal, and shouldn't form follow function? I am definitely inspired to go home and make some old dresses fit better.

What do you think? What would you do or not do to a dress? Which of Ms. Lynch's projects could inspire you?

While Ms. Lynch's enthusiasm is infectious, and her tutorials valuable, nonetheless I must point out that I am fatigued by people doing something everyday for a year. It sounds like a plea for a book deal to me. I will not lump Ms. Lynch in this pile (But No Impact Man, I'm looking at you). It is an interesting point that endurance performance art, like the work of Tehching Hseih and Linda Montano, has crept into popular culture this way. Why do something everyday? Why only do it for one year? Why not do it forever? Or at least as long as you feel like it. And on the days you don't feel like it, why not play a banjolele or just simply sleep in? But perhaps Ms. Lynch could use a book deal? Why not?

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Blogger Joe's blog said...

Hi! You like silent movies?
Do you know Pola Negri?
I've painted her! :-)))
I would be very pleased if you like to follow my blog.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Bea said...

She sounds genius! I hadn't heard of Marisa Lynch until now but think what she is doing is awesome and inspiring. I want to read more and will check out your posted links!

Bea from A plus B

12:22 AM  
Blogger Prutha said...

must check out her blog..thats super cool

follow if u like what u see?


3:49 PM  
Blogger samsara said...

Hello Ms. Joe's Blog,
What a lovely painting of Pola Negri--what a treat to see it.

Dear Ms. Bea,
Thanks for your comment. I look forward to seeing more great outfits and inspiration on your blog.

Dear Ms. Prutha,
Nice to see you here. Just checked out your blog--what magnificent photos!

8:38 AM  
Blogger cristmae said...

Hi there miss samsara..! I like your blog..Thank you for making me inspired on your creations..Great works! Keep up.

Inkjet Paper

1:54 AM  

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