Fashion faux Pas

This August, Jo Burke, the NIU Art Museum Director (who is also an enviable owner of a pair of fantastic black knee-high boots with kitten heels), and I were discussing some of her ideas about Fashion and her desire to introduce an online forum for participants and viewers to share their Fashion Faux Pas. We wanted to focus on the incidences that brought about questions of "What is the right thing to wear?" and "When to wear it?" What happens when things go awry? How does one feel and react? What stories of fashion foibles are ingrained in our memories?
And perhaps the biggest question of all--are fashion foibles significant enough to take up the mental and emotional space for a community dialogue?
Please include your comments and photographs about your very own Fashion Faux Pas.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As a child I attended the NIU Lab School while my mom was working on her Masters degree. My older sister Mol was enrolled in university classes at the same time and would swing by Gabel Hall to pick me up. One day the instructor pulled her aside to say she was worried about me, wondering if I might be ill - noting that I had not answered at all in class that day. What the teacher had not noticed with my arm bent and hand only face-high instead of straight up and extended - was that the underarms had ripped in my dress and I was not able to extend an arm without exposing this mortiphying trauma. This, in my orange and yellow Flower Power zip front tent dress (1968).

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