Sunday, 26 June 2016

Geriatric vagina and '80s power suit

I needed to go to the financial district last week and thought I should dress accordingly. So I wore a suit. This one has dots instead of pinstripes, it's bright orange instead of grey, vintage not new, and it's silky, pyjama style, and has linebacker shoulder pads. Other than that, I fit right in and was ready to address the board of directors.


When walking with these shoulder pads, my shoulders start gyrating like a washing machine, which has all kinds of personal '80s associations in terms of style and female empowerment. (I just realized that this woman/power image involves a home appliance! How wrong is that?!)

Interlude:

For something different, I made a cartoon in response to a comment I read on someone's blog which said that a doctor told her friend she has a geriatric vagina. Oh, really? This rant has been wanting to explode for several weeks now. Here it is. (Warning: If you hate this topic, you'd best leave now.)


I probably laughed more drawing this than you will reading it. You should see the stuff I deleted. Hahaha!

Back to the outfit:

And below, a closeup of my '80s power suit. I'm linking this up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine's #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb, and Anne at SpyGirl for 52 Pick-me-up: Completion. It's the last week of her latest year-long colour theme project. Why not join us?


You can see the neon yellow lace blouse that united this jacket and pants for the first time since I bought the suit over two years ago. The tie is made of vintage fabric, and I'm wearing my orange elastic, front-lace corset belt. This is a new favourite outfit.

Finally, heartfelt thanks to Susan at une femme d'un certain âge for mentioning me in her recent thoughtful post THINKING ABOUT: THE MEANING OF PERSONAL STYLE.

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Bill Cunningham (1929-2016)

[Edit: I was interviewed on JUNE 27 by Lisa Christiansen of CBC Radio One about Bill Cunningham and his impact on my life for the show On The Coast. You can listen to it HERE.]

I just found out that Bill Cunningham has died. I didn't know him personally, but this renowned NY artist/photographer had a direct and unlikely impact on the life of this middle-aged woman in Vancouver, Canada.

I remember clearly heading out alone to the theatre to watch a discount matinee of the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Before the show started, in my seat in the dark, I furtively pulled my pink Munster Fluevog shoes from the plastic bag I had been clutching and slipped them on my feet. I had read up a bit about Mr. Cunningham beforehand, and properly shod I was ready to be swept away. I was.

Bill Cunningham. Bill Cunningham - his name rang in my head for weeks after the movie. When he saw the beauty of a woman in a wet blowing garbage bag, I fell in love. His unpretentious heartfelt drive and vision gave me hope. And confidence.

Soon after, I started a street style blog in Vancouver under the guiding force of his saying that if you look for beauty you will find it. This philosophy sustained me during the long, dark months of Vancouver's wet winters.

From these beginnings, this blog, Bag and a Beret, was born, and my own style confidence took off. While I have not thought of Mr. Cunningham specifically throughout this evolution, he was the star of the critical moment that launched it all and the person whose positive outlook buoyed me when I felt abandoned by beauty. I owe him tremendous thanks.

Bill Cunningham is an irreplaceable man. I am sad he is gone and rejoice in what he has shared.
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59 comments:

  1. Very Sad to hear of Bill Cunningham's passing - saw Bill Cunningham New York and thought he was an enchanting human - and we need MORE of them, not less.

    Your suit ensemble is just divine - the belt makes it look all kind of high-waisted, zoot-suit-tastic.

    Your graphic novelette excerpt says things that need to be said - "Cheers for old cunts" is indeed a battle cry to be proud of. I would imagine there is no equivalent man-condition - unless of course you include Viagra as geriatric cock medication. Oooh there's a PhD thesis in there - discuss.

    I'm blogging - catch it while you can - the novelty usually wears off very quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found you at http://monkeypaints.typepad.com/ and commented of course. Is there a way I can follow you by email...?

      Enchanting is a good word for my feelings about the kind of person Mr. Cunningham was, at least as I saw him in the documentary.

      I was trying to think of the equivalent man condition/insult as well - of course there isn't one. Pffft. I don't think we need one; what we need is to REMOVE stupid phrases like geriatric vagina.

      I haaaate that bunt word, haaate it. I could write it with no problem in the cartoon in a positive context, but as an insult, I can't say it. We must reclaim that word by using it only in happy contexts. Cheers for old cunts!

      Delete
    2. Well a more tender word would be cunny - that's 16th century cunt. And we need to remove the objectionable buffoon who would make such a crass comment. I mean, who on earth would consult such a person anyway?

      Email following - no idea - over to Typepad FAQs for me ...

      Let's all chill and think like Mr Cunningham "If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do, kid.” - that is WISDOM.

      Delete
    3. I actually love that word cunny. It's so friendly. That's why nobody uses it like a weapon. Mr. Cunningham had it right about this control/money statement. It's even worse when it's supposed friends with money doing power trips.

      Delete
  2. The suit looks bloody brilliant on you, and you cartoon, ha ha! Yes, I burst out laughing reading it :D The lace blouse is gorgeous and that tie 'ties' everything together perfectly.

    A sad loss indeed, may Mr. Cunningham rest in peace ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This suit was taunting me for the longest time. I often wore the pants part around the house but not with the jacket. Finally, a happy suit marriage.
      I don't usually do tribute things, but this was a unique case for me.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  3. You're a genius all over place and time. Viva la Crony Cuntz!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Crony Cuntz, sounds like the name of a secret club. Heh. I'd join.

      Delete
  4. you have the best post titles ever. Really.
    Your power suit looks absolutely powerful, it's like sunshine and I adore it!!!, those polka dots, that tie, your fabulous smile!!!!

    (it has been a sad losss, actually I'm feeling that a certain vision, an interesting point of view is lost forever)
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was worried that this title might put some people off, but, hey, I can't hold myself back.
      Yes, it was his vision and interesting point of view that were crazy wonderful. His legacy is immense.

      Delete
  5. Hahahahahahaha! LOVE the comic! And of course your bold bright answer to the power suit.

    It is truly sad about the loss of Bill Cunningham. His life was strictly devoted to his work. He will be deeply missed.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like the comic, Suzanne! Heh. You know how I hate the bunt word too.

      Devoted to his work, his passion - it was it seemed. He even lived for a while in an enchanted place. How fitting.

      Delete
  6. Oh your suit! You are one of the one percenters now (and that is true in only the very best way). Love the cartoons, and my lady parts are about 22 years old, says me. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, my petunia is a sequoia tree. ??!! I don't even know what that means! I'm sure you have an extremely youthful garden, Patti.

      Delete
  7. Ah, Bill Cunningham. So glad that the film was made. What a sweet sweet spirit.

    Your Suit!!!! Your cartoon!!!!!!
    Thanks for linking. My world is a much brighter place with you in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad they made that film too; otherwise, I wouldn't have known about him, not reading the NYT.
      Our worlds are brighter with you in it too, Anne. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  8. That comic is hilarious....now let's go for pie at Acme shall we...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I was worried you would think that character in the last scene was you because of the pie reference. And it's NOT!! But yes, let's go to Acme!

      Delete
  9. I googled geriatric vagina and surprisingly it came up with nothing with that name! Oh, the arrogance of some doctors! I wonder if doctors tell me men they have geriatric cocks?

    Your cartoon made me laugh out loud.

    Love your suit and shirt and corset belt - a fab outfit altogether!

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know - there is no such thing. I didn't verify the accuracy of the blog comment but I believe it really happened - I've know such ultra-pig gynecologists in my time. They will never say that about men, ever. This is what Viagra is for. You would have liked my cartoon outtakes. Heh. I can say in there what I would never utter in real life.
      Thanks for your comment, Veronica. It made me laugh! Hugs.

      Delete
  10. 1. NGNNGNNNNN...I have no words for this amazing AMAZEBALLS IT AMAZES ALL THE BALLS suit. I want to be you, in that suit. So much orange and dots...
    2. I barked laughter at your comic. Hee! Loved it! I love Veronica's comment about geriatric cocks!
    3. Yes, sad about Bill. Aw...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I want you to be you in a suit like this. Don't you have a suit like this? Or similar?

      I'm glad you liked the cartoon. I sit here scribbling alone and always question what I'm doing.

      Thanks, Sheila, for visiting.

      Delete
  11. This is a favorite outfit for sure!!!! Ah shoulder pads. I remember them well. If not securely anchored on one's shoulder they would migrate southward giving the adorable third and forth boob look. I'd like to see what Dr. Wrinkledick would have to say about that! Love your comic. Love your art. Love Love Love, Babydoll. That's where it's at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can see in the beginnings of a migration in the first photo. The pads are velcroed in place. I think if they migrated I would have a real first and second boob.

      Wrinkledick, hahaha. Yes. Probably he would like a third and fourth. Hugs and hugs, Connie! You wanna join Pao's Crazy Cuntz Club?

      Delete
    2. Oh yes please. Sign me up as a crazy cuntz. Actually the French word for cunt is Con! Je suis le con officiale.

      Delete
  12. Oh. I have a Bill story. I was at some sort of event in New York with my friend, Maryanne, who is tall and thin and gorgeous and always wears magical hats. I wasn't aware of Bill the celebrity yet. I just knew him as the guy that took photos of fashionable people on the street. He asked me to step out of the way so he could photograph Maryanne. My feelings were a bit bruised but truth be told, Maryanne had it going on!!! Bill was a sweet genius.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, well, he was a man on a mission and I suspect he would often forego niceties to get the photo he was after. I wouldn't know Mr. Cunningham if it wasn't for the movie. At least you have this story to tell! Did you ever get to see the photo he took of your friend?

      Delete
    2. No! I didn't see that photo but it was the second time he photographed her. I did see one of the street photos in the NYX where she is wearing a tyrolean hat with a feather in it. See what I mean? Magical hats.

      Delete
  13. There is so much style and personality in your outfit! Very bold and confident!
    Red Reticule

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  14. I think this is my new favourite outfit of yours too! THAT's my idea of a power suit, and I'm so glad you found the neon yellow blouse so you could show us the suit. I love the detail of the stripes that show when you turn up the cuffs.

    I was so sad to hear that Bill had a stroke, and then of his subsequent death. He really was a New York icon, and we will all miss his joyful smile.

    Yes, just what the f**k does a "Geriatric Vagina" even mean?? I sense that drawing your comic was very cathartic for you ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have so many new favourite outfits how will I fit them all in? A volunteer at the store pointed the blouse out to me. Genius.

      You met Bill a few times and were even photographed by him. I wish I could say the same! Heh. But from so far away he still had an impact on me, in large part I think because I was ready for big change.

      Geriatric vagina - right? Whaaa...? Oh yes, cathartic to be sure.

      Delete
  15. THIS SUIT---you are incredible in it!!!!! What the actual fuck about a geriatric vagina?????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      Probably what he meant to say was old cunt but he knew he'd be sued.

      Delete
  16. You look amazing as always. Your cartoon cracked me up so much that my self-absorbed teen actually looked up from her phone to see what was so funny. She's far too young to understand, of course.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh my GAWD! I distracted a self-absorbed teen?!!! Best compliment EVER!! Hahaha!
      Thanks, Bobbi. You made my day.

      Delete
  17. Another fabulous outfit, each one better than the last. Got a good laugh from your cartoon, sadly the attitude is so true.
    Like others sad about the loss of Bill Cunningham, he will be sadly missed.But so glad you were inspired to start Bag and a Beret and share your talents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, as strange and twee as it sounds, Mr. Cunningham got this blog on the road. It was all about the timing.

      Thanks, Jill, for your comment. Hugs.

      Delete
  18. I bloody love your suit!! Orange and Pink!! Spots!! My Fave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I thought you might like it. You and I have similar tastes. Thanks, Sue.

      Delete
  19. Ah, Miz Bagg, you made my day!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I laughed pretty hard reading your cartoon. Any woman who can say (or write) the word cunt with a straight face is a fabulous woman, in my opinion. And vaginas need talking about. Especially when they are being insulted. We need to defend them. Because vaginas are fabulous and strong and givers of life and givers of pleasure. They are so supremely miraculous that they deserve only praise not degradation from the opposite sex! The only person who is allowed to insult my vagina is me, dammit!

    By the way, fabulous suit!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hear hear!!! I think we need to reclaim the word cunt (how I hate writing it) by using it only in positive contexts, e.g., hey cuntie dress (means fabulous), love that cuntie scarf! It won't be until we start naming our daughters Cuntie or Cuntella (ooh no, too much like a sandwich spread), like they name sons Dick, that we shall know we have succeeded. Any volunteers? Heh.
      Thanks for that support. Supremely miraculous. Yes!

      Delete
  21. Oh I laughed when I read/saw your cartoon. So sad I couldn't see what you threw away. I know from the creatives with the advertising agencies I worked in, the best things never get published. And I also know why haha. They are bad! Too edgy.. Hahaha.
    I would have loved to see the faces of the men and women in the financial district when they say you coming as power woman. That must have made a change from the grey. I bet they were jealous.
    As for Bill.. I didn't know he had had that influence on you. Ah.. we all touch each other's lives. Often unknowningly.
    Geetje

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I bet you've seen some really, really good material, too good for public consumption.

      I met my friend Sandra on the edges of the financial district. We had a great get-together. She said people were smiling but I didn't notice.

      Yes, Bill started the ball rolling with that documentary and my street style blog before Bag and a Beret. I was ready for change and he appeared at exactly the right time.

      I always love reading your comments, Greetje.

      Delete
  22. It's about time someone added COLOUR to the suits of the finance world. How do they recognise each other, I wonder? All cloned out on charcoals and blacks. Whereas with you, Melanie - a vision of splendour. Fabulous! And cheers to your cartoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if they dress in sombre tones because that's what's available or the suits are available because that's what they want... I suspect many would be fired if they dressed colourfully.

      I loved Marc Jacobs in his kilty skirt thing. Why not that?
      Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth. Mwah.

      Delete
  23. Hilarious cartoon! As always, you express yourself eloquently through art, whether it be your style, a cartoon, or your writing.

    I adore your beautiful, bright and bold ensemble. It makes me happy to look at your photos. Priceless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Judith. I had fun drawing this. And it let off a lot of steam - can you tell? Hahaha.
      I get the same feeling when I look at your photos, but thank you for the compliment. Hugs.

      Delete
  24. :)) great cartoon! haha
    Orange ... a perfekt colour for the fibance world. Revolution! ;)
    You are great!
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What would the world be like if the majority of people in the finance district dressed like this? I can't help but think it would be more, hmmm, vibrant.

      Thanks, Tina! I'm happy to see you!

      Delete
  25. Oh my gosh. I love the outfit. There is a lot to gasp about in this post but oh my, I know you did well in the financial district.
    xo
    Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoyed myself in the financial district that day, meeting a friend for coffee - mainly because the cafe is quieter than most and not too crowded.
      Thanks, Lynn, for your comment. I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  26. Amaaaaaaaaaaazing suit, you look fab!!!!!! That is really insulting about the vagina- how mean!! Your cartoon is funny!x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks all round, Kezzie!!! Mwah!

      Delete
  27. g vaginas is deeply irritating and clearly a case of vagina envy/rage which men start channeling as sexual performance becomes less reliable. I'm trying to become stronger at productively communicating outrage at the dr offices. it's not only the gyns who are deeply enraging. (lc=laylage,btw)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Geriatric Cuntz would be a good name for a band.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love it too !! thanks for joyfull

    ReplyDelete

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