Cameras Rolling as Meredith Visits N. Lex

Marco Polo

Meredith in Front of Royal Peasantry

I had seen Meredith, a local screenwriter, on the street earlier in the day and, as I was hanging out in front of Royal Peasantry, she came by again.

Marco Polo

Meredith Goes Into Action

She said she didn't like to pose but luckily we had a mutual friend who kept her occupied while I got a bit of FlipCam footage.

Marco Polo

Why Does This Remind Me of Christopher Walken?

Meredith's one of those people that makes N. Lexington a special place. Not only does she have a great look but she also has a great depth to which others can only aspire!

Magnolia Pearl at Niche

Magnolia Pearl at Niche

Jacket, Dress & Bloomers (i think!)

I'm including this post in Window Shopping even though I ended up taking pictures indoors at Niche in The Grove Arcade. These pieces are by Magnolia Pearl, based in Texas, for which Niche is the only local source.

Magnolia Pearl at Niche

"Suit" with Jacket Open

Though I tend to avoid upscale shopping settings, I was drawn in by similar examples of clothing from Magnolia Pearl that were in the window due to a somewhat rough-edged, handmade aesthetic that fits what I'm enjoying from local designers as well. Owner Colleen Hoerner quickly put me at ease and I had a really nice chat with her about Niche, Magnolia Pearl and fashion in Asheville.

Magnolia Pearl at Niche

A Bit of Color w/a Unique Accessory

I'm really a N. Lex Ashevillain even though I age out of the typical crowd one finds on my favorite blocks. But I'm used to being a bit of an outsider wherever I go so I'm glad I left Hipster Hollow for a visit to the Grove Arcade!

Reboot: Back to Asheville Fashions! Yay!

I've realized that since this isn't going to be a high volume blog, I can just start an off topic section or allow for an occasional off topic post without it being such a big thing.

Besides, I like the simplicity of calling this blog Asheville Fashions.  Plus, I do have two fashion posts in preparation that I should get up this weekend and the possible launch of a related niche blog on the way.

So Asheville Fashions it is!

I'm the Only One of My Elitist Friends That Doesn't Hate Bele Chere

Bele Chere Setup to Music of Paper Tiger*

As a new resident of Asheville, I have to admit I was expecting utter redneck chaos in downtown Asheville during Bele Chere based on what a number of my counter cultural friends who moved here in the last 20 or so years told me about it.  Given that crowds and alcohol lead to poor behavior, it didn't surprise me that people had issues with a huge street festival in a downtown area that is generally pretty well-behaved.

But I walked through yesterday and today around 5 or 6 and chaos had yet to erupt.  I imagine things are starting to get sketchy as the evening unfolds given that it's a free event and there's lots of alcohol at hand.  But I have to wonder if part of the issue is that Bele Chere is one of those times that the normal critical mass of counter cultural types in downtown Asheville is reduced to service workers for the masses.

In any case, it's tough to hold a large event that involves alcohol and not have problems.

I'm more disappointed by two things:

A) My sudden fear of the Asheville police, which had not been a concern for me until the recent assault on Juan Holladay by out of control assholes in the police department and the mishandling of the homophobic attack on Luke Hankins due to the incompetent actions of a police officer for yet unknown reasons.  Violent assholes with guns really bother me and my initially more positive impression of Asheville cops has definitely shifted to considering them a threat to me and my friends.

B) I know Buncombe County is 84.4% self-identified as white (non-Latino) but I was still surprised at the very low number of black people I saw and the total absence of people I could identify as likely to be Latino.  With 6.4% of the county's population self-identified as black and 6% as Latino, one might expect a larger percentage of people who are other colors than shades of white, especially given that Asheville's demographics in 2000 included fewer Latinos but over 17% black or African-American.

Tim Smith recently did a nice job of discussing the absence of acts that might draw more black people from the perspective of a black man who served on the music selection committee but he did not address the fact that the Latino population, which is probably growing, is clearly being ignored.

More could be said on that topic but the weird thing about Bele Chere is that the criticisms could be said to be that it's too multicultural, i.e. including folks that don't fit the preferred consciousness of Asheville's elite, and not multicultural enough, i.e. being a white thing.

I may take a walk downtown to see what I imagine is going to be the worst hours of the Bele Chere phenomenon.  But, even if I don't, I'm not going to be hating on Bele Chere though I will be looking for opportunities to support reining in violent and/or incompetent cops and to encourage more diversity in Asheville public events.

*Note: I'm definitely feeling Paper Tiger.  Heard the name but not the music.  Glad to have found them!

Asheville Fashions is Now Asheville Fashions & Culture! Woo Hoo!!!

Since I'm not pursuing Asheville Fashions in a regular way and need a place to comment about occasional Asheville topics not related to fashion, I've decided to expand the theme of the blog.

I'm still focused on building All World Dance and contributing to Hypebot.  I also just got my first web biz consulting client, so I'm staying busy.

I do have a couple of fashion posts that have been long delayed as well as some commentary on Bele Chere so let's get to that!

Boycott Urban Outfitters for Ripping Off Indie Designers

I heart New York

I heart New York by Stevie K

The latest account of Urban Outfitters' ripoff of indie artists alerted me to the fact that there's a long history of such ripoffs by Urban Outfitters. It's really sad when what appears to be a relatively innovative chain does it off the backs of independents.

Amber Karnes shares her role in the social media exposure of Urban Outfitters blatant ripoff of Chicago indie jewelry designer Stevie K of Truche - Handmade Accessories & Creations. The above I heart New York piece, one of a series of such works, was blatantly ripped off and displayed on Urban Outfitters' website as Stevie K revealed on her Tumblr blog.

Web response was powerful and the piece was removed relatively quickly from Urban Outfitters' site but it's simply another chapter in an ongoing series of ripoffs:

Urban Outfitters Rip-Off Artists

Urban Outfitters’ rip-off goonies strike again

Urban Outfitters Steals Johnny Cupcake Concept

For Urban Outfitters, it’s bling there, done that

Are Brooklyn Fashion Designers Being Ripped Off by Urban Outfitters?

Urban Outfitters doesn't deserve the support of Asheville shoppers and as one of the few chain stores in downtown Asheville should be the subject of boycott at the very least.

Asheville Street Style: Downtown After Five & Local Steampunks

If you're familiar with Asheville Fashions then you probably know Alli Marshall's Asheville Street Style blog over at Mountain Xpress.  Because our interests strongly differ, despite the fact that we say we're working similar terrain, one could look at our blogs and think they were from different cities!

However, recent outdoor events have turned Ms. Marshall's eyes towards more of the kind of thing that interests me and since I'm pretty darn random at this outpost, I want to direct readers to the following posts at Asheville Street Style:

Kids and Converse: Downtown After Five

Steampunk 101: Local steampunks

The all-seeing eyes: Downtown After Five


Firestorm Fashionistas in a Dance of Power?

Libertie Meg

Libertie & Meg at Big Love Fest

I checked out the Big Love Fest on May 1st hoping to find some creative fashion action but it was pretty dead on that front, at least, when I was there. So I was quite happy to encounter the two most fashionable members of the Firestorm Cafe & Books collective.

Libertie Meg

A Quick Readjustment

They had a rather playful, jostling moment which an old school analyst might have reduced to a simple power struggle and drained all of the life out of the moment, as happens far too often in left/anarchist political settings. But they seem more like friendly siblings at play in these pics.

Libertie Meg

Libertie & Meg

I actually rearranged the order to try to create a modest sense of that play. Hope I haven't taken unfair editorial advantage of Libertie and Meg.

Hmmm, that suggests another power dynamic but, since I rule Asheville Fashions, we'll leave it at that!

SlutWalk Asheville: Fashion Gets Political

SlutWalk 2011 in Asheville, NC (Credit: AskAsheville)

Last Friday I attended SlutWalk Asheville which was inspired by a growing movement that began with SlutWalk Toronto. The Toronto event came about because of advice from the Toronto police to not dress like sluts in order to avoid sexual assault.

Since sexual assault is both wrong and illegal no matter how the victim is dressed and since, more broadly, we cannot be truly free until we are free to be who we are, I supported the event even though I would not call myself a slut. I'm writing about this at Asheville Fashions because it was a public political fashion event taking place downtown at Vance Monument so it fits. However, even though lots of people were taking pics, being a bit older and feeling a bit out of place, it also felt voyeuristic to take them but our voyeuristic media world took care of that for me!

Here are some great pics by Erin Brethauer that ran in the NewarkAdvocate.

A local ABC affiliate videotaped some footage that made national news. It's preceded by a long ass commercial and incorrectly labeled, "Scantily clad women raise awareness for sexual assault", given that men clearly participated and not everyone was scantily clad. Is that the superior mainstream media coverage journalists are always babbling about?

The local affiliate's coverage gives a bit more context and leads with a shorter commercial.  You local guys are never going to move up if you don't learn to misrepresent events to increase attention like the national media!

Since everybody has an opinion about how to stop rape, I'll leave you with a favored slogan of a former friend, Gini Web: "Whack it off!"

The 30 Best Signs At Slutwalk Toronto