“Where’s your camera, Stephanie? I want to take a picture of you and put it on my blog.”
“You’re not taking a picture of me, dude. I look like Peter Pan.”
I studied Stephanie’s outfit, a long green T-shirt with a line drawing of an angry leprechaun on it. She had recently cut giant loops into the sleeves and down the front, and chopped the collar into wide fringe.
“You look like a cross between Peter Pan and the hippest girl ever,” I decided. “There are bars in LA where you could totally wear that. Especially if you use that strip of Ardith’s old bridesmaid dress as a belt and wear the shirt as a dress.”
“What bars?” Stephanie asked skeptically.
“Um…well, maybe CalArts.”
These were the final moments of Stephanie’s brilliant “cute-ifying” party, in which ribbon, eyelet, sloppy stitching and reckless scissoring techniques were applied to Steph’s collection of old T-shirts in order to make them prettier and/or more punk rock. The result was very Urban Outfitters circa 2004, which happens to be a look I’m fond of.
I cute-ified two shirts: one which says “Dave Williams is my father…” on the front, and “…but he will neither confirm nor deny it” on the back. None of us knew where the shirt came from or who Dave Williams was. But now, when I meet my real father, he will know that I have a way with ribbon. The other is from AIDS Walk. Now when I meet people who actually did AIDS Walk, they will learn I’m not a real philanthropist.
Some of us took to cute-ification more naturally than others. Ardith just kept cutting and cutting, and soon her shirt had so many gaping holes in it that it could only be worn by Darius, Steph’s roommate’s dog, though I have to admit he looked quite dashing in it.
After making one totally hot shirt and one shirt we dubbed “Frankenshirt,” Stephanie attempted the leprechaun challenge. She tried a few different techniques, one of which involved looping fabric around the collar and resulted in a hole so tiny she couldn’t fit her head through it.
As she undid the loops, Hang Yi chanted, “Cut it, cut it. Just cut it.”
Steph tried this. She frowned at the fringy outcome. “I’m dropping out of the Hang Yi school of fashion,” she said.
“I went to the Ardith school of fashion,” said Hang Yi. She studied my AIDS Walk shirt. “It looks like you have a tail in the back. You should cut that ribbon.”
But I’m very happy with the results. Plus I love parties with a purpose. As I’ve mentioned before, it makes me feel like I’m on Blind Date.
Email me if you know who Dave Williams is.