Monday, December 19, 2011

Clothes from Outer Space

For some reason I can't explain, I can't stop inventing clothes. Sure, they're totally goofy -- like Toe Cones, Faux Toes, Sleevettes and My L'il Joey -- but I like 'em even if everyone else thinks I'm...well...special.

For those who haven't had the privilege of a private viewing, Toe Cones were to be placed on the toes of your shoes when you (like all of us who worked at The Worst Company in the Whole Wide World Inc., now a division of IBM) weren't permitted to wear open-toe shoes. Executives feared that if the ladies' toes were exposed, the men would be in such a frenzy of passion, they wouldn't be able to concentrate on their work. Stop laughing. I'm not kidding!

For those of us who wanted to achieve the open-toe look without a painful and humiliating visit to the HR department, I created Faux Toes. These were attached to the tops of your shoes and they looked like real toes. Only the office foot fetishist would have known they were fake.

Sleevettes were short sleeves that predated the shrug. They were invented when The Worst Company in the Whole Wide World Inc. told us we couldn't wear sleeveless garments because "shoulders are sexy." (I wish I were making this up!) I wondered out loud, "The new Lexus is sexy but our CEO gets to drive his to the broad daylight with everybody watching!"

The HR department told me to stop gawking and to hurry up and complete the mandatory "Sexual Harassment" online seminar for department managers. They were so surprised when I passed it that they called to say, "Hey, it turns out you actually know the rules. So, why do you break them all the time?"

My L'il Joeys were not designed to counter clothing regulations in Completely Crazy Corporate America, but were crafted to provide us middle-aged ladies with a darned good excuse for having a belly. These were underpants that featured the face of a baby kangaroo peeking out from the waistband. When you wore them you'd say, "I'm not fat. It's my l'il joey!"

Needless to say, these garments did not take off, although they did earn me a session with an HR counselor who looked at me suspiciously and said, "You're weird."

(The "Nude Look Bikini" I crocheted in flesh-tone fabric to which I added some shockingly human features was another abysmal fashion failure.)

This weekend I invented the Hubble Shirt. It required a bit more work than usual. First, I downloaded photos from the Hubble Telescope. Then I had them printed onto fabric. This one has multiple images of a supernova, or gaseous cloud, or something else equally unearthly and delightful. I bought a Vogue pattern and used the fabric to create this t-shirt.

It's a little too loud for me to wear. (I dress pretty conservatively most of the time.) But I kind of like the thought behind it.

What do you think? Is it creative genius? Or creative "just stepped over the line to crazy"? I won't be hurt if you don't like it, but I'll probably think twice before I present you with the brand new Ele-pants I've just designed for men.

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