Discover more from Human Repeller
Breaking the Cycle
Fashion that promises a future.
Feel free to skip this chunk of text to get to the fashion of it all, but the context for this post is laid out here:
Hi all, sorry it’s been so long. I’m pretty open about my mental health on this bluesletter (blog + …You know what, I think you get it), but only as it applies to my relationship with fashion, because that’s what you’re here for (ostensibly)! For the past few weeks, I’ve been so debilitatingly down that I have barely thought about fashion, perfect timing to exempt me from Fashion Week jealousy or panic, but also enough time to get scared I’d lost my steam all together, that something sartorial inside me had died. The Depression Pile of clothes taking up half my living space began to look like rotting carcasses.
Getting diagnosed with a really dweeby form of bipolar disorder (the kind where you don’t have manic episodes, just deep depressions, extremely cringe) was actually soothing, though of course heart-rending and kind of scary, but the condition’s inherent cyclical nature reminded me of the cycles of my relationships with clothes [general] and clothes [mine]. Aesthetic phenomena that once viscerally disturbed me now enthrall me, and vice versa, a phenomenon I wrote up in the first bonus post of the year, where I processed my newfound love of everything from metallics (prescient of me, considering the state of silver right now!) to distressed fabrics (this will come up below).
I have gained some weight recently (another natural cycle, though apparently also a bipolar symptom, who knew), and my instinct is to get rid of the things that now don’t fit me—woolen Comme balloon trousers, shimmery Fendi jeans, a vintage pleated skirt that actually never really fit me and I can’t remember under what logic I purchased it)—but I also am worried that if I let them go, when the cycle comes back around to a place where I can wear them again, I’ll feel their lack—it’s happened with dozens of other garments I’ve loved and lost. What do you think I should do? Anyone in Argentina want to shop my closet? Comment below or shoot me a DM with an answer to either q.
The thing about cycles, though, is that they’re omnipresent in nature and in human constructs as the setting for generative endeavors, from fertility cycles to fashion seasons, but the actual generation of something that allows us to build a future, like a child or an iconic look, requires an interruption of the cycle. A child is only born if the menstrual cycle is thrown off its rhythm, and fashion only makes itself a future by sticking a twig in its own bicycle’s spokes.
Without interruption, cycles can trap you in an unbearable present—not the Ram Dass Be Here Now fun stuff, not the “live in the moment” souvenir t-shirt stuff, but a present without hope, without generation, without vitality. To be honest, I think a lot of Gen X-ers took the “presence” stuff too seriously—without the possibility of a future, even a future five seconds from now, it’s almost impossible to be creative, because creation requires desire (the desire for something to exist in this world), and desire requires potential—the potential of another minute in which to expand yourself.
If you’re enlightened and free from the shackles of desire and hope…why the fuck are you reading my fashion blog? I mean, it’s cool, and I hope Nirvana is treating you well. As for me (I assume most of us), I’m stuck in Samsara, and a rapid-cycling brain with problems regulating itself, and a fashion world that goes on whether you witness it or not, so the things that have been catching my eye lately are the aforementioned interruptions—things in beauty/style that feel somehow external to the existing cycle, that have the potential to give us all a moment of confusion, or clarity, or even just a laugh—anything that cracks open the closed circle for an instant makes space for a potential future to grace you with its generative power.
This post is full of a bunch of random things in beauty and fashion that gave me those moments, releasing me momentarily from the dual cycles of mental suffering and sartorial lethargy. Some are shoppable pieces, some are nascent concepts, some are DIY opportunities, but they all strike me like a shock of static. I hope you like them, and if you’re dealing with your own mental struggles right now, maybe something you see below will give you a moment of escape from your damned personal cycle.
PS: I wanted this post to be public because I hadn’t posted in so long, and I have a lot of recent subscribers who I don’t want to immediately slap in the face with a paywall, but dearest patrons, you will be receiving your two bonus posts this month, as usual, and a special surprise, too…
If you like these posts, please let me know by liking and commenting here or on HR’s Instagram, subbing to the HR Substack (this) for as little as two bucks a month, one dollar per bonus post (subsidized subs available HERE) or for ZERO DOLLARS, share (tag me if on IG so I can see and thank you)!
Thank you SO MUCH for your support, whatever you are able and willing to do to help is extremely valuable to me and I’m honored to be a small part of your life on the web.
An on-the-nose dress
You can read for yourself how relevant this dress’ text is to my impassioned blabber above, and so will everyone who gives you The Eye because of how existentially sexy you’d look wearing it. It’s also available in blue for $299.
Everything going on at Super Yaya
Hate to break any hearts, but it looks like Super Yaya’s entire new season is sold out, and I can’t find it on Maimoun or SSENSE either, where it usually lurks. I’ll keep an eye out for a restock of these pieces that, as I wrote in, are “heart-rendingly earnest, like a child dolled up in their first fancy outfit for a day at the circus, accidentally separated from their parents but comforted with a game of dress-up by a dignified old clown on the brink of retirement.”
Haircuts that change lives (yours and others’)
The fact that I only saw these Basquiat snaps after I gave up my dream of a nouveau tonsure (see below) is just so sad. I love how it looks like he’s always in a wind tunnel, how his head is a paintbrush, how he knows literally no one else will have this cut and how cool he is for pulling it off. I want to go back to having confounding hair, but it takes so damn long to grow, so I’m thinking of what else I can do…Anyway, here’s last year:
This is another genius haircut that is instantly fascinating with almost 0 effort. The lovechild of baby hair and rat tails. Like a music note on the neck, a romantic swirl underscoring a severe bob, genius.
I love the illusion that this sweatshirt creates, that you simultaneously have two other sweatshirts tied around your shoulders and waist, without the bulk or discomfort of actually doing that. You can also tie it a million different ways—how about a hood:
This detail of a Yohji Yamamoto button-down from ‘04 is so, excuse the word choice, titillating. Which buttons do you chose to button on a given day, and what does that mean about your mood that day? If you button ALL the buttons, will the ostentatious modesty do a reverse psychology and actually make everyone wanna undo all those buttons, if you know what I mean? Something about this reminds me of Junji Ito.
How have I not seen anything like this before? For those of us (and I mean us) who have “long” or “tear-shaped” tits, our moment to outshine the perkiness of it all has arrived: we have more of a canvas to work with. A beautiful alternative to a necklace (and it looks SO GOOD on an older person’s skin!!! Bravo to everyone involved).
These vintage Dries shoes are unlike any other woven shoe I’ve seen before. You could pack a picnic for a rat in one of these bad boys. I could see these working just as well in fall as in summer.
The Math Rock of jeans
See, THIS is the kind of distressing I fuck with. As I wrote in the above mentioned bonus post:
I also don’t have any clear or confident answers as to the problematic aspects of aestheticizing decay, but I do have the beginning of some sort of idea: distressing is made cooler and less poser-oriented when it embraces its intentionality. When the distressing is a concerted, sculptural, obviously fastidious element of a garment instead of an attempt at a simulacrum of “real” thrashing, it gains levity and bypasses the shame of stolen valor.
These jeans are math rock mixed with harsh noise, they howl, but if you listen closely enough, the screams fractallize into a symbolic logic that contains secrets even the maker doesn’t know. Or maybe I just think they look cool.
Embracing lipstick bleed
If your lipstick is gonna bleed anyway, why not incorporate that into the look? Every winter, I get chapped spots at the corners of my mouth that split open if I eat a hearty sandwich or do a Munch Scream, and I’m tired of trying to distract from them. Why not perpetually look like you’ve just been kissing?
Braids as sculptural medium
Braids bundled into knots, looped into spirals, tied in huge bows, thick with flowers—the more space they take up, the better.
An extremely simple way to have a unique but neutral look that probably takes 2 minutes. I don’t think the model is wearing mascara, and that’s a good call, IMO.
Shoes w/handkerchief in case the floor gets sad
Something about shoes that are designed to get filthy, especially sexy little slingbacks, is incredibly erotic. I’d never wear them, but I like that they exist.
Hats that feel like they *know things*
I found out about this brand, Scha, via’s contributions to the epic Magasin Fall Shopping Spreadsheet, and its caps make me feel tender in ways I don’t quite understand. Their materials, their apparent delicacy, their wrinkly sheepishness…I want one as a pet.
I don’t know how I feel about these bangs
I don’t think i like them, but I appreciate the experimentation.
I will only accept apologies in shorts form, now.
Collina is killing it
The dip at the waistline!!!!!!!! The tucks at the knees!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is so important to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love the wavy transition into the lace that looks primed to get grimy—if I were absurdly wealthy, I’d wear these with hiking boots on an actual hike.
This tank pretty much leaves me at a loss. I’ve never seen anything like it. How the hell do you wear a jacket with it. Oh my god I need it.
Collina really rocked this season. I love that it doesn’t seem to make compromises on either artistry or wearability. The two warnings I’ll put out there for prospective Collina buyers: SIZE UP!!! LIKE A LOT!!! And the quality might not be that great if you get something with adornments like rhinestones or charms—I’d stick with pieces like the above, if I were you.
Dresses I’d marry
I don’t think I’d be caught dead getting married in a white dress, but this poncho/cocoon/cape makes me feel like a Bruno Mars song. For a bride who wants to wear white but also be a little perverse, wearing something that makes you literally untouchable by your new spouse is a pretty funny move.
And then there’s this dress. The way it pushes the breasts into those little folds we’re all taught to hate but does it so beautifully you can’t help but love them. The shadows that fall from the horns on each breast. The open sides, the oval skirt silhouette, the champagne shimmer…Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen doesn’t miss, and if the team over there somehow sees this post, know that you’re the only invite I will truly grovel for ahead of next fashion week, and I WILL be getting my grubby little hands on this dress, no matter what it takes.
Thank you all for sticking it (life) out with me.