Monday, November 14, 2011

The Boundary-Pushing Velvet Frock

Now, as many of you know, the aim of Operation Sparkle is to spread the joys of thrifting, not to be some sort of snarky, cultural commentary blog. That said, it may seem off-putting to read what I am about to write, because it, so closely on the heels of my recent post "Gandalf, This One's for You," seems to imply the opposite. 

But hear me out. As I spend less and less time consuming mainstream media, the more shocked I become at what passes as "entertainment," otherwise know as "stuff apparently worthwhile enough to grace the pages of a national publication." The bar for what is considered "content" is ever lowered, especially when you factor in the tendency to boost about 99% of the material by attaching some sort of celebrity to it. 

As my co-worker said the other day, I am sick of hearing about celebrities. They don't raise their own children, their marriages always fall apart, they don't dress themselves and most of them are incredibly boring and talentless. As this is the case, the bar for what makes a "unique" celebrity is also very low. Case in point: Zooey Deschanel. 

Now, as I stated previously, it may appear as though I was taking the piss out of Zooey Deschanel earlier this month with my Gandalf post, but I wasn't. There I was taking the piss out of Hollywood's depiction of "dorky girls." HERE is where I take the piss out of Zooey Deschanel.*

And why would I waste my time doing so? Well, because just recently, as was brought to my attention by my great friend (and fellow thrifter) Jackie, she was interviewed for the food magazine Bon Appetit  (????why???) and made an incredibly insulting comment about one of the fabrics that I hold closest to my heart, an Operation Sparkle favorite: velvet. 

The excerpt: 

Bon Appetit: What's a girl's can't-go-wrong holiday party outfit?

ZD: A velvet frock. But then, I push the envelope a little more than most girls.


Oh no you DIDN'T ZD! You did NOT just imply that you are so quirky, and edgy, and special that you are actually being some sort of "boundary-pusher" by wearing one of the most classic and loved fabrics of the winter time to a holiday party! 

Now, it is, I admit, unclear as to where this "envelope-pushing" actually stems from—is it the fabric or her ambiguous reference to a "frock?" Now, if she meant "frock" as in "a robe worn by monks, friars, and other clerics; a habit," then yes, I would agree with ZD that she is indeed pushing some boundaries by wearing velvet religious garb to a holiday party (Baby Jesus would love that!). My guess, however, is that she meant "a woman's dress," which is, like, wait, do you consider Urban Outfitters circa Fall 2010 to be edgy? Because here I have my little black velvet mini which was duplicated and sold at UO last year:

Now don't get me wrong, I love my LBVM, but I wouldn't say it is necessarily "boundary-pushing" by any means. If one were to really think outside the box with their velvet frocks, maybe they should go for a shapeless, two-toned, floor-length, jewel-colored, All that Jazz number, like this one.**

If you were SUPER edgy, you would wear something like this crushed velvet, silver mini dress. Unfortunately, ZD will never be able to be as boundary-pushing as the dress' current owner, because it is a man.***

Maybe this is more along the lines of what Zooey considers to be really appropriately wild, because it has flowers on it, and flowers are, like, really cute and feminine. Too bad I got it to emulate the grunge look from the Portlandia "Dream of the 90's" sketch (? also very edgy?).

Two of the wildest velvet items I have thrifted I've since let loose for greener pastures, which possibly indicates that I, as it turns out, am actually not that much of a velvet-wearing boundary-pusher. What would be great is if someone would wear this blue velvet crop top with these black velvet overalls to a holiday party. Now that is what I call a holiday party staple! 

Still, I always have my prince/Prince-inspired purple, crushed velvet vest. Holiday outfit, here I come! 

*NOTE: This post isn't meant to be an attack merely on Zooey Deschanel saying something stupid (we all say stupid things) and the magazine printing it. It is meant, instead, to draw attention to how LAME our society has gotten—to the point where it becomes acceptable to equate "envelope-pushing" in fashion to wearing a velvet dress to a holiday party. 

**FULL DISCLOSURE: I actually forgot I had this dress as it has been sitting in some bag in my basement awaiting a modification session, along with about 25 other items I have purchased over the years with the intent to "do something" with them. If anything though, I am all that more motivated to wear it as it actually is if only to push some envelopes. 

***I'd love to see ZD and Jake Thompson, who I traded this dress to for a series of boxy, over sized black tshirts featuring wolves and soaring eagles, go head-to-head in an edgy dress off. 


  1. jake thompson can wear the shit out of zooey deschanel. now HE is a fashion envelope pusher.