Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fashionably Late

So Blondie has this theory about Coach.  He says he hates all sorts of things...cheesy people, for example, or our favorite place to buy imports, the ironically named Good Price.  However, upon closer inspection, he doesn't really hate those things (because he sticks up for one particularly cheesy coworker, telling her what a great guy he is, and ends up going to Good Price a LOT).  I'm telling you this in spite of the fact that I don't want you to start thinking this about me.  See, I spent a lot of time whining about how much I hated fashion this spring.  Ugh - fashion!  Partially I hate it on principle - the idea that you have to keep up with the Joneses in your clothes?  Bitch, please.  My philosophy is, and always has been, to wear what makes you look good and feel comfortable.

However, I have been known to watch America's Next Top Model.  You know, when all the hip young hagwon teachers are watching it, it's difficult to not give in to peer pressure.  And I can't deny that it was fascinating.  Strictly because I'm an art teacher and I was interested in the artistic aspects of it, of course...not because I got into the dramas between all the girls, no no no.  Actually, I'm being serious on that account - I was dying at the time for lack of artistic stimulation, besides which, c'mon.  I was teaching Korean kindergarteners back then; what did the theatrics of a bunch of glorified Barbie dolls have on my darlings and their impressions of the Exorcist???

(And - ahem - it's possible that for about five minutes in fourth grade I wanted to be a model. But anyways.)

However, my interest or lack thereof in fashion aside, I found myself in charge of the school's Junk to Punk fashion show last spring.  I kicked against the pricks for the entire lead-up to it.  I "hate" fashion.  I HATE organizing things.  This was not a happy time for me.  I may have yelled at my favorite class a week before it happened.  And then it was over, and I found myself full of all sorts of ideas on how I was going to do it this year.  And when this year rolled around, and I pretty much could have gotten away with killing it, I didn't.  So you may have to listen to me bitch about it in another five months.

This long-winded explanation is intended to tell you why, in spite of it being Sunday and me being debilitatingly sick, I found myself catching a cab with Geek into the Chinggis Hotel on Sunday evening.  This spring I learned about a number of fashion shows that take place in UB over the winter, and I was determined that I'd make it to one of them...it was sure to give me ideas for my own fashion show, right???  If I got to see some super weird as outfits, well, hey - Bonus!  And from the first model to step out on the runway (top photo), that bonus was paid.  The few scantily clad male...glove models (I finally figured out the first collection was both shoes AND gloves, Geek!)...were just icing on the cake.
However, the slightly bizarre if totally enjoyable start progressed to B. Erdenechimeg's collection of bags and shoes that I dig even more now that I've seen the petroglyphs out in Bayan-Olgii.  The simple, abstract figures of this collection definitely called to mind the rock drawings we saw back in October.  Not only did I love the design, the materials and colors were gorgeous.
I even liked the styling on the models.  They were wearing frocks that could have fit two of them inside, but it was a nice, neutral backdrop that didn't detract from the accessories, and I'm guessing it's not easy to do a fashion show for accessories and keep people looking from being caught up in the clothing.  I liked the masks a lot of the models had as well.  They continued the theme with the petroglyphs and were made of felt.  I found myself wondering if I could figure out how to make one.

Sunday's show ended around 8:50 which put us home well before our teacher bedtimes, and since the Nyquil Five left me did such a fantastic job of sending me off to sleep I was feeling much improved on Monday.  As there was one more show, we decided we'd go again.  Shoes, purses, and gloves are all well and good, but we thought we'd enjoy seeing E. Enkhchimeg's Spring and Summer collection even more.  We even managed to convince Engrish to blow off whatever boring thing she would otherwise have been doing (such as watching Downton Abbey without me), and come with us.  This evening, alas, did not go as smoothly as the night before.  In fact, Geek might have seen me having a certifiable Ugly American moment, after every single damn decision I made turned out to be a bad one (try to bypass traffic?  HERE'S SOME MORE TRAFFIC!  Decide it's going to be faster to walk?  J/K - NO MORE TRAFFIC!!! U MAD?????)  After a fantastic dinner at Hazara (which I can't link you to because it's the one grub club I didn't write about), which fortunately Engrish was able to order for us, since she walked over from her posh downtown digs, we made it to the show, where we were relegated to the second row.  And then waited.  And waited.  And waited, until this lady came out and opened the show mere moments before Sunday night's finished.  Apparently we were waiting for some VIP jackass.
She was singing.  The song was almost over before Geek figured out that it was the piece the blue alien opera singer performs in the Fifth Element.  I was too busy looking at the monstrosity of a dress she was wearing to wonder what it was she was singing.  I hope that was a gratuity.  Actually, no.  I hope she was paid extra to wear that, because DAAAYUM!  (Ugh.  I'm starting to sound like my students.  Stop me by any necessary means if I crack out the YOLO's!)

Anyways, here are a few highlights:
Off to a classy start....
The peplum has made it to Mongolia.
Forgive me a bad pun...THE END.

Eventually, UB Fashion Week's final show did come to an end, and the designer came out to receive our accolades.  How can you tell she's the designer?  The fact that she's the better part of a foot shorter than everyone else is a pretty good sign (also: people gave her flowers).  Her shoes had heels as tall as the models but she was STILL that much shorter.  After they all had their last catwalk, the audience came up and took photos with the models.  Engrish and I found ourselves thinking the same thing...NOT FOR ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD!  Engrish had helped herself to one of the glasses of champagne that were being served, but she was going to need a lot more booze than that.  After all, gorgeous white women such as Domestic Goddess are one thing.  Being in a photo with a Mongolian model?  Not just no - Hell, no.  Geek, meanwhile was trying to figure out how to get backstage and steal a purple dress that had been modeled earlier.  Probably Engrish and I could have helped her with that by creating a diversion, but she would have needed more champagne for that, as well.

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