First Annual Spartan Holiday Fall Fashion Issue

Uh oh. It’s happening. The first annual fall fashion edition of Spartan Holiday! I’ve combed the streets of Albuquerque to find only the most fashionable autumnal people. Sometimes these people happened to be my friends or 3-year-old daughter. Other times (one time) they were almost complete strangers.

So what is hot right now? Sophia Rose asked me. I’ll tell you what’s hot—*fashion*.


Yes. Fashion, my b’s. I’ve noticed some other recurring motifs like flowy, draping, silky things; animal prints and grocery-store-brand seltzer water.

Should I tell you what’s not hot? Having to take professional fashion photos with a crappy tin-can camera because your significant other took his camera that you usually borrow to ANTARCTICA. To take pictures of “scenery.”

What bothers me most about this is, once again, science trumps fashion. Here’s another example of science trumping fashion:


It’s not as if science and fashion are intrinsically incompatible. Case in point: Copernicus:

nicolaus-copernicusWow. Red soft-collar jacket, black underclothes, page-boy haircut brushed to the nines…no wonder he thought the earth revolved around the sun, because the sun is HOT and so is he.

Speaking of hot, you’re probably wondering: How did I choose the models for my blog? What are my criteria for hotness? Well it’s like this: Paul is hot because he’s from Minnesota, he presaged the whole flannel renaissance by years and used to listen to gangsta rap.

Kathryn is 5 ft 10. Tallness is very important in the fashion world. Kathryn speaks Guarani and she can do that knee-cross-over thing where you put your hands on your knees and it looks like your knees are switching places like they do when they dance the Charleston. I saw her do it once and I thought it was cool.

Lali is cool because she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her ever.

Taylor? OMG. When I met Taylor I instantly noticed how cool she was. She has a son named Tiger and she wasn’t bustin’ on Mary Poppins like some of the other moms I’ve met.

François made the list because he’s Parisian. François is always on the boulevard holding a good book and thinking in French. Instead of “thoughts” he has”pensées.” François has been to Marseilles.

Modeling is hard. It was especially hard for Taylor because she was mobbed by needy preschoolers during the photo shoot.

Andy lives in a tiny house and he has an ab roller. He also won a regional Emmy for best original score in a documentary. That’s why he qualifies.

Sophia Rose’s first business was selling vintage clothes out of her mom’s garage in high school. Now she sells “wearable medicine” clothes under her La Abeja herbal line. Basically she takes existing clothes and makes them way cooler and way more medicinal by sewing special stones and whatnot on them.

Tucker and Laila? Well they were just at the right place at the right time looking the right way. Hot.

But hey, let’s bring it in for a moment. Remember, you don’t have to be “cool” or “hot” or “hawt” to enjoy our fine fall weather or pumpkin pie spice or hot cider drinks or the smell of decaying leaves or the FIDE World Chess Championships or some other things which typically happen in the fall.

But now let’s take it back out: it also doesn’t hurt.




On Paul: T-shirt: from 3-pack. Sweat shirt: The North Face. Lined Flannel: Thrift store, a gift from a singer-songwriter friend. Jeans: Bullhead, the only brand that fits Paul’s impossible figure. Seltzer Water: Kroger brand carried at Smiths. Hat: Mountain Hardware, used to belong to his Laura, his fiancée. Shoes (not pictured) Patagonia loafers from R.E.I.


(Notes: 1) Paul pronounces R.E.I. “Ray.” 2)Paul once tried and failed to give his flannel shirt away at a concert to a guy who didn’t have a jacket.”You’re not going to Jesus me!” the guy yelled. That’s why Paul still has his jacket.)




On Kathryn: Scarf: Target, it has birds on it. Elephant-print blouse: EJ (in Coronado Mall). Pants: Garnet Hill, color: “mallard.” Shoes: S.O. brand from Kohl’s.

(Notes: Kathryn went to Coronado Mall because she just got a new job. Her old job was a farmer and her new job is doing something very important on the north campus of UNM.  She couldn’t wear her farmer clothes. And that’s why she went to the mall. (If you happened to see her there)).


On Lali: Woman’s Fashion Wig: Thrifstore. Scarf: Knitted by Carolyn Snyder. Sweater: Untraceable hand-me-down, handknitted. Skirt: made by Carry Wilcox

(Notes: When I asked Lali what’s hot for tots she said “a full head of adult hair.”)


On Taylor: Shirt: Kimchee Blue, Urban Outfitters sales rack. Sweater: Pins and Needles, Buffalo Exchange. Jeans from thriftstore in L.A.. Boots from flea market in L.A.. Sunglasses from gas station in Hawaii

(Notes: Here’s the thing about Buffalo Exchange vintage and used clothing store where Taylor worked 10 years ago. Buffalo Exchange makes you feel bad about yourself because they never want to buy your clothes from you. If they do buy your clothes you get cash back or store credit. But they don’t because your clothes are never cool enough. Here’s the thing though–It makes you feel *bad* about yourself but *good* about how cool the person behind the counter is. That’s what most people don’t realize.)


On François: Scarf: “Purple and bordeaux colored”, “thin and soft.” He bought it in Marseilles, this year’s European Capital of Culture. Sweatshirt: The North Face. Blue Sweater: Banana Republic. Jeans: Muji, Japanese brand popular with skaters, bought in Paris. Shoes: Converse All-Stars.

(Notes: François posed in front of these magazines because he wanted to show Americans that the French value arts and culture more than they do. Which is true.)



On Andy:  Scarf: Purchased at Savers Thrift Store. Cardigan: Also from Savers, Dockers brand. Pants: from Target.

(Notes: 1). Andy likes the cardigan because cardigans say “I’m a nice guy.” He says it has a “suit jacket feeling” but is “way less pretentious.” He goes on to say, “Cardigans are appropriate for New Mexico. It’s a layer you can peel off and on and we all know how important layering is here.” So he wears cardigans to work a lot. He also wore a cardigan to a conference at Harvard Divinity School–and left it there by accident. It was his favorite cardigan. I think he mentioned it to remind me he went to a conference at Harvard. 2) Andy lost a button on his cardigan during the photo shoot and was heard stating “this sweater smells kind of funny.”


On Sophia Rose:  Antique monogrammed camisole acquired on Ebay. Silky broom skirt from garage sale in Austin. Hat with sprig of usnea moss in band. Snake bracelet: Hmong design. Wool socks: from aunt. Boots: Harley Davidson, thrift store. Belt: Worn backwards.


Jewelry: Perfume ring. Purple-stoned ring: designed by Sophia’s mom and Oroboros (snake eating-its-own-tail) ring.

(Notes: You can make your own perfume ring by soaking a piece of cotton in fragrance and stuffing it in a some gap or divet in your ring. That usually doesn’t work real well without a specially designed perfume ring, so you could stuff the cotton lots of other places on your person. OR you could plant perfumed cotton balls on other people, animals or things. OR you could spray the perfume directly on you.)



On Tucker and Laila: Laila: Paint-on corduroy pants. Shoes: Savers. Suede jacket. Laila frequents clothing swaps. Most of her wardrobe is “pre-worn.” Tucker: Button-up Shirt: Banana Republic. Corduroy jacket. Kneeless jeans, ripped gradually and painstakingly by hand. Shoes: Adidas. Mustache: Banana Republic (or like an *eff you* to Banana Republic)

(Notes: I was photographing Sophia Rose outside of the La Montanita Co-op and this very hot couple walked out. Sophia Rose said, “You should photograph them!” I really don’t know where they came from. Technically they came out of the Co-op, but I mean *where* did they come from? They seemed really east coast, they both had on corduroy, and it appears they eat goat cheese. Hawt.)


So that about wraps it up. For now. For this season I mean. Just wait for winter–goose-down unitards, mink trench coats, more flannel… But for now we’re done.

Thanks to all of my models who donated their services and tolerated my bad photos in which the shadow of my head often appeared. No thanks to Dave for taking his camera with him. Thanks to America for being a free society instead of one where we all have to wear Mao suits or khaki pants. Thanks to Adam and Eve for original sin which made us have to wear clothes out of shame. Thanks to whoever invented thrift stores. Okay I think that covers it.

Till next week, beautiful people, beautiful souls…


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