dressed up like a lady: Clowns

Jan 22, 2014


Oh shit, Cammila's wackiness jumped the shark. 

MC got me this fucking amazing sweater for Christmas. We actually spotted it together one Sunday afternoon looking at Tumblr or Pinterest or something when this picture of Farrah Fawcett in a 70's ad for Faberge Shampoo (?) prompted us to see what the "slouchy sweater" situation looked like on Etsy.

This is one of the sweaters that came up, and while its baggy drape is pretty awesome, clearly the most distinctive thing about it is the beautiful/terrifying clown appliques. 

I couldn't help it, I blurted out loud that I LOVE IT, and MC apparently filed that moment away in his mind for use during his Christmas shopping. I've babbled about irony before -- in addition to being the most overused misnomer in the realm of cultural criticism ("LOOK AT THAT IRONIC HIPSTER UHHHHHH"), people bitching about somebody else's enjoyment of the ridiculous is just fucking depressing. Yes, I think this sweater is insane. Yes, I am also attracted to it. There's room for self awareness in taste, as much as there's room for dimension, nuance, playfulness, and contradiction. You can love something both in spite of and because of the same attributes. 

And when I say love, I mean LOVE. This motherfucker is warm too.   

Of course, I realize that plenty of perfectly even-tempered people might dislike this sweater out of a general distaste for color vomit, rather than out of any judgements over fashion rhetoric. And hey, who am I to judge? I respond mentally if not, often, openly with the international wanker gesture when my own fashion sense is judged, so I'm not about to deny anybody else their God given right to not dress like Punky Brewster. But in fairness, it can't be that rebellious of me to like this crazy clown sweater. There was a time around 25 years ago when this shit was popular! Clowns in general were a pretty common motif in 80's fashion, and ornately hallucinatory designs were all the rage for sweaters and other knitwear.

The tag reads "Vanessa Grey Knitwear Designer Collection - Handmade in England." So I poked around and yeah, Vanessa Grey designed a LOT of stuff like this, all of it creative and bonkers and awesome.

The best part is that the real Vanessa Grey herself has an Ebay store where she's been known to sell some of her own original works! She doesn't have anything listed at the moment, but I think it's worth checking on.


  1. your sweater is so cute!
    i love it!


  2. Listen. You're fun, you're funny, you're gorgeous and you can totally pull off ironic. I wouldn't wear it because I'm terrified of clowns, but the puffed out sleeves of that sweater do speak to me in an aesthetic sense. That said, if you find a site that sells some old bottles of Farrah Fawcett shampoo, hook a girl up! This dry winter air is making my hair flat, and I need more bounce the ounce.

  3. I imagine your reaction to that sweater was similar to my reaction to this rubber chicken purse:


    Not really that related, but I wanted to share this awesome holiday sweater that I can totally picture MC wearing:


  4. Embrace the ridiculous, woman!

    I only recently got rid of a zip-up cardigan with CAT APPLIQUES. Of CATS. Playing with balls of YARN. I loved it and I wore it for like eight years, it was the sweater I pulled out first every winter. I finally gave it to Goodwill because I hadn't worn it in long enough that I think I've mentally grown out of it... but now I'm on the prowl, no pun intended, for a new cat sweater. Because I think everyone needs to own one completely ridiculous item of clothing.

    It's just clothes, after all; if you can't have a sense of humor about it, why bother getting dressed? :)

  5. Okay, I LOVE this sweater (& all of the Vanessa Grey sweaters you posted). It is such a gorgeous colour! It looks so cosy! Childrens' toy motifs! Yes, yes and yes.

  6. Thank you for finding new fans for me
    Regards VANESSA GREY


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