Thursday, February 26, 2015

avant garden

This look is hazy and pastel, glazed in a milky winter dew reflecting spring hints in bulbs of morning condensation. The synesthete in me distinctly tastes 7 AM in shades of lavender and makes me wish I had woken up even earlier today. Can't understand why I feel so disappointed thinking of the approaching noon. Maybe it's that there's no mystique in moments of clarity.

Hard to believe my mom snapped these shots but I better get used to it -- she's becoming très professional behind the lens, and even gung ho about driving to special locations for more unique backdrops. That's something I'll never take for granted; I'm used to settling for a white wall. ;)

MeeMee pastel fluff bomb knitted jacket, OASAP jersey top + floral pants, Missguided heels

Everything is infinite,


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

leo neo

Idk about you but if I were in the matrix, the absolute last material I'd want to sport is leather. Does sweat not exist in a simulacrum or were Morpheus and the gang just sucking it up for the camera? Meta, I know. Anyhoo a mesh jersey sounds much more practical for an olympic chase -- plenty of ventilation and flexibility, all the better to dodge bullets with. The top I'm wearing in this look is armed with an oversize asymmetrical panel on the bottom, leaving behind a silhouette more avant garde than a PVC knockoff Trinity trench coat paired with Crocs. As for the bunchy jersey collar: I added that myself. Clearly much better at layering fabrics than realities.

80s Purple Collection "Neo Matrix" sunglasses, Vanessa Mooney chain, Bardot leopard coat, Choies oversize mesh shirt

These photos are from at least a couple months ago but little has changed in the life of Zave. Except I did spill seltzer water all over this mixed metals necklace last week. And I had my roots highlighted last night. OH YA and I sacrificed this gorgeous faux fur coat to the cause of cats. Know how lil bb felines loooove to knead their paws against soft furs that remind them of kittenhood -- especially ones that perfectly match their own coloring? Well meet my friend Spyder, a little tortoiseshell fluff nubbin who lives in Silverlake.

Everything is infinite,


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

everything is withinfinite: coming out of caving in

CW/TW: suicide, violence, gender identity

It only took a month for me to reach a place where I disagree with the sentiment of my last post. My blog remains a valueless platform for 'creative expression,' but no longer do I see that in an unconditionally positive light. My contention before was that having liberated my blog from financial expectations, self-elected opportunities for more innovative editorial spreads would emerge and constructively challenge me. Yes, fashion blogging will now require more independent effort from me and thereby expose a version of myself working under circumstances that demand a deeper, more genuine, more meaningful commitment. But how could that possibly be a good thing? Why is my creative expression more important than my ethics?

I struggle with the concept of a moral fashion blog. What would that look like? Certainly not this. Even in posting flattering photos of myself wearing non-sponsored garments, I promote the image of a product and contribute to its relevance, and by syllogism, to consumer demand. By making a commodity "look pretty," I become a tacit ambassador of it. I glamorize it, I persuade people to buy it or at least something similar. How can I consider myself a moral person when I have such an intimate relationship with consumerism? I volunteer material inspiration by beautifying anything that can be purchased.

Another voice in my head suggests that photographing myself in secondhand apparel would be less immoral because it wouldn't convenience my readers - at least not as much as a hyperlinked fast-fashion outfit that could be bought in several clicks or located in several hours. But even secondhand apparel can be 'fast,' as we've all seen our share of Urban Outfitters graphic tees and Topshop pullovers at Goodwill. Still, I am contributing to market demand for those items. I am doing nothing to slow down the production of them.

So by now you're wondering why isn't Bebe doing less talking and more deleting to honor her ethical praxis??? Good question. For the month that I spent deluged in self-hatred for having ever entered this harrowing trade, I had every intention of shutting FTBH down for good and finding another work-from-home profession. But yesterday I was struck with an incredible realization -- my praxis is more nuanced than this. While I might see clothing as a mostly superfluous luxury, others see it as a crucial layer of survival. It is not fair that I privilege my critique over the testimony of those who contend that without fashion, they cannot present themselves as the vision they feel on the inside.

Despite my hesitation to work within the parameters of first world materialism, I recognize that in doing so I might help more than hinder. I cannot ignore the obvious consequences of systematic oppression on people who deserve a chance to live free from violence. Yes, in continuing to advertise for unethical companies I am complicit in material exploitation. But there are ways that I can alchemize this platform to directly and immediately benefit my community. There are ways to simultaneously assist my duty to reduce waste by recycling apparel. And there are ways to launch this blog up and out of the wasteful fast fashion practices with which it is currently associated. I'm not going to throw out a tremendously useful tool with the potential to materially help queer and transgender folk, especially my LGBTQ sisters of color.

Transgender people are disproportionately pushed into poverty due to inescapable institutional and personal discrimination. They are disproportionately assaulted in public and private. They often fear for their lives when they do so little as step outside, knowing that if they don't pass well enough, they will be found out and viciously attacked. Just this year, seven transwomen were murdered. We're only two fucking months into 2015. As a consequence of society's willingness to reject, alienate, abuse and kill those who do not conform to cishet sexuality and gender identity, the rate of attempted suicides among transgender folk exceeds 41%. This is a crisis.

This information is pertinent for several reasons.

1) I do not identify as cis. I am genderfluid and sick of pretending to be a person I'm not to avoid conflict. Sometimes I feel very feminine and present/refer to myself as a woman (she/her). Other times I feel completely devoid of both femininity and masculinity. On those days I prefer to present/refer to myself as androgynous (they/them). I would like to finally incorporate this fluctuating element of my personhood into my blog because it's ME. I can't blog transparently or even confidently when I'm not truly showing you the core of my being. If you feel uncomfortable about this confession... well then. See that little red X on the top right corner of your screen? Yeah. Click the shit out of that. You're polluting my private space faster than a polyester factory in Taiwan.

2)  While I don't experience the dread of being found out in public because I am cis presenting, my transgender brothers and sisters do. And because they are statistically likely to make significantly less money at work than their straight/white/cis/male coworkers (or not be employed at all), they are less likely to be able to afford essential clothing that helps them pass. They also are less likely to have the free time to go sifting through racks at department stores and boutiques. My transgender sisters need access to clothes way more than I do, and I have the means to acquire *plenty* as a fashion blogger. Shutting down this blog means dispensing of an indefinite opportunity to help transgender people express themselves through contemporary style. (I'll explain how in a second.)

While being complicit in the violence of fast fashion sucks, it is only temporary as I can eventually level up and attract sponsorships from companies that offer higher quality apparel - items that don't need to be replaced every season and subsequently reduce the likelihood of buying more. My goal right now is to develop and share as much content as I can in an effort to quickly 'move out' of fast fashion and acquire those valuable goods. Of course it isn't me who needs them; it is the systematically disadvantaged who do. After styling sponsored items for my blog/Instagram, I will be donating as much of them as I can to transwomen either individually or through my local LGBTQ center in Las Vegas.  The fraction of garments that I keep for myself will be liquidated to fund modest expenses like bus fare and website maintenance. As for the obvious -- I know that I am petite, but I can rock an XL with the right accessories. (Seriously though, I will try to source apparel in as many different sizes as I possibly can.) I'll post more info about this soon as it is currently the entire driving force behind maintaining Fated To Be Hated.

Given an (undisclosed) disability, there is not much I can do with my time besides blog. There are also few options for me in the income-generating department since I cannot be counted on to reliably interact with the world, face to face, voice to voice, or even screen to screen. If I'm going to keep this job, I must find a way to reconcile the arteries that frustrate me with the avenues that empower others. I'm not going to squander an opportunity to potentially reduce someone's dysphoria by offering the comfort of visual consistency. I know that on days when I feel especially androgynous, a unisex outfit can easily unite my external with my internal and relieve me of self-alienating malaise. Giving the transgender community more sartorial options is, in my opinion, the most helpful thing I can do with my access. This new direction motivates me to approach fashion differently, to be more selective about my collaborators, and to always consider the wants and needs of those with less liberty or leisure. I am eager to see how repurposing this space will develop as I progress, and even more excited about the joy free apparel will bring my wonderful and deserving community.

Slowing down the current rate of consumerism takes time and is something I can work on and within forever. It is not at odds with my more immediate goal to make life easier and more enjoyable for transgender people. My blog is never going to be morally perfect. And despite my earnest efforts it may never be ethical either. But it's something I can do. I hope you all can understand my critique of fast fashion and simultaneous willingness to exploit it for the benefit of others. If you think there's something I can do better, or you disagree with my approach, or you found this blog post to be problematic, I urge you to send me an email. bebe zeva at gmail dot com.

Everything is infinite (but some infinities are more infinite than others),


Thursday, January 22, 2015

me myself and eye

I think I've crossed a threshold in my blogging experience wherein I no longer expect anything to come out of my content creation. When I started out, there was a purpose: to get people's attention. And once I had their attention, another purpose emerged: to monetize my popularity. I was successful in my pursuits, but only for so long. While many bloggers were and are able to maintain their rate of production and profits, I am not one of them. I attribute this to my own failure to put money into my blog: I never paid a web developer to design me a more sophisticated layout, I never bought my own domain, I never traveled to New York for fashion week, I never hired a photographer to take my pictures. I remained "DIY" at the expense of my potential to thrive. Like anyone who missed the boat on an incredible opportunity to build an empire out of their access, I have my share of regrets. I could have translated "Fated To Be Hated" into a commercial endeavor generating enough ad revenue and collaboration fees to constitute a salary. I could have even set more modest goals, like aiming for a cool $1000/month. But not even that came into fruition. Nonetheless, for 99% of the time my blog has existed, I have been able to at least exchange sponsored garments for cash. The other 1% of the time includes the first couple months of my blog's existence -- and now. 

I hope that my blog's commercial failure is a creative blessing in disguise. I have only the clothes I started out with left (yes, the same pieces you saw in 2010) which means I must tap into a place of complete sincerity. There are no sponsors to appease and there are no liabilities. I have absolutely nothing to lose. And I am not obligated to blog about things I don't genuinely like just because I can flip them for ten bucks on eBay. 

Hopefully this is the beginning of a new life for me and my platform. A fresh opportunity for me to create, for free, with as much expressive recklessness as I see fit. I have no expectations of monetization -- and that's liberating, not a disappointment. All the labor I put into this blog must satisfy ME, because no gratification will come from anticipating validation or payment from others. I am untethered to everything but my Desire.

80s Purple mirrored shadesRomwe sequin eye sweater & blouse, vintage Minnie Mouse jorts from The Dog Show, Under Construction platform boots c/o Echo Club House, Pink Brix Kelly skull earrings + Coco ring

Everything is infinite,


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

rosetta stoned

In my five years of writing a whole lot about absolutely nothing, I've discovered that it is really easy to like things. A fashion blogger's default emotion is 'loading justification..." -- She is always generating a reason to like something she owns or sees or is offered. And generating a reason to dislike something she can't have. And then when she has it, she generates a reason why she was wrong, another reason why she likes it now, another reason why you should want it too. 

Fashion blogging has never been about sustainability: it blossom/s/ed from the novelty of apparel, not the usefulness of it. But given the technocentrism of the past several decades, "aesthetic delight" is not a good enough reason to fund an endeavor with labor and time. An urgency to imbue 'the love of things' with practical meaning surfaced and consequently, liking anything has become a performance with purpose: a gallant charade to foreshadow necessary identity. Liking things is an exercise in the creation of the self. It is the motion of "style."

While affirming the self and strengthening a sense of personal power, "style" also engenders a motivation to justify. Because we socially agree that our style is a picture of us, we internalize that it is about us. And we are driven to explain every choice (this hat over that headband, these heels instead of those flats) because we want each outfit to seem like it accurately describes our selfhood. The trouble is, we don't actually get to choose our style. Capitalism does. So we end up devising extremely personalized, qualic reasons for purchases and outfits and makeup routines after the decision has already been made for us. Everything happens afterwards. And it happens in defense of an invisible economic force.

The fashion blog is a platform for these justifications. It soothes the author, who is better able to veil her material exploitation in the rhetoric of "I'm just doing my job," and it soothes the consumer, who is able to use whatever reasons generated by the author for the service of rationalizing her own surfeit desires. But perhaps the most potent function of a fashion blog is its propagation of the idea that style is "purpose-serving." Utility, or at least the image of it, transforms frivolity into function. We conclude that fashion must be practical. It must communicate a message. Otherwise... it's a vain mess of ego and resource deprivation. Or better, or worse. 

The problem with framing style as "purpose-serving" is the possibility that we might include material self-expression in our constitution of subsistence. Material self-expression has nothing to do with subsistence. It is a luxury. Yes, it serves a purpose. But not a purpose that pertains at all to maintaining survival. We tend to reference utility to prevent the threat of deprivation. The more you need something, the easier it is to persuade someone out of taking it away. So by describing material style as a useful tool, our excess is protected under the clause of pragmatism. And as we all know, pragmatism and love of beauty are what make humans civilized. Material style is very well guarded by the rhetoric of postindustrialism, and consequently... all the ugliness that accompanies excess is insulated. 

There's a downside to the admission that style is frivolous, too. But I've already filled up half the page with my errant drivel and accomplished what I set out to do: appear to justify blogging about my outfit by including useful thoughts. HA.

Choies mod moto jacket, Yes Style harem pants, Missguided canvas sneakers

Everything is infinite,


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

midi class

When I first caught glimpse of Alice Dellal's "boy" campaign for Chanel in 2012, my heart raced with the adrenaline of championship. It was a victory for punks of the affirmation-seeking genealogy, a home run in the department of respectful nods from arguably the most important fashion house of all time. No longer could one claim that ripped fishnets and semi buzzcuts were "un-Chanel" err tacky. The look was officially stamped with the seal of Wintour excellence. Rejoice! 

Of course, I wasn't actually one of those 'punks.' *My* sense of triumph stemmed from a smug eagerness to see counterculture imitated, insured by the approval of a militantly elitist white man, and sold back to the suckers who resolved to align themselves with resistance but defaulted to the flattery of seeing themselves reflected in the glossy pages of a magazine. It was both "in yo face!" for the hipsters who needed their style copied and repackaged before believing it was worth something, and "told you so!" for me. Yes, your undercut is 'high fashion.' So are your fingerless gloves, shredded tights, combat boots and smudged eyeliner. Because everything threatening, everything representative of revolt, everything suggestive of resistance is high fashion eventually. You get to see a Brazilian model who looks like you dazzled in Coco accolades, I get to see my economic prediction proven correct in 3...2...

Fast forward three years and grunge-en-vogue is still a formidable composition. For my look, I coupled a Romwe midi skirt with a mesh top I cropped myself. Since futuristic sneakers remain avant footwear for 2014, these secondhand boots might not make any seasonal appearances on the catwalk. But they're made for pounding pavement anyway. (Un)Fortunately at this rate of creative exchange, tastemakers might usher in an era of  sidewalk runways to replace traditional elevated platforms. Be warned: they know where to find our level. Down here. Gravity takes care of the rest. 

Chanel pendant, bangle, and earrings, Yes Style crop top, Romwe midi skirt, PinkBrix ring

Everything is infinite,


Monday, January 19, 2015

ed hardly

I reeeeeally want to be truthfully able to say "overalls are my new thing," but I'm sure 'new thing' suggests 'worn more than twice.' In my heart, I am committed to overalls. Long ones. Baggy. Unflattering. Approved by a farmer. Although I only own a humble four pairs, they've somehow managed to monopolize my head space. They're the first article I look for when browsing shops online. They're tempting to wear to high brow production meetings when a fitted blazer is more appropriate. And dammit they comfortably embrace my entire body like a medium wash denim diaper. Like the onesie, they save me from having to select a top AND pants. When your top already *is* your pants, the time you'd otherwise spend inside your closet can be practically devoted to the more important things in life. Like herding cattle and farming.

But unlike my prudently dressed pastoral pals, I've got a penchant for luxury and couldn't resist glamming up. Combined with pumps and chunky Chanel earrings, my overalls leave no doubt that I'm a city slicker in disguise. But I own it. For Pete's sake I'm even wearing a rhinestone embossed Ed Hardy racing jacket.

You can thank Echo Club House (formerly Swaychic) for blessing the public with this look -- I'm holding down the fort in the Linebacker Bra, Cosby Sweater Snapback, and Gare Du Nord overalls. Check out their new site, show them some new love, support them by getting ya hands on some new goodies! At the very least, follow them on insta for 00s inspo.

Outfit c/o Echo Club House

Everything is infinite,