When I was seven years old, my favorite piece of clothing (possibly in my life) was my Annie Oakley skirt. It was red felt, really full and wide, with leather fringe all around the bottom, it had eight pockets, and two of them came with plastic guns! My idea of a good time, was yelling, "bang, bang your dead," to my mother as she walked through the front door. She'd nearly faint every time, and I would laugh hysterically.
That was my idea of fashion. You wear what works. Not what's in. Still is to this day. I was never the doll type, putting "that dress" with "that wig" on Barbie. I was the give me something to wear so I don't have to leave the house naked type, and that was it.
My mother was the complete opposite. She was perfect. Hair perfect. Nails perfect. Her purse matched her shoes (god forbid, they didn't) and she shopped at Saks, or places like that. She knew the sales girls on a first name basis. She's in her late 80's now and she still doesn't leave the house without her "face."
My idea of a "face," is my own. I look into the mirror, wash it, put a little lipstick and mascara on, and I'm out the door. To say that I am a fashionista - is like saying the sky is purple. It's just not.
My only concession to fashion is that I wear two different color flip flops, almost everyday. This has been going on now for 10 years when I got the idea to buy two colored pairs and switch them. It's my way of breaking the mold. And starting a conversation. Because, invariably someone will say "hey, your flip flops are two different colors." And then we talk.
So ever since I have lived downtown, my flip flops (that cost $10 a pair at the Gap) have introduced me to many people. There was Harry on Spring Street - who dug the pink one more than the green. Celeste, standing in front of Weeneez hot dogs, who said, it was really cool that I didn't match (boy, did she get that right), and then there was the couple visiting from Australia at the Pershing Square Farmer's Market, who wanted to know if that was a "California thing."
No, it's a Nancy thing. Just like living in downtown.
And for me, fashion is a "bang bang" here and a "flip flop" there. More than anything it's a way to connect with people. Even if I did try to kill my mother.