Tag Archives: iraya robles

EVENT: “Look Around: A Fashion Crawl & Trunk Show,” October 2, San Francisco

Art by Jaime Hernandez, though I don't know what issue of Love & Rockets this is from!

My much-mentioned best friend Iraya Robles, underground stylist and multimedia artist provocateur, is presenting (with the new vintage project Soulful Dress) a fabulous event tomorrow in the Mission District of San Francisco as part of a gallery-based exhibit. I’m hoping to get some additional insight from Iraya about the Fashion Crawl & Trunk Show, including its genesis and how the Mission as a neighborhood with its deep histories for people of color and queer persons figures into her own “mission” (ha ha) for the event, soon!

Spend the afternoon experiencing the incredible stylings of local designers, artists, performers, vintage retailers, foodcarts and much, much more….

Featuring:

“Look Around” is a part of the Celebrate! San Francisco exhibition at Mission Cultural Center (see below). “Look Around” is an outdoor/indoor event taking place within a three-block radius of 24th and Mission, at different surprise neighborhood locations. Meet in front of Mission Cultural Center 10 to 15 minutes early to pick up your limited edition map/zine with program. Departs at 1pm!

Fashion Crawl from 1-2:30 PM, with Trunk  Show and Reception to follow in Mission Cultural Center Gallery until 5pm.

Zine: $5-20 donation. Crawl & Trunk Show: FREE!!!

Presented by Soulful Dress and Iraya Robles

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Filed under SARTORIAL INDULGENCES, STYLE POLICE & STYLE GURUS

Semester’s Start Takes Me By Surprise, Again

Mimi Thi Nguyen stands in front of a tomatillo plant and fence in her backyard. It is late afternoon, and she holds some tomatoes in one hand. She is wearing a green and black dress from the 1980s, a black leather belt, and black leather studded boots.

My semester began this last Monday, and although I’m on teaching leave, I’m still working — there are all-day faculty meetings, for instance, as well as the usual committee service (in my case, for two programs because of my split appointment) and student mentoring on top of research and writing, which are an academic’s bread and butter. This includes the final stretch on my revisions to my manuscript, a co-edited collection on Southeast Asian/American studies, and my forthcoming Signs essay called “The Biopower of Beauty: Humanitarian Imperialisms and Global Feminisms in an Age of Terror,” which is the foundation for my second book (and which I’ve given as a work-in-progress in many places kind enough to invite me to do so). Which is to say that I’m swamped once again, and may be posting irregularly, or much more briefly, here.

In the photograph above, I’m standing in my garden after the first of those all-day faculty meetings in a green and navy dress (from an ’80s time warp) and black leather belt, both given to me by my very best friend Iraya Robles for a belated birthday present. (The pockets are huge. I can totally put all the tomatillos and tomatoes I harvest semi-daily in them.) There’s lots more where this dress came from in Iraya’s vintage-packed apartment (she is an underground stylist as well as an above-ground vintage dealer, so her collection is amazing), and that came home with me in my suitcase — a mid-calf pink leather skirt, a sheer yellow ’70s ruffled blouse, a shrunken turquoise cardigan sweater, and dark blue jelly wedges, for instance. Spending time with Iraya, one of the most incredibly creative and intellectually curious persons I know, reminds me that our friendship over the last twenty years (she met me when I was a snarling, semi-feral punk rock anarchist in a tattered black uniform) has shaped who I am in innumerable, and invaluable, ways.

I also reconnected on my last trip to the Bay Area with filmmaker and writer Arwen Curry, one of my favorite people from that era in my life during which I spent half my time in “doing” graduate school, and the other half hanging out at the Maximumrocknroll house (green-taping the record collection, preparing for New Issue Day, reviewing zines, making dinner and hatching plans, whatever). Arwen was a coordinator at the magazine at the time, and we once spent long hours discussing the place of punk rock in our lives, especially how it informed, and at times constrained, our intellectual trajectories, creative impulses and political hopes. (And goofier enterprises, like the time we tried to start a punk rock Dungeons & Dragons game.) These questions are still with me, even now; so when Arwen and I met up in the Mission for a long lunch, we circled back to them as we took stock of what we’d done since we last saw each other. For an incredibly detailed account of this meeting of the minds, check out Arwen’s most recent online column at Maximumrocknroll. (Among other things, Arwen is an associate producer for Regarding Susan Sontag, as well as producing and directing a documentary about the amazing fantasy and science fiction author Ursula K. LeGuin, which frankly blows my mind. You can read an interview with Arwen about this second project at The Rejectionist.)

It was wonderful to spend time with both Iraya and Arwen, who together helped me to approach this coming semester’s work roster with these reminders: that this sort of work can be creative and sustain us in powerful ways, but also that work can just be a job, and not the whole world. I need to learn better how to live with, and in, this tension.

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Filed under LINKAGE, SARTORIAL INDULGENCES

“You Are Her”

Sometimes old punks with archival tendencies can be a force for good! Former Outpunk zinester and record mogul Matt Wobensmith now runs an amazing zine store called Goteblud in the Mission District of San Francisco. He recently curated an exhibit called “You Are Her: Riot Grrrl and Underground Female Zines of the 1990s,” featuring over a thousand zines (including a few of mine). Videos of the panel discussion are now up on YouTube, with Maximumrocknroll’s Layla Gibbons, Bianca Ortiz (whose zines like Mamasita and Messtiza were a fucking revelation), and my beloved sister-friend Iraya Robles. There are five videos of the entire discussion; here’s the first.

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Filed under (AD)DRESSING GENDER & SEXUALITY, FASHIONING RACE