Saturday, December 28, 2013

Debrief from Dallas

I covered the Dallas NAC solo--Allison sat this one out. But for future reference, know what you-all are totally welcome to say to either of us at a competition?

"OMG Fashionistas! You have to take a picture of my SHOOOOES!"

Besides the fact that, yes, these are very cool shoes, we love being invited to take pictures. Please--let us help you strut your stuff.

That said, many of the pictures from Dallas were surreptitious, mostly because I don't like to interrupt people when they are actually, you know, fencing. 

Even when they have massively fabulous hair

Or, by way of contrast, a full hood and steampunk goggles under their mask. (Whaaa?)

Hey, sometimes we ask permission, as with the winner of this NAC's "Best Dressed Ref" award 

Timothy Buckwalter
Pairing a black shirt with the requisite navy blazer made this outfit a contender, but the seasonally appropriate tie pushed it over the top. Good job, Mr. Buckwalter.

Award for best club jacket goes to Moe Wen Fencing Club in Somerville, Mass.

Admittedly I was swayed by the club name itself. (Think of all the great slogans! "Moe betta fencing." "The Three Other Musketeers: Larry, Curly and Moe.") But I also loved the way their logo echoes that of The Saint.

Best major fashion sighting: Miles Chamley-Watson in Absolute Fencing's uniform with American flag piping. On MCW, thats a lot of piping. 

But it looks cute on little uniforms, too.

Best practical fashion item: this tricolor body cord from Alliance Fencing. If you've ever repaired a body wire, and forgotten which was the B wire and which the C, you will recognize how useful it is to color-code the lines (as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Pair it with the piped uniform above as well as the USA flag mask for an Über-patriotic look.) 

I don't see either the piped uniform or the tricolor cord on the websites of their respective vendors, so maybe you just have to come to the next NAC if you want to get them, eh?

Backing up a tad, I should note that all of my fashion observations in Dallas were colored by the fact that the NAC was sharing the convention center with a few hundred teens competing in a cheerleading competition.

This was more than slightly surreal--like being surrounded by tiny, muscular crosses between Mary Lou Retton and Tammy Faye Bakker. It was even funnier when clumps of cheerleaders wandered into the venue to watch the fencing. Suffice to say they weren't looking at the vets. In fact, I think at least one was sniggering at my stretching routine before the round of four. (Hey, kid, try doing this when you are over fifty, then you can laugh at me.)

Finally, a note on the bling. You may remember I have blogged my ambiguous feelings about medals. This NAC offered the perfect solution: loaner medals that were passed out for the podium ceremony, then repossessed. And to make it truly perfect, everybody used the same set: Wheelchair Women's Saber, thus making me a two time medalist for an event in which I've never competed. Love it.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Race to the Top

Seems like only yesterday that Race Imboden was a kid.

This video is a great review of his early years (complete with parents' perspective on raising a fencing prodigy). 

It reminds me, when fencing the skinny kids dorking about at our club, that any of them might be whupping my butt in a few years.

My how fast they grow up. I just got back from Dallas where I got to see Imboden take gold in Div 1, beating Alexander Massialis 15-12. 

Besides being a kick-ass fencer, Race has joined the ranks of fencers in professional fashion, along with fellow Olympians Miles Chamley Watson and Tim Morehouse. Frankly, it's hard to sex up a fencing uniform, but here he manages quite well, thank you.

Image by David Needleman on Visual Tales
(Um, Race? Yellow card for no plastron.) 

Here is an interview he did on fencing, and DJing (yet a third vocation) with

Photo by Greg Vaughan for

It's been particularly interesting to watch the evolution of his hair, from a relatively straightforward comb-back

Photo from Wikipedia

To sexy tousled mop

By Greg Vaughan for Daily Male Models

To a truly imposing pompadour. 

Photo by Larry Schwarz
Notice how restrained I have been in not describing these shots as "racy."  Whoops, slipped. My bad.

Here is perhaps the only "voyeuristic" art film ever made about fencing (but do please tell me if I'm wrong. And send links.)

Race Imboden: Balancing Act on

In this interview for The Journal Race flaunts his fashion chops in an interesting mix of fencing and street wear. 

(He's just making up for not wearing a plastron in that first shot, right? Right.)

Now Race has started his own blog, Have Foil will Travel, where you can keep up with his thoughts on fencing, fashion and music.  

I've added it to my bookmarks, and look forward to following Race's careers as a fencer, model and disc jockey.