Friday, December 26, 2014

A Study in Scarlet

I came back from the December NAC in Dallas with sooo much good Fashionista material that it's taking me ages to sort through the pics and pull together my observations. (I also came back with well-balanced selection of viruses, so I've been sick, too.) 

As a teaser, here's one highlight: during the competition Tim Morehouse posted a picture to Facebook featuring a natty gentleman at the competition, and asked "True or False. These are legal Knickers for a USA fencing national competition?" Here are the knickers in question:

I was delighted to see an Olympic fencer (who is, himself, a fashion model) putting a fashion-related question out there for debate (even if the query hinged on a technical, rather than aesthetic, point of contention). The consensus, in response to his post, was that yes, these are legal. (Punctuated with many snarks of disapproval--I'll come back to that in a later post.)

The thread didn't surface who made the knickers, or who was wearing them, so this Fashionista sprang into action to track down the story's details.

The gentleman in question is Joe Deucher, who was competing that day in Vet 40 epee, representing the Tournament Fencing Club, Nevada Division.

Asked about the origin of the Scarlet Knickers, Joe graciously posed to provide documentation:

Mystery solved: manufactured by Triplette, rated 350 N.

As to legality, I believe the relevant language is contained in section 2.6 of the Athlete Handbook, which reads "USA Fencing allows uniforms of a single color other than black..."

People don't seem to take advantage of this latitude very often, though that may just be because equipment manufacturers find it simpler, and less financially risky, to stick to basic white. Here is one other great example I documented at a the 2013 Summer Nationals:

Purple, complemented by a gold lam
é. Classy.

This minor chromatic controversy is an excellent prelude to my next post about Dallas, which will contrast the minimalist fashion of fencing with flamboyance on display at the Blood and Thunder Roller Derby World Cup which took place in the Dallas Convention Center at the same time. Stay tuned...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Casual Wear Fall 2014

Fashion isn't always about dressing up. Sometimes it's about comfort. Laid back clothing for some laid back bouting. 

(Being at your own club means never having to apologize for not shaving)

Let your hair down (without fear of getting carded) and just hang out with friends 

Rock some togs that wouldn't pass muster at a competition

Try some sartorial experiments--it's ok if they don't work

(OK, that one didn't work. But good try.)

Quietly catch up on repairs

Or not so quietly

Or heck, just make do with duct tape

It's just family, right?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Point in Lining

My college teammate Valerie created something awesome

She found a shirt made from a fencing pattern, and had a tailor turn it into the lining for a jean jacket

I'm modeling it here because Valerie was busy fencing

She took women's gold in epee at the Tom Wright memorial Veteran's competition

Allison and I had a good day, too. Allison took bronze in Women's foil and earned her D

I took gold in women's foil and bronze overall. Missed my "B" by two points. Again. 

But overall, I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have swiped Valerie's jacket...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

special occasion

Nationals 2014 was a landmark for me. Not only was it my first national veterans' competition, it was also the first Nationals where I was eligible for more than one event. With Div II, II, and Vet 40 women's foil lined up, I wanted to  commemorate it in some way.

Enter henna:

I got the idea from a friend of mine who had her back painted for her wedding. She first encountered henna at an Indian friend's wedding. Her friend told her that it was traditional in India to have henna decoration for special occasions.

I'm not all that traditional, but I liked the idea of marking an event with body art. I chose my back out of the idea of having something protective, "getting my back", as it were. It wasn't important to me to have it visible to other people - I just wanted to know it was there.

Choosing a design was simple. I've had this book about tattoos and body art for years, which included some abstract linear designs by Ed Hardy before he became known for his more "flash" type work. I'd always loved those, and wanted something similar.

Finding an artist wasn't difficult either. A club mate's daughter has her own henna and body art business, and was happy to look at the images I sent her and invent from there. I think she did a fantastic job!

Would I do it again? Absolutely - the process (laying down in a quiet, incense-scented room while she applied the henna) was quite relaxing, and I loved the results!

Turned out to be good luck in a way as well - I got my first national medal this year!

Does anyone else ever adorn themselves or engage in special rituals for big competitions?

Monday, July 7, 2014


Here is Paralympic athlete Cat Bouwkamp's saber tat:

Race Imboden has Olympian ink, too:

From Ginger Snaps Tumbler

But you don't have to be an Olympian to sport the rings

And fencer's tats don't have to be about the Olympics

Renee (epee) explains her ink this way:

"My first sci-fi/fantasy book was Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffery...after reading that, I fell in love with dragons. I found a pic online of a dragon, but it wouldn't fit on my arm the way it was designed. My tattoo artist (without knowing how much I love the water) designed a new tail in the shape of a sea horse and put bubbles around it and colored it in blue. It was fate, and I've loved my tatt ever since. "

Dormouse (one of my teammates in Rockville Fencing Academy's Team Menagerie), doesn't really have to explain hers:
(Now that you've seen this, next time you see Team Menagerie in action you may understand why Tabby and I are yelling "Nap, Dormouse, nap! Whatever you do, DON'T WAKE UP!!!!")

Pam D. (vet women's foil) shares this story behind her tattoo:

"Nu Kua, or Nu Wa, as she is sometimes called, is the Chinese Godess of creation. First mentioned in text form the Xing Dynasty, she fashioned humans from clay. I chose her from a book of deities while looking through a book store in Philadelphia. My husband and I had come to get tattoos from a friend of a friend, who was visiting the states, from Amsterdam. We had originally planned to get wedding rings tattooed on our fingers. But on a coffee stop along the highway, we saw a magazine cover with movies stars holding up their newly tattooed wedding rings. Ugg. So we decided on arm bands. He has a dragon wound around his arm, and I picked my Chinese Goddess."

I've also collected some pics of fencing tattoos sans stories (not that they didn't have their own tales--I just didn't have time to ask. Middle of the competition, and all.)


This is the same young gentleman sporting the non-
Olympic rings, above. I assume he is/was indeed a Marine.
Heck, maybe he was an Olympian and I just
didn't recognize him. Oops.

I'm hoping you will send me or Allison a pic of your tattoo(s), ones we don't usually get to see, when you are all suited up for a competition. Especially if they have a story that goes with! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Well-versed in Fashion

Not content with photography, Badger took a stab at capturing the spirit of the Fashionistas in verse. Check out the resulting poem on Badgerosity (a blog chronicling the exploits of a small mammal in search of enlightenment through fencing, meditation and baking cookies).