Polyvore: The Clotheshorse Solution
December 30, 2007
It’s a miracle. Well, so far.
While browsing Tricia Royal’s bits and bobbins blog, I came across this: Polyvore. It’s a user-generated database chock-full of fashion items, from Marc Jacobs handbags to Forever 21 tanks. Users install a bookmarklet that lets them grab images from anywhere on the web, then upload them to the Polyvore db. Boring? Au contraire.
This reservoir of couture allows you, me, and everyone we know to create “sets” — outfits, for the most part — which we then can share with all of our fashion-hound friends (see Kaboodle, another social networking tool based on the shop-shop culture, or even the “900 users who bought My Dinner with Andre also bought…” section of the product pages at Amazon). Check out one of my sets below, inspired by Wendy Darling of J.M. Barrie fame:
Sure, the philosophy behind Polyvore is likely a capitalistic one: I see the Wendydress on PV, make a too-cute outfit out of it, and HELLO! I NEED THAT DRESS and its accoutrements, too — particularly, that yellow jacket. But seriously: isn’t this more an exercise in collage? After pulling together an iWardrobe of fairly manageable proportions, I started seeing the potential for sparky combos. Hence Wendy Darling Nos. 1 & 2 (you can see the other Wendy set here). But I don’t just do Wendy. I can limn Minnie Mae Presley, too. Also in the works: Japanime-influenced weekend togs and a sartorial salute to my 2nd-fave butt rocker, Slash (yes, I found a top hat).
The beauty isn’t in a mega-closet bursting with choices; it’s in the Big Repurpose: Minnie Mae’s leather jacket is fit for an upcoming Joan Jett tribute. The plum pencil skirt does double duty in Tuesday’s Secretary Set. You dig? This isn’t about making room for more clothes. This is about rethinking what’s already hanging in that itty-bitty closet. Again, I invoke Tricia Royal, founder of Flickr’s wardrobe_remix photo pool, which asks group members to “show us how you CREATIVELY put your everyday duds together!” New doesn’t have to mean fresh from the store. It can mean remixed, recycled, redux.
Try it out. Tell me that it doesn’t change the way you think about getting dressed.