If you don’t listen to WTF podcast with Marc Maron, I would suggest that you take a look sometime when you are looking for a good listen. I don’t listen often and will admit that I call it “Crazy Town.” Mitch curates and invites me to join him sometimes, so I am a casual fan. Marc is a very good interviewer, and when he and a guest have a meeting of the minds, he can be awesome. We watch his TV show too. I’m a fan, but not a true fan.* Not only is it radio, but I’ve seen Marc and he’s got a look. I think this qualifies for fashion in unlikely places.
Last weekend we listened to his interview with Sir Ian McKellen. I would say that both of them were, perhaps, a bit underprepared in their knowledge about the other. I had heard a couple other SIM interviews, so I was kind of prepared for what the material would be. I ended up being surprised. What more can you ask for from an interview? It was definitely fashion in unlikely places.
Before I go any further. WTF stands for what you think it does. Marc is highly strung and when he gets going, doesn’t relent until he’s finished. It can be overwhelming. He is also hilarious if you give in to his vibe. The beginning of his podcast is for his true fans. Skip it, not that interesting if you aren’t one. To me it seems to go on and on. This podcast isn’t like one with a fellow comedian; he is very grown up.
This podcast is 1 hr 9 min. Here are the bits I think are worthy of a listen, even if you don’t do the whole podcast. The intro to the episode, 621, Sir Ian McKellen starts at 6:00 minutes in. But the interview starts at 8:25.
Fashion in Unlikely Places
At about 13:25 SIM starts discussing Shakespeare and “all the world’s a stage.” This is where it gets really interesting to me. His example is how we choose clothing for the role(s) we need to play in our day. Marc says that SIM is, at this interview, a “knight in a hoodie” while SIM continues on about how we can set the tone for ourselves and others. Even our way of speaking changes as we assume different roles in our lives. SIM talks a bit about Shakespeare and acting.
I often speak about how transformative clothes and fashion can be. How an outfit can change your day, change how you feel about yourself, and influence how other people respond to you. But most people tend to default to “easy” and “comfortable,” without any regard to how they may appear to other people. My students are always surprised when I tell them that they are judged on their appearance, and sheepish when I suggest that they too judge others. They seem not to ever put this together. I assure them that I judge everyone! I make a judgment based on what I see. I may turn out to be wrong, but I don’t deny that I make that judgment.
I love looking at people on the street and on public transportation. I do judge and mostly they come up pretty short. I will be the first to say that I don’t think clothing manufacturers are doing us any favors. It is hard to find things that fit or are even that good looking these days, but truly, we can work harder at finding clothing that does us a service.
I do not dress as a true fashionista. My life is too busy for that. I don’t have time to shop and since I no longer make my own clothes, I’m at the mercy of what I scare up on a couple of shopping trips each year. I have a long list of things I don’t do because they aren’t flattering to me; occasionally I find an exception, but usually I am best to stick with what I know works. I have spent years honing my clothing choices to enhance my attributes and minimize my flaws. I can honestly say that I don’t have anything, with the exception of a couple of undergarments, in my closet that is not comfortable to wear. I try to stay away from stretchy waistbands; I have a very short torso and they don’t add anything to my already squat body and, I believe, a real waistband gives you a lot of incentive to not eat that extra thing.
The world is a stage, on which we are actors, and often costumes make the play.
They go on to talk about SIM’s growing up and acting. Lots of interesting things, but tune in again at about 47:00 to hear him talk about coming out and what precipitated it. Very human. Talks about how being able to be out allows him to be a better actor. Very revealing.
At 54:00 he talks about being knighted and the other orders. SIM also talks about being in the Hobbit, very briefly.
At 1:02 he does an absolutely gobsmacking recitation. It is a Thomas More speech, the manuscript of which was the only thing found in Shakespeare’s handwriting. It is about immigration and not to be missed.
* Marc describes his audience: “they tend to be sensitive, slightly aggravated people, usually intelligent, of all ages . . . more of a disposition.”