I Am a Manrepeller, Elisa & Lily
I Am a Manrepeller

Most mornings, after I've spent somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes layering up -- throwing skirts over pants, tucking dresses into jodhpurs, or safety pinning a man's extra large sweater to my side in order to create some kind of elusive, abstract shape -- I clunk into the living room, where my adoring husband is catching up on his emails, and ask him, "Which shoe?" My husband, Tim, kindly looks at each highly unsexual/unfeminine/manly/androgynous option (Prada silver creepers, Margiela tabby boots) and, fearful of seeming uncool, Tim shakes his head, hesitates with a long "ummmmm" before answering, "Ehh... neither." Each and every time, I ignore his advice and figure it out myself.

I have no idea exactly when my obsession with textures, shapes, proportion, and some undefined antique or tribal fantasy took total precedence over even the most unconscious effort to please the opposite sex, but, by this point in my life, any notion of a pump or a demure/coy silhouette belongs to the life of another person. There's undoubtedly been a synchronisity between my maturing, abandoned I-don't-give-a-shit-what-anyone-thinks self and never feeling more attractive. When my great friend Beatrix Ost recently told me in her lovingly, observant manner, "You look like a beautiful man from the the 19th century," I was ecstatic.

In actuality, I don't think I ever gave an ounce of attention to dressing in order to please the male ego. Yet, at the same time, I've never felt as if the masculine way in which I dress has ever affected my appeal to men. My obsessive drive to express myself through materials and objects is, for me, sexy, and I'm unapologetic about it. To me, getting dressed is every bit as libidinous and not at all different than a writer taking a pen to paper or a musician strumming a cord. There is just about nothing more un-sensual to me than flaunting the obvious, leaving little to mystery, or looking like anyone else.

xo Elisa

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