A Lovely Day of Shopping with Genesis P-Orridge
Photos by Aliya Naumoff
We bought Genesis this black shoulder cape at a flea market in Brooklyn. She plans to decorate the back with a custom-made biker patch.
As the fashion editor of this very magazine, I frequently have to schlep heavy garment bags around New York City and leaf through lookbooks of clothing Nathan Barley wouldn’t use to hang himself from a closet rod. Consequently, when it’s time to shop for myself it sometimes feels like I’m working. Shopping with friends is also difficult because they don’t understand that I’ve already pored over everything on the racks a dozen times over, so I’d rather not wander around SoHo for eight hours while tourists step on the shoes I just bought.
Genesis will always take first prize in our hearts.
About a month ago my situation got me to thinking: If I could shop with anyone in the world who would it be, and would I enjoy it for once? A few weeks later, a friend called to ask if I wanted to help her pick out a new dress and I confessed my dilemma. Somehow the conversation led to Genesis P-Orridge, specifically the time she told Ian Svenonius he could look just like her for $50. After we hung up, I opened my laptop, googled around until I found the contact info for Genesis’s publicist, and wrote an email asking whether she would like to go on a shopping spree with me on Vice’s dime.
Later in the day I panicked. I had just asked the pandrogynous, gold-toothed founding member of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV to be my gal pal while we spent a day buying crap we didn’t need. Would she get pissed and cast a hex on me with a psychick cross?
Thankfully, I wasn’t left in suspense for long. I received an email from Genesis the next day: She was very much into the idea. We corresponded throughout the week, and she warned me that she had given up on trying to appear fashionable after being diagnosed with diabetes (a side effect of contracting a parasite during a visit to her beloved Nepal). But she needed to get some biker patches made and could use a new pair of boots, so we set a date.
A few days later, I was knocking on her door. It swung open, and there she stood with a bleached blond bob, denim vest, black t-shirt, raw washed jeans, and Supra high-tops. Things were a bit awkward at first (the photographer, two cameramen, and producer in the room probably had something to do with that), but we tried to make chitchat while Genesis showed us her prized biker vests.