excuse the sloppy graphic, i just needed some visuals to accompany my latest post. i come to you with yet more reading assignments, but this time paired with a bit of eye-candy. today i came across yet another great read courtesy of minh-ha t. pham (of threadbared, Of Another Fashion and all around badass self) was published at the Ms. Magazine‘s blog today, entitled If the Clothes Fit: A Feminist Takes on Fashion. here’s just a little taste:
If fashion has been used to introduce new ways of expressing womanhood, it has also been a tether that keeps women’s social, economic and political opportunities permanently attached to their appearances. At a time when makeover reality TV shows suggest that self-reinvention is not only desirable but almost required, and the ubiquity of social media encourages everyone to develop a “personal brand,” the pressure on women to be fashionable has never been more pervasive.
as with most of pham’s writing, i find myself resisting the urge to high-five my computer screen, and exclaim, “SO TRUE!” because it is! read it! it’s a fantastic argument in favour of fashion being accepted as a feminist issue, but seen as an integral part of identity politics. it also shines the spotlight on the important work a lot of online cultural critics (aka bloggers) have done to hold the fashion industry accountable for its missteps. it reinspires me at a time where i’ve been admittedly jaded about the state of fashion blogs, and frustrated by which ones get attention, and for what reasons… but here, pham puts us in mind of the major successes that can be credited to many fashion blogs. it’s also another excuse for me to re-read why i argued there was a need for feminist fashion blogs back in 2009.
it’s also one of the first articles on the subject i’ve read that adequately addresses race and class issues… others on the same topic (fashion! feminism! yes you can like both!) are worth reading as well, but a lot of times i find myself sighing at how cliché they tend to be. not only that, but how frustrating it is to be asked “how can fashion be feminist?” more times than i can count, and how difficult it is to answer that in a succinct and direct manner. but one thing pham accomplishes where i feel other writers have failed is shifting the focus away from straight white cis women who call themselves fashion lovers AND feminists. of course fashion can be a feminist issue for straight white cis women (even she cites the example of first wave feminists and suffragettes wore certain colours in their fight for the right to vote… but the right for rich, white women to vote), but not at the expense or erasure of the multitudes of other kinds of people who use fashion as a form of resistance, empowerment, and survival. i’m rambling, that’s how excited i am about this article. i’ll just end by saying that i can’t wait until we can move forward from arguing that fashion is a feminist issue to simply accepting that as a fact.
onto a slightly different topic now…
i was initially tempted to click on the link for alberta ferretti’s pre-fall 2012 collection because of style.com’s tagline “bloggers are the new flappers.” my furrowed brow told me i had to find out more… sadly, what they really meant was alberta ferretti’s runway models included models, some celebrities, actresses, singers, even celebrities’ children… and three bloggers. who i’ve never heard of (but that might say more about my fashion blog frequenting than anything else). a more apt tagline would be “three bloggers walk the runway in flapper inspired outfits.” as much as i wish fashion bloggers were the new flappers, i don’t think the description fits… not even a little bit.
that said! i still REALLY loved some of the dresses. you know how good i would look in that purple one! and i’m such a sucker for cloche hats, even if these ones slightly resemble horse blinders. overall the collection is far too fur heavy for my stomach’s taste, but it is worth a look, and features some really beautiful garments. and shoes!
…speaking of unusual suspects popping up on the runway, these .gifs have been burning like wildfire through tumblr. and for good reason! check out willem dafoe, gary oldman, and many other babely actors looking dapper as fuck while modelling (acting?) in prada’s fall 2012 runway show. as prada could top enlisting my favourite pouter michael pitt as the face of their menswear collectiong! so before they get lost in the usual shuffle, i thought some of my readers might appreciate having them here.
you can see them all here if that tickles your fancy.
i should leave it at that! i’ve also got lots in the works for the coming months, more ideas than i can flesh out! and never enough time! but stay tuned for more posts in the coming weeks. as always, you can follow me elsewhere on facebook and twitter.