From Sociological Images:
1. An unknown artist pastes the photoshop toolbar on H&M posters in Germany (thanks Dmitriy T.C. and Alison M.):
More pictures on this BuzzFeed post.
This is a research project started in nov. 2013. You are welcome to submit or enter the conversation about fashion, anti-oppression, and intersectionality. Tell your friends, tell your lovers. Conference call your wack crew and tell each other. We have work to do.
"There is a definite move away from conversation and towards strict consumerism. The average personal style blog is a list of purchased items and retail locations. Fashion blogging in general has been commodified, and the success of a blog is measured through entrepreneurial lenses…. I understand the reasons for monetizing a blog. The choice of compensation (why and how) is a personal one. I also understand how access to high-profile gigs and fashion job prospects might ease some frustrations about acceptance and representation in the industry. What I don’t understand is how or why it erases critical thought about that industry. I worry about the trend of fashion bloggers who were initially nurtured by a political community or driven by radical incentives, but end up turning their back on it once they “make it.” In this context, it seems unsurprising that the most important/popular fashion blogs are painfully straight, white, and upper-middle-class: why is it that fashion is “just fashion” only to those who feel included in the industry?"
Arij Riahi, "Fashion Blogging Isn’t Dead. Our Conversations Are", The Closet Feminist, Dec 2013.
From fashionista.com :
… Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck sent a model down the runway wearing a makeshift feathered headdress, with the not-so-subtle message “stop racism” scrawled across it in what looks to be red paint.
However, Arabelle Sicardi at thestylecon.com is less than impressed:
When Karl Lagerfeld puts a model down the runway in a head-dress, he took the power from Native Americans and made a mask of it for fun. When Walter van Beirendonck put a white model in a head-dress — even if it said STOP RACISM in big red letters — he’s doing the same thing. Satire is a dead fish in fashion when you are considering the power play. And this one? It’s funny. van Bierendonck sent out a model with a well intentioned message, but by placing it on an actual headdress, and placing that headdress on a white body, even if he meant well, he was just perpetuated the shitstorm…. It’s still tokenism; it’s not funny, it’s not changing anything, it’s not giving the power back to the people it was taken from.
(Thanks to garconniere for the tip)
"Fashion can be used a platform to subvert or reinforce racism, depending on who’s sitting at the top of the structure. The whitewashing of the fashion world is the reason cultural appropriation — or the pilfering of cultural customs without permission or attribution — continues to flourish… Fashion scholars serve as watchdogs. We provide the historical and social context needed to address inequities in the fashion world. We contact designers and executives and call public attention to the legion of issues facing the fashion world. We hold that world accountable. I’ve heard it a million times: fashion doesn’t matter; you should be examining race in politics, not race representation in fashion. The reality is fashion is influential, even for people who shop at thrift stores."
Evette Dionne, This Black Fashion Scholar Thinks You Should Care More About What Happens on the Runway, sept. 2013.
Photo by Kanitha Powell, retrieved from DapperQ:
Kanitha Powell’s “Butch” photo book captures a variety of butch identities, even those that challenge our conventional definitions of butch.
“I wanted to create something that moved people to conversation. People talk all the time about how a butch woman is ‘supposed’ to dress and look. Well, these aren’t your typical flannel, mullet having, boot-wearing butches. This book forces you to rip the blinders off your eyes and look around and see how things are changing.
My identity plays a huge factor in my work. I’m butch and very fashion forward. I strongly believe in popped collars and mohair loafers, and I wanted to show more of that side. There are so many women out there who are like me. They are being criticized because they consider themselves butch, but don’t fit inside the ‘stone butch’ box. So for me, creating something that expands the definition of ‘butch’ was something I felt was necessary.”
– Powell via the Huffington Post
"This construction of women of color as exotically sexy during pregnancy follows a dubious theme of envisioning them as available, fertile, robust vessels. The media constructs their public images as less constrained, less demure, and less docile than white women. This exoticization painfully recalls and perpetuates a particular sexual objectification and sexual use of women of color in American history… [They] may be women to be admired, but in the hands of tabloid media, their admiration hinges on their status as radicialized, sexy others. Even as we are solidly in the twenty-first century, women of color can attain status and attention- but as the sexy seductress, not he good-girl next door. That (still limiting) option remains largely closed, available only to those pure and earthy, sophisticated and stylish, white girls down the street."
Renée Ann Cramer, “The Baby Dump is the New Birkin”, published in Fashion Talks (State University of New York Press)
"…the practice of criticizing women’s personal lives — for even thinking that women’s personal lives belong to the public domain — is rooted in a centuries-old pattern of sexism where men are supposed to get the public sphere, and can be disagreed with on the level of their ideas, and women are supposed to get the private sphere, and can be disagreed with on the level of who they are."
Erin Matson, "Policing Personal Lives Is Not The Point: Dos And Don’ts Feminism Must Die", Dec 2013.
"Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain. It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial."
Greta Christina, “Fashion is a Feminist Issue”, Sept 2011
"While all women’s fashion choices are more carefully policed than men’s, women of color endure heightened scrutiny. Racist stereotypes that cast some women of color as “out of control” (the angry black woman, the hypersexual Latina) and others as easily controllable (the traditional Asian woman, the sexually available Indian squaw) serve women poorly in the workplace. Professional women of color thus consciously and unconsciously fashion themselves in ways that diminish their racial difference. One Asian woman interviewed by sociologist Rose Weitz for the academic journal Gender & Society admitted that she permed her hair for work “because she felt that she looked ‘too Asian’ with her naturally straight hair.” A black woman interviewed by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden for their book Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America explains that “she never goes into an interview or a new job experience without first straightening her hair. …‘I don’t want to be prejudged.’”"
Minh-Ha T. Pham, "If the Clothes Fit", Ms Magazine, Fall 2011