Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Mary's Musings: Ferocity, The Subject of

Does anyone want to be my assistant? Sometimes it is just too much work to write a blog post! Basically, you would googleimagesearch stuff and then I'd peer over your shoulder and be like, "No, not that Rick James photo, you fool!" and then I'd throw a diamond-encrusted cell phone at your head. If you are interested, leave a comment!!!

Anyway, sorry my blog posts have been sort of meandering lately, but here's another meandering blog post about fashion blogs.

First of all, a jacket is being passed around in the fashion blogosphere, intended to be styled by various fashion bloggers in their own unique way, as long as said fashion bloggers are a size 2. I guess it is sponsered by the company who made the jacket? Anyway, there's a commercial tie-in of some kind, a chic French commercial tie-in. I don't know. A jacket doesn't even really make sense for this type of thing because it already covers up like half your body so it's difficult to style around and put your own "spin" on; it ultimately looks the same on everybody. If anything, it sort of makes the bloggers look really uniform, and what the hell I can't believe that all fashion bloggers are expected to fit into it! No wonder none of the popular fashion bloggers appear to be over a size 4.

Secondly, I have been thinking a lot about the aesthetics of most fashion blogs, and the current trend of twee, hair-bowed, little-girlish styles. You know, with the hair bows and the white tights and the knock-knees and the Zooey Deschanel and the Erin Featherston.

I do not hate this style, or deny that Zooey Deschanel has great hair/that I have been known to wear a bow or two even though I feel slightly foolish while doing so, but the more I think about it, the more I feel guilty for finding this tweeness personally charming.

Inherantly little-girlish, based upon traditional little girl's clothing, full of empire waists, white tights and smocking and pater pan collars, and the Twiggy/little girl look of the 60's, it is a style for the young, because you can't really wear a bow in your hair once you're out of your twenties, but it also has the potential to infantalize the wearer. It does not jibe well with fuller figures or womanly curves, and even though it obviously has a sexual component, it can easily come across as a passive, gawky, kittenish Lolita vibe instead of something strong and grown-up. It lacks, quite frankly, a certain amount of ferocity.

So, in conclusion, I will not throw away my empire-waisted mini dresses and I still think I need a pair of white tights, but, at the same time, I would like to make an effort to harken back to my real, true fashion idols- the showy, the fierce, the overtly glamourous, the tacky, and the sometimes even crass. It is all very nice to be charming and twee occasionally, and I cannot deny my love of miniatures, fairy tales, or peter-pan collars, but I lately I have felt that my other, non-charming fashion personality (friends may know her as Aquanette, the 70's-era bowling alley whore) is being edged out by the sometimes dangerous cutesiness of this popular look.

We need more fashion bloggers who come from different perspectives and with different looks and bodies and backgrounds, and I think regularly reading the popular fashion blogs can have the same effect as reading a popular fashion magazine- you know, where you forget there are other ways to be stylish besides fitting the mold and wearing the latest trends.

Here are some of fashion icons which I will take inspiration from on the new year, during which I will do my best to advocate for ferocity, glamour, and a lack of lank:


Anonymous said...

I found this post very inspiring. After I read it, I googled pictures of The Sweet for a long time. I say let's all watch this video again:

I'm sure it's been posted here or on The Accordian Connection or somewhere, but it's worth revisiting.


M said...

oh man i want t-shirt with this era of the sweet on it.

why were we not 17 in 1973 or whenever this is so we could hear them lip synch this song in real life?

maybe i should finally do my bay city rollers vs. the jonas brothers post.

ps merry christmas!

teach people not books said...

another fabulous post. your commentary on the infantilization of american women is important. it seems to me that the influence of twisted male sexuality on this trend is huge. while we have twelve year olds walking around with "cute" or "sexy" or heavenforbid "pink" on their sweatpants, sexuality being exploited way too early, we have the opposite trend happening with adult women's fashion--this want to create some coy image of. . . innocence? naughty schoolgirl? non-threatening submitter to disturbing sides of male sexuality? all of the above?

we see this effect in many realms--take marketing that reduces us to a bunch of whining 5-year-olds whose whims must be attended to and who coo "he went to jarrod."

ok was googling infantilize to check my spelling (yes an english major who hasn't had to spell infantilize in a long time--a sad day in the history of my life), and came across this which is hilarious and sums up the idea quite nicely:

M said...

it is interesting that kids are always being sexualized in a grown-up way and adult women are always being infantalized. i think everyone is supposed to be permamently awkward, un-confident, and unsure of themselves, which to me is kind of like being twelve.

oh man, those "he went to jared" commercials are SO GRATING. i bet you would appreciate sarah haskins:
check out the jewelery one

Lizbit said...

(long-time lurker, first-time poster!)
as someone who is wears a fashion style called "lolita", I am not sure what to make of this. I agree that infantilization of grown woman goes down a twisted road, but I personally feel more empowered wearing ruffles and frills and bows.The lolita style is for one thing a very modest style that pretty much has the whole body generally covered (it's inspired by old roccoco and victorian fashions after all), so only very "special" people would find it a sexy style since it's also a youthful style.Many other people who wear the fashion can testify that their style of dress gets negative attention by a few obnoxious members of planet earth, so there is a limit to how childlike women are allowed to be in society.Anyway, if you want to know more, there is a livejournal community of lolitas, and there is also a site where fellow lolitas post pictures of their outfits:
(sorry, I am not proficient in posting less text-heavy links)

M said...

Hi there, I'm familiar with Lolita and EGL-type fashion and thought about making a point about it in this post, but I guess didn't have the energy.

But if I had, I would have said that I don't think the Japanese-inspired Lolita look you're talking about is necessarily equivalent to the trendier "fashion" Lolita look here- it is more costumey, more creative, takes more effort since the clothes aren't always readily available in the US, and just a bit weirder in general (and that's not a diss!) Dressing in your type of Lolita fashion implies you are taking a risk that all the Zooey Deshanelish girls definitely aren't. Besides that, it has more of a history within a subculture as opposed to the twee fashion look, which is more just about what's popular right now (even though I can admit I can appreciate both looks in various ways.)

Plus I had a black EGL skirt from Japan that burned in the fire and it was the best skirt ever and I miss it.


Anonymous said...

Walk down a street in a babydoll, with ripped tights and bloody knees, smeared lipstick, a fur coat, and unkempt hair...people will duck into buildings. I wish we saw more of that. More little girl of your nightmares than little girl of your dreams.

I agree with the japanese lolita, as well. Most lolita-clothing comes in a wonderful bell-shaped that's almost civil-war era and a little bit of weird.