Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rant du Jour

Cruising down the list of today's typically-splendid Breakfast Politics, my eye was caught by an article about Alexander McQueen's 'last hurrah', covered by the New York Times.

I find fashion mildly amusing at the best of times, akin to the amusement given by the daily soap-opera parade of celebrities and the dumb things my cats do.

But I'm heartily sick of the myth that fashion designers, especially male ones, are motivated by their 'love of women', this quote from the article being a great example:

In this collection Alexander — Lee — McQueen showed his sensitivity to history, his powers of research, his imagination, his technical skills and his love of women, often misinterpreted or misunderstood, but here evident in every fold and feather.


If fashion designers truly 'loved women', they would spend more of their time thinking about how to design clothes (and shoes) that are

[a] comfortable yet stylish
[b] available to all dress sizes
[c] easy to look after

Since none of the above are true for any of the clothes I see on any catwalks -- or shop racks -- I must deduce that most of the designers are motivated by:

[a] the money
[b] some stupid we're cool and you're not game that still exists in offices & schools worldwide
[c] the money

I have no idea why shops still support stupid designers, and maintain the pretense that most women are size 8-10; I get extremely cranky at sale time, because all of the 'normal' sizes sell out two weeks after the 'fashions' are put on the racks each season, and everything left over is always either dumb-looking or way too small for anyone except pre-pubescent girls or those who skip lunch/dinner/every meal.

I have to stop before my blood pressure makes my ears pop off. Maybe I just need some lunch...


Mindy said...

Sing it sister!

genevieve said...

There was a deeply sobering piece by Maggie Alderson about McQueen's very complicated attitude to women and its source, in the Good Weekend section of the Age. Well worth a squiz. I'll copy it and send it to you if you can't clap eyes on it.
I believe he grew up in a crowded Scottish council flat with a very angry mother. Not enough time to go into it now - I will try to get it scanned.
Just let my free flag fly and spent money on preseason goodies yesterday, precisely because of the problems you describe. But I don't go anywhere much so buying a lot about every five years or so is not as big a deal as it once was - that doesn't make me a good judge of the fash biz though. It does not work for any of us really.

genevieve said...

...unless we never go anywhere.

Ampersand Duck said...

At least if he had a troublesome mother it explains why he went on to torture women for the rest of his life...

I think there are many ways designers could have fun with real sizes and comfortable fabrics at reasonable prices.

It's such a racket, and such a game, and when I'm Queen of the Universe, they'll all be up against the wall, alongside the buggers who run airport catering.

Mummy/Crit said...

Oh yes, "real women" sizes. I can't buy any dresses to fit me. Ever. I'm not alone. And I have a friend who is very small, but also busty and she can't find clothes to fit her either. The general up-sizing of clothes hasn't done her any favours, being generally an old-school 8/10. It's all crap, and they must really hate us!

Doorbitch (who is always scarily OTM) says testion

Gaby said...

I'm going to presume you were just being cranky/letting off steam, but don't hate the size 10 people okay? It's just the size that some people are, like how 12, 14 and 16 are just the sizes that other people are.
But I completely agree that a lot of 'fashion' is completely dumb-looking!

Ampersand Duck said...

No, I don't hate the size 10 people, but I do feel sorry for all the poor women who feel that they MUST be size 10 and struggle with the attempt to get there.

I must mention also that some of my friends have a very low opinion of my fashion sense, and snigger at me when the subject arises. I don't really care; I'd rather be comfortable, and in fact this is a very important criterion for good art/craft work -- it's very hard to concentrate on doing something carefully if your undies are creeping up your bumcrack or your jeans are too tight...

Mindy said...

I don't hate size 10s, I just think it's ridiculous that some size 10 women can't find clothes that fit properly either.

Anonymous said...

At Target you are either a vegan matchstick or a pregnant vegan matchstick.

Anonymous said...

"Vegan" wasn't an insult, BTW. Any time I am talking to one of those preternatually thin late teenagers or early 20-somethings, those whose bones seem to be about as thick as a thumb, who seem to have no inner stomach, whose tiny jeans encompass them from hip to hip with no overhang at all - it emerges that they're not just vegatarian, but vegan.

Which means, judging by the variety of refused things we have to hand, we can offer them no more than water, or perhaps water stained off-white with tea.

The vegan diet is so restrictive that a vegan can eat very little of anything.

It's hard to know whether the kids are trying to fit the clothes or whether the clothes have evolved to accommodate (such an odd word here) newly animal-aware dietary patterns.