posts tagged "fashion"
#nails #nailart #manicure #paint #splatter #neon #paintsplatter #messy #style #fashion #followme (Taken with Instagram)
Why is there very little utility to women’s clothing? Why don’t we get pockets which actually open? Why do we have to put up with the ‘false pockets’ that are frequently sewn onto women’s jackets and pants to give visual interest without ruining the ‘line’ of the garment? Why, when pockets are actually present, are they so rarely large, stable, or loose enough to accommodate a phone or a wallet? And why, given this is the case, do women go on to cop so much flack for carrying handbags around with them?
Oh wait. Is this one of those double standards which we feminists are always going on about; one of those innocuous little things which everybody just accepts because it is the norm?
Women carry handbags. It is known.
But why? I have watched my male friends get ready to go out. They slip their wallet into one pocket, their keys into another, their phone into a third pocket, and some of them even still have spare pockets large enough to carry a novel for the journey. Those of my friends who wear women’s clothes, though, face an entirely different situation. If they are wearing the right jeans or jacket, they may have up to two usable pockets (not at all guaranteed). However, in most cases they won’t have any pockets at all. Utility and style rarely meet in women’s fashion, so they grab a bag.
Contrary to all the jokes, most women don’t ‘have’ to leave the house with everything they pack in their day-to-day handbag. Most of the items in a woman’s everyday handbag are in there because, if she’s going to have to carry it anyway, she might as well make it worth her while. Excuse us for making use of the one useful item we find in our wardrobes.
Fifty Ways to Tie a Scarf from Scarves Dot Net here (look at high res version). It says forty but they are adding new ways to tie scarves every day and if you click on a scarf there are detailed instructions and sometimes even a video to show you how to tie it. This site also has fabric care for scarves, and how to tie the following scarves and more (and numerous sub categories):
- circle scarves
- head scarves
- rectangle long scarves
- skinny scarves
- square scarves
- wrap scarves and tons more - you get the picture: everything you ever wanted to know about scarves.
I call the middle outfit!
So why can’t I wear it?
- Headdresses promote stereotyping of Native cultures.The image of a warbonnet and warpaint wearing Indian is one that has been created and perpetuated by Hollywood and only bears minimal resemblance to traditional regalia of Plains tribes. It furthers the stereotype that Native peoples are one monolithic culture, when in fact there are 500+ distinct tribes with their own cultures. It also places Native people in the historic past, as something that cannot exist in modern society. We don’t walk around in ceremonial attire everyday, but we still exist and are still Native.
- Headdresses, feathers, and warbonnets have deep spiritual significance.
The wearing of feathers and warbonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice. Eagle feathers are presented as symbols of honor and respect and have to be earned. Some communities give them to children when they become adults through special ceremonies, others present the feathers as a way of commemorating an act or event of deep significance. Warbonnets especially are reserved for respected figures of power. The other issue is that warbonnets are reserved for men in Native communities, and nearly all of these pictures show women sporting the headdresses. I can’t read it as an act of feminism or subverting the patriarchal society, it’s an act of utter disrespect for the origins of the practice. (see my post on sweatlodges for more on the misinterpretation of the role of women). This is just as bad as running around in a pope hat and a bikini, or a Sikh turban cause it’s “cute”.
- It’s just like wearing blackface.
“Playing Indian” has a long history in the United States, all the way back to those original tea partiers in Boston, and in no way is it better than minstral shows or dressing up in blackface. You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so. Like my first point said, you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them. Which leads me to the next issue.
- There is a history of genocide and colonialism involved that continues today.
By the sheer fact that you live in the United States you are benefiting from the history of genocide and continued colonialism of Native peoples. That land you’re standing on? Indian land. Taken illegally so your ancestor who came to the US could buy it and live off it, gaining valuable capital (both monetary and cultural) that passed down through the generations to you. Have I benefited as well, given I was raised in a white, suburban community? yes. absolutely. but by dismissing and minimizing the continued subordination and oppression of Natives in the US by donning your headdress, you are contributing to the culture of power that continues the cycle today.
But I don’t mean it in that way, I just think it’s cute!
- Well hopefully I’ve illuminated that there’s more at play here than just a “cute” fashion choice. Sorry for taking away your ignorance defense.
But I consider it honoring to Native Americans!
- I think that this cartoon is a proper answer, but I’ll add that having a drunken girl wearing a headdress and a bikini dancing at an outdoor concert does not honor me. I remember reading somewhere that it was also “honoring the fine craftsmanship of Native Americans”. Those costume shop chicken feather headdresses aren’t honoring Native craftsmanship. And you will be very hard pressed to find a Native artist who is closely tied to their community making headdresses for sale. See the point about their sacredness and significance.
I’m just wearing it because it’s “ironic”!
- I’m all for irony. Finger mustaches, PBR, kanye glasses, old timey facial hair, 80’s spandex—fine, funny, a bit over-played, but ironic, I guess. Appropriating someone’s culture and cavorting around town in your skinny jeans with a feathered headdress, moccasins, and turquoise jewelry in an attempt to be ‘counterculture’? Not ironic. If you’re okay with being a walking representative of 500+ years of colonialism and racism, or don’t mind perpetuating the stereotypes that we as Native people have been fighting against for just as long, by all means, go for it. But by embracing the current tribal trends you aren’t asserting yourself as an individual, you are situating yourself in a culture of power that continues to oppress Native peoples in the US. And really, if everyone is doing it, doesn’t that take away from the irony? am I missing the point on the irony? maybe. how is this even ironic? I’m starting to confuse myself. but it’s still not a defense.
Stop getting so defensive, it’s seriously just fashion!
- Did you read anything I just wrote? It’s not “just” fashion. There is a lot more at play here. This is a matter of power and who has the right to represent my culture. (I also enjoy asking myself questions that elicit snarky answers.)
What about the bigger issues in Indian Country? Poverty, suicide rates, lack of resources, disease, etc? Aren’t those more important that hipster headdresses?
- Yes, absolutely. But, I’ll paraphrase Jess Yee in this post, and say these are very real issues and challenges in our communities, but when the only images of Natives that Americans see are incorrect, and place Natives in the historic past, it erases our current presence, and makes it impossible for the current issues to exist in the collective American consciousness. Our cultures and lives are something that only exist in movies or in the past, not today. So it’s a cycle, and in order to break that cycle, we need to question and interrogate the stereotypes and images that erase our current presence—while we simultaneously tackle the pressing issues in Indian Country. They’re closely linked, and at least this is a place to start.
Well then, Miss Cultural Appropriation Police, what CAN I wear?
- If you choose to wear something Native, buy it from a Native. There are federal laws that protect Native artists and craftspeople who make genuine jewelry, art, etc. (see info here about The Indian Arts and Crafts Act). Anything you buy should have a label that says “Indian made” or “Native made”. Talk to the artist. find out where they’re from. Be diligent. Don’t go out in a full “costume”. It’s ok to have on some beaded earrings or a turquoise ring, but don’t march down the street wearing a feather, with loaded on jewelry, and a ribbon shirt. Ask yourself: if you ran into a Native person, would you feel embarrassed or feel the need to justify yourself? As commenter Bree pointed out, it’s ok to own a shirt with kimono sleeves, but you wouldn’t go out wearing full kabuki makeup to a bar. Just take a minute to question your sartorial choices before you go out.
…and an editorial comment: I should also note that I have absolutely nothing against hipsters. In fact, some would argue I have hipster-leaning tendencies. In my former San Francisco life, had been known to have a drink or two in the clouds of smoke outside at Zeitgeist, and enjoyed shopping on Haight street. I enjoy drinking PBR out of the can when I go to the dive bars near my apartment where I throw darts and talk about sticking it to ‘The Man’. I own several fringed hipster scarves, more than one pair of ironic fake ray-ban wayfarers, and two plaid button downs. I’m also not trying to stereotype and say that all hipsters do/wear the above, just like not every hipster thinks it’s cool to wear a headdress. So, I don’t hate hipsters, I hate ignorance and cultural appropriation. There is a difference. Just thought I should clear that up.
Calling [Ellen Page in ‘Inception’] asexual assumes that there’s only one way to be sexy. Didn’t Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) steal a kiss from Ariadne in a dream? Maybe Rosenblum isn’t able to imagine an androgynous character as the subject of someone’s sexual attraction, but it seems like the creators of the movie can. And as loudly as lesbians might like to speculate about different actresses sexualities in real life, think before you cringe over seeing a boyish girl in a straight role. If it’s happening in mainstream movies, it’s helping broaden people’s minds about what gay and straight can look like–and that’s good for everyone.
I forget that people that are not Indian don’t know much about Indian garments and they all don’t have the luxury of knowing every detail, so I drew a little infographic to help the cause.
I’m no expert, but I noted to the best of my ability.
This graphic is awesome, so thank you for it. I love saris, but I’ve never thought to look up what the different parts are called.
I actually have a sari (and a salwar kameez) that I bought last November-ish after wanting one for years because they’re so gorgeous, but I wasn’t sure if I should wear it because I didn’t want to be culturally appropriative, especially because I’m Chinese and I don’t like it when non-Chinese people appropriate Chinese things. I spoke with a couple of friends about their feelings on my wearing it. My desi friend said she personally wouldn’t have a problem with it, while my white friend agreed that my uncertainty about practicing cultural appropriation meant I probably shouldn’t wear it.
It’s been five months and it’s still in my closet, unworn except for when I tried it on at the stores I bought it from. I was really excited when one of my Pakistani friends invited me to her cousin’s wedding that was taking place in February because I thought I’d finally get a chance to wear it, but it ended up not happening, so. :( This Pakistani friend is actually the person I went shopping for these clothes with; she was happy when I told her how much I love saris, and encouraged me to buy the sari and salwar kameez I ended up getting, so that’s also part of the reason why I previously thought it’d be okay to wear them.
I’m going to stop rambling now to ask what any desi people reading this think: How do you feel about a non-desi person wearing a sari? Would it make a difference if this person had been invited to wear one by a desi friend, and/or to an event where everyone else would be wearing one (because that’s the only time I’d wear it)? Please leave a message in my ask or reblog this from me, whichever you prefer. I wouldn’t want to bother or offend anyone by wearing it, which is why my expensive, gorgeous clothes have been in storage this whole time.
CC: ^^^^ This is how you ask to partake in a culture that is not your own. Respectfully. Tentatively. Humbly.
Not to take away from the infographic but I’ve heard silly stories of white women talking about “Indian-themed parties omg so kyoot”.
-_- Come on.
Coming from an obsessive catlady like myself, kitten and other critter-printed items are on the top of my list for spring! This Feline Fabulous Dress was featured in our last Shop our Outfits, and it’s definitely one of my favorites! (Via ModCloth)
<3 Jess, ModStylist
Need styling suggestions, trend tips, or dress details? Ask a ModStylist and your question might be featured on our feed!
Oh my god, this dress is kind of terrifying. So many pairs of eyes just… staring…
At first glance this 1905 evening gown designed by Lucile and entitled ‘A Protest’ appears to be just a pretty dress, if not with a slightly unusual name and color combination. The whole truth is far more interesting.
I wrote a while back about the Victorian practice of using different colors or gemstones to spell out messages in jewelry. This dress uses the same practice on a larger scale.
The color combination of (g)reen, (w)hite and (v)iolet would have sent a very specific message to any one in the know.
Specifically: (G)ive (W)omen the (V)ote.
This is a suffragette ball gown!