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13-11-2010
  46
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PerfectPerfect's Avatar
 
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The problem is that there are very few leaders (female and male) who are standing up for women!

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14-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
^ Have you just watched that Suzy Menkes interview of Karl Lagerfeld too? Per Karl, she was not a feminist, she hated women and denigrated them. That's one person's view, of course ... but it does seem clear that she wasn't into solidarity with other women.
Yes, I did , I'd heard of her slagging off 60s fashions for not being 'elegant' before but Karl's interview was where I found out about the blue jeans. It sounds like she saw other women as competition, and lashed out if she felt threatened- Chanel and Schiapirelli had a famous rivalry going, so I don't think she was into solidarity with every woman unless, I suppose, she felt they were worthy of that solidarity first.

I can only imagine the things Karl and Coco would say about each other if Coco was still alive....

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Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
I think that you need not be a feminist to be useful to the advancement of women and the feminist cause.
Absolutely. I don't think it's necessary to explicitly identify yourself as a feminist in order to help the cause either, just as I think it's damaging for young women to pander to the patriarchy and the male gaze and then claim that as 'empowerment'.

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17-11-2010
  48
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One need only look to Coco Chanel to know that fashion and feminism are inextricably linked. She took women out of binding corsets and gave them clothing that suited their increasingly active lifestyles.

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17-11-2010
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It's encouraging to see more and more female fashion photographers. Unfortunately most men find it impossible to visualize women in any way other than sexual. A female blogger I follow posted images of her choices for amazing fashion photos and included were terribly debasing images of women including 1) a naked model wearing bunny ears; 2) a model lying on a dolly being pushed by a male worker as though she were a box being dumped or shipped; and 3) a women dressed in child-like apparel and holding a teddy bear as though she were a child.

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18-11-2010
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I agree, it's a bit sad that female photographers are so few and far between, though the ones whose work got some recognition, are amazing (just a few off the top of my head: Sarah Moon, Lee Miller - though she didn't only do 'fashion' photography-, Elaine Constantine, Nan Goldin, the late Corinne Day, and Emma Summerton).

'Sexy' photographs don't have to degrade the woman in them or treat them purely as sex objects in order to create an image worth looking at. I'm so tired of that hackneyed view of female sexuality and the way 'cool' fashion magazines sometimes pander to it.

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18-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionwriter View Post
One need only look to Coco Chanel to know that fashion and feminism are inextricably linked. She took women out of binding corsets and gave them clothing that suited their increasingly active lifestyles.
I thought Paul Poiret was credited with doing that ...

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18-11-2010
  52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionwriter View Post
It's encouraging to see more and more female fashion photographers. Unfortunately most men find it impossible to visualize women in any way other than sexual. A female blogger I follow posted images of her choices for amazing fashion photos and included were terribly debasing images of women including 1) a naked model wearing bunny ears; 2) a model lying on a dolly being pushed by a male worker as though she were a box being dumped or shipped; and 3) a women dressed in child-like apparel and holding a teddy bear as though she were a child.
Agreed ... I find a lot of editorials shocking. The very reason I dropped my
subscription to W ...

It's not just male photographers seeing women as sexual--which can certainly be empowering IMO and very beautiful (look at many of the Stieglitz images of O'Keeffe for example). It's that so many of the images are sick, sick, sick.

I actually (as a straight woman) sometimes tire of the 'gay male gaze' in fashion, which IMO distorts women in a different way. A gay male designer's idea of sexy is pretty much immediately identifiable as such only to other gay men ... which is not that useful to me

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24-11-2010
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feminism and fashion
Thank you for the topic. I am in the same boat as you. Feminism is personal and can't possibly be defined so whether fashion embodies feminism is up to the observer. For me, Coco Chanel is the ultimate feminist but others would disagree. I feel like the image of the flapper is a very feminist icon but others would say the opposite because girls were taping down their boobs and remaining very thin to appear "boyish". I'd say any kind of trend obsession hurts women because it makes them fit into a mold and doesn't take individuality and humanity into account. For instance, now boobs are "in". So what if you are flat-chested? You are out? I believe the answer to your question is yes and no. Plus it depends on your view of feminism which is different for everyone.
Fashion in itself can be very empowering to women. A lot of the problem is with the ways it has been co-opted by men, many of whom don't respect women and seek to objectify them.

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Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
I have been perusing the forums and I couldn't find any threads devoted to fashion or feminism so I created my own. As someone who considers herself a feminist but also a lover of fashion balancing the two is something which I have struggled with over the years. Sometimes I have questioned if fashion is feminist or if it isn't. So really what I want to know is do you think that fashion and feminism can co-exist? Do you think the fashion industry has helped empower women and the goals of the feminist movement?

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24-12-2010
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fashionwriter, I agree with your entire post. However, I think "feminism is personal" can be clarified a bit. While everyone has their own definition of feminism, it does essentially boil down to women being treated as equals to men regardless of what the issue is.

I do think feminism and fashion can co-exist but I think fashion is just as guilty as other media of co-opting and objectifying women. While feminists of the 1960s and 1970s and the "3rd Wavers" writing today have done much to educate and free women from the strict beauty standards, I think their downfall that they don't provide many good alternatives for a fashion-conscious, fashionista, woman. It always seem to be "goth indie rebel" or "prairie pleasant" or "jeans/t-shirt girl next door." (Of course, they say they embrace all forms of fashion for all women, but in reality they don't! Otherwise, I wouldn't have felt guilty for several years for liking the preppy, ladylike pre-feminism styles like that of Princess Grace, Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Onassis. They subtly push that that type of fashion is gender conforming and therefore bad.)

For that matter, I can't even think of any current high-end feminist fashion designers. (I do agree that Coco Chanel was a feminist though.)

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25-12-2010
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^ Donna Karan is a feminist, I would say. Vera Wang probably qualifies as well. Alber Elbaz might qualify ... I'm sure there are more.

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25-12-2010
  56
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I certainly agree that Donna Karan is a feminist, she creates clothes that women want to wear and in a way which doesn't objectify them. I would argue that Miuccia Prada is also a feminist too. Prada holds a degree in Political Science and during her university years was pushing for the feminist movement. As a designer I think that she creates clothes which are innovative, classic, and pro-women too. Yes, sure some of her recent collections might call to mind how women dressed in the 50's/60's but I think she's trying to reclaim their titles going from being not so feminist to something which the modern women can wear without that sort of stigma which surrounds them.

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26-12-2010
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Ooh, thank you for informing me about those designers. That does make me happy to know that they are out there.

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26-12-2010
  58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drusilla_ View Post
I agree, it's a bit sad that female photographers are so few and far between, though the ones whose work got some recognition, are amazing (just a few off the top of my head: Sarah Moon, Lee Miller - though she didn't only do 'fashion' photography-, Elaine Constantine, Nan Goldin, the late Corinne Day, and Emma Summerton).

'Sexy' photographs don't have to degrade the woman in them or treat them purely as sex objects in order to create an image worth looking at. I'm so tired of that hackneyed view of female sexuality and the way 'cool' fashion magazines sometimes pander to it.
Well, I don't think this has necesseriely to do with the sex of the photographers. I wouldn't call ellen von unwerth an advocate for women's rights....

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26-12-2010
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^ I agree with your point re gender ... and I also feel that a woman who has bought into the patriarchy and is militantly opposed to those who haven't, can be far more annoying than any male chauvinist At least male chauvinists are protecting their own 'interests' ...

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26-12-2010
  60
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I really don't like to reason about fashion photography. I mean, I like to analyze what makes an image aesthetically appealing or unappealing but I really don't like to set up rules about how an image should be constructed in order to be morally acceptable.

Frankly, I hate the idea of just looking for flaws rather than appreciating the beauty that IS. It's a social disease in itself this faux quest for physical or moral perfection.

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