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25-09-2011
  46
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^That's part of the problem though. I like the look of the era too but I worry that if for some reason I were to wear a retro type outfit if people would treat me differently. Would they think differently about who I am? They might think I'm sweet and can be taken advantage of. They might think I want to be like an Avon lady or whatnot. You know? What we wear is part of who we are. And every item of clothing, whether or not we like it has meaning.

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26-09-2011
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^I would not worry so much about what people think, itís not something you can control. And itís their problem if they only see the clothes and not the person.
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
What we wear is part of who we are. And every item of clothing, whether or not we like it has meaning.
Yes and no. You can wear an aviator jacket and canít fly, berets or military jackets or camouflage patterns without being at the army, wear a biker jacket and donít know how to ride, the LV handcuffs without being a slave, wear something from the HermŤs FW 2010 without being a British spy, wear a bodysuit with a sheer skirt and ballet shoes from Chloť SS 2011 and canít dance, wear a cross and not be religious, cowboy boots and never been in US, wear harem pants outside India, wear leggings and riding boots donít make you a rider, wear a Michael Jordanís jersey donít turn you into basketball star, wear moccasins donít become you in a native American, and similar reasoning with stipper heels or a hoochie mini dress.

Habit does not make the man (neither the women)

Clothes are not going to give you something you donít have. If you donít have style with a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, a haute couture dress is not going to give you that.
If you are not sweet or feminine or whatever, no hyperfeminine collection will transform your personality (unless you want)

Fashion trivializes everything. Removes the meaning and gives other, and then changes it again. Why? To keep selling something new.

Also, maybe certain items of clothing has meaning but if the person who see you wearing that doesnít know that meaning, you are communicate nothing.
If you insult me in Finnish, I will not feel hurt because I donít understand it.
And Iím not sure that everyone in the World knows how the 50ís in America were.

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26-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
^That's part of the problem though. I like the look of the era too but I worry that if for some reason I were to wear a retro type outfit if people would treat me differently. Would they think differently about who I am? They might think I'm sweet and can be taken advantage of. They might think I want to be like an Avon lady or whatnot. You know? What we wear is part of who we are. And every item of clothing, whether or not we like it has meaning.
I get where you're coming from, I know people sometimes still play into stereotypes and assume a woman would act a certain way based on how they are dressed. I think woman should be able to have the freedom to dress certian ways and not be categorized but that may never happen.

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26-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerrouge View Post
But a lot of those men didn't return - for the second time that century - so a lot of women had to continue to work in some form, because that was the only way to raise their children. Their family structure was in tatters and they couldn't afford to be a housewife. The clock could never be reset, they could never go back.

Looking at that decade, it's easy to mistake the cosy lifestyle that was actively being marketed to people as being the reality of their lives, but for so many, it wasn't. For some women, life at that time must have involved gently sighing to themselves in a warm kitchen about their unfulfilled ambition to work in an office, but a greater number were in a position where they had to fight tooth and nail to secure a decent existence for themselves.

But the history of that decade doesn't belong to those people, because bad things had to be denied and left behind, so instead we get the story of the bored housewife and a media-engineered dream of social order, something which still has the power to entertain audiences today. But it's not the reality of our existence and it wasn't necessarily the truth about theirs.

Life doesn't stand still - not in the 1950s, not now - but in the face of economic failure and social change, there's always a part of us that wishes it would, and we will continue to paint a picture of that moment in time, a moment that never really happened for most, except in hopes and dreams and delusions.
I'm sorry we are talking about two different things in here, What I disagree with is the 50's ideal. And it's the 50's ideal that is being sold to us over and over again. Regardless of what people's conditions actually were, society wanted women you conform to a certain mould, a certain ideal was sold at the time that that women should be this pretty pleasant thing in her sparkly kitchen. It's how it was , nothing can change that, what i find a bit offensive is this ideal being sold as aspirational again. It is not.

Don't get me wrong, my family couldn't have been more working class, my granny worked all her life since she was a child, she always had her own money, her own business and is extremely successful and is totally independent from my grandfather, in a way i'm not from my husband. And I'm pretty sure she does not even know what a feminist is. But you cannot escape the fact that if you pick up my mother's school books, and i still have a couple, they frankly disgusting. It's not even subtle, is just stay at home, be pretty your husband is your master and you should bake him cakes. Did my grandmother thought this was all bull because her reality and that of millions of other people was different? Of course not, she would look up to this neat little ladies and resign herself she was working class and those things were not for her. It didn't stop her aspiring from something like that for my mother or actively encouraging it. She tried to dress as this ideal also that's what everybody did, but it's clear she had to adapt herself to the fact that she had to actually move and get her hands dirty, so the effect is not exactly Kate Wisnlet.

The question is why this celebration of an era were women's aspirations were so low? Where fashion was actively working to lower those aspirations?


Last edited by Les_Sucettes; 26-09-2011 at 06:33 AM.
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26-09-2011
  50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsabelMarantBoy View Post
I get where you're coming from, I know people sometimes still play into stereotypes and assume a woman would act a certain way based on how they are dressed. I think woman should be able to have the freedom to dress certian ways and not be categorized but that may never happen.
Your personality should always be more important than the clothes you wear, otherwise you have a problem!!! As a woman I can dress very womanly, retro-style if I 'm in the mood but that doesn't change who I am, it doesn't make me weak or submissive .. just as wearing a bikerjacket doesn't make me though and invincible (I simplify!). I pick clothes by instinct. If people who talk to you only see your clothes to define you, you lack personality I think.. Woman AND men should be free to dress how they like without being immediately categorised one or another type, that's just too simple and human beings are more complex than that..

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26-09-2011
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Quote:
Yes and no. You can wear an aviator jacket and can’t fly, berets or military jackets or camouflage patterns without being at the army, wear a biker jacket and don’t know how to ride, the LV handcuffs without being a slave, wear something from the HermŤs FW 2010 without being a British spy, wear a bodysuit with a sheer skirt and ballet shoes from Chloť SS 2011 and can’t dance, wear a cross and not be religious, cowboy boots and never been in US, wear harem pants outside India, wear leggings and riding boots don’t make you a rider, wear a Michael Jordan’s jersey don’t turn you into basketball star, wear moccasins don’t become you in a native American, and similar reasoning with stipper heels or a hoochie mini dress.
Of course! The point Is NOT that you literally transform into something! The point is that the associations of the clothing, all of which you name, are called to mind. The difference between literal and figurative. People read not only facts but symbols too, and if people see me who don't know me, they will judge based on FIRST IMPRESSIONS. If a woman walked into a boardroom, of men as the majority, wearing a pillbox hat, or white gloves with a pleated skirt, and so on, would her words be takem seriously? Think about it. We judge people based on how they look ALL THE TIME.

As Les Sucettes shows, it is the IDEAL of the 1950s and not the REALity of the era that is at issue for the most part.

The issue is this - what is being SOLD to us via these clothes? Sweetness? If so, why? Why harken back to an era when women were all but locked up and compliant?


Last edited by Not Plain Jane; 26-09-2011 at 09:30 AM.
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26-09-2011
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Quote:
People read not only facts but symbols too, and if people see me who don't know me, they will judge based on FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Yes, but symbols have different meaning for people, there are very few that are universal, and a pleated skirt is not one of them.
If I saw a woman wearing white gloves would think that has an allergy.

If you donít like the aesthetics of pleated skirts, I think is great you donít wear them. But if you like them and donít wear it because what a stranger can think, then I donít understand why anybodyís opinion is more important for yourself than your own opinion.
Quote:
If a woman walked into a boardroom, of men as the majority, wearing a pillbox hat, or white gloves with a pleated skirt, and so on, would her words be takem seriously? Think about it
Harry Potter took Dolores Umbridgeís words (and acts) seriously even though she wore white gloves and sweet pink outfits.
And I can imagine Anna Wintour wearing many of the Prada outfits and speak in a boardroom full of men and still taken seriously and not less powerful or influential.
Iíve never seen Steve Jobs with a business suit and he has succeed with his ideas and work despite his not very serious jeans.
People are not so banal, donít stop on the faÁade.
Quote:
We judge people based on how they look ALL THE TIME
Of course we all judge people by what they wear, but only until we talked a little with them and/or see how they behave, and these attitudes weighs more in our judgment than clothing.
How you say ďgood morningĒ (or not say it) judge you more than what you wear. And a person you donít even say hello, what do you care about a probably wrong opinion about you?
Quote:
what is being SOLD to us via these clothes?
Just new clothes, different than what we had before.
Quote:
Why harken back to an era when women were all but locked up and compliant?
Nobody is bringing any kind of attitude toward women with those clothes. Some (not all) designers has bring elements of the clothes of that era, and have been updated to the circumstances and needs of today, as always happens.
The clothing is no longer tied to some archaic meanings that not everyone knows.
There are women who wear Chanel bags and they are not rich (they had to save to buy them) and women who dress in Zara that are duchesses.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Iíd like people who feel threatened by these two collections (of the hundreds there are every 6 months) tell me which are the appropriate outfits (if they exist) for a woman who feel like a human being with all the rights that humans have.

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26-09-2011
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First of all I find it rather a wrong interpretation of the 50s, to say that it was a decade with little or no social progression.

Second, and to answer your question: I find that the most elegant silhouettes are to be found in the fashions of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. And it is safe to say, that clothes worn in the 50s won't make a comeback as a whole nowadays; skirts will be shorters, waists nipped just a big differently etc. etc. it is just the spirit, the ambiance of the era that is being reinterpreted (or downright copied) and fit into the mould of today (more or less). And yes, I think the world could do with a bit more restraint, a bit more elegance in fashion, so I did not mind at all.


Last edited by rosiecheeks; 26-09-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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26-09-2011
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As another thought - is there an argument to be made purely on the basis of body shape? Each decade had its own diktats as to what was considered a desirable silhouette, but there's often not much we can do to alter the basic dimensions of our bone structure. If the shapes and styles associated with a particular decade suit the body you have today, should that prevent you from making the most of your figure in 2011?

Or should you try harder to shoehorn yourself into something 'modern' that might signal how on-message you are with today's demands for what women should look like, standards of appearance which often require more punitive measures than putting on a girdle each morning. The plastic surgeon is now a normal part of many people's regime of physical upkeep, is that progression? I don't know, but I do know that 1950s fashion is not the real enemy.

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26-09-2011
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^Precisely. The burning of bras is only beneficial to those who have small breasts. For anyone with large breasts who wants to look good, a bra is essential.

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26-09-2011
  56
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Wow, this is a crazy thread!! Reading though all the posts, I'm quite shocked at some opinions about how people judge you according to what you wear, and the "politics" of dressing in 50s styles. I think in present "modern" times, we might well continue to rehash old looks/styles/trends, but what has really progressed is the ability to wear whatever we want. That is what is empowering.

I LOVE the styles of the 40s and 50s - they are so flattering, so elegant, so feminine - let's not forget that we (most of us) ARE women after all!! Also, I have an hourglass figure, so these styles look better on me anyway than most modern stuff (as well said by tigerrouge above).

Surely we (women) have gained everything we could possibly want - enormous choice over how we choose to present ourselves - whether it's for ourselves, for the men in our lives, for our bosses, for other women - we can choose. Pretty much every garment under the sun is available for our personal selection, and I think that deserves a big YAY!

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26-09-2011
  57
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regardless of whatever else one may read into the clothes...
my basic objection remains that it is neither interesting or new...

which was my objection when marc jacobs was doing it as well...

the raf simons for jil sander collection is a bit more interesting...
but the sihouette of the clothes is still rather restrictive and it doesn't seem like one could really 'work/function' in clothes like this...
**in a way, it is tantamount to wearing a straight jacket...
which is clearly not liberating in any way, shape or form...

maybe it's just for ladies who don't have to work for a living...?
housewives?...
err...
here we go back to the 50's...and to women who are not independant...
sorry- but-
it's really hard to escape that reference...


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26-09-2011
  58
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softgrey, thanks for moving this thread into "in depth", it's certainly become an interesting discussion from the time I posted the thread.

Some very good points that I'd love to reply to when I get a spare moment.


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26-09-2011
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I know softgrey - I keep coming full circle to that too.

thefunkykitten says
Quote:
Surely we (women) have gained everything we could possibly want
Seriously? I hope you mean only with regards to clothing choice. :p After all, women are still second class citizens the world over. They still make less at the same jobs as men. They are objectified more often and repeatedly. Some foolishly think "flesh is power" . Actresses disprove that since they can't get good roles after a "certain age." As tigerrouge points out, plastic surgery is almost normal, etc.

Women need to fight for a lot more to have "everything we could possibly want," at least imo.

Apologies if you meant only w.r.t. to clothing choice, in which case, we certainly do have a lot of choice as consumers.

Eterna - I think you make some strong and valid counter-arguments; however I do think a number of your examples are flawed given that these people you name have enormous wealth & power and therefore are the exceptions to the rule. [i.e., Anna Wintour in Prada will be listened too by man, lol Goes without sayin girl!! ]

I don't agree that the clothes in the collections at issue are "just new clothes" - in fact, they are rehashings of old clothes and their references, and it's those references I am not so keen on.

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26-09-2011
  60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsabelMarantBoy View Post
I'm sorry but I don't see how Prada using cars is relevant to global warming Do the dresses tell us to go out and drive and destroy the planet? No, they tell us to look back to a time when cars weren't though of as such evil things like they are now

I thought Prada was beautiful and if I ever saw a woman walking down the street wearing any of those looks (or the looks from Jil Sander since his collection seems to be recieving a lot of hate due to the same reasons as prada) I would think that she was gorgeous and wasn't trying to demean herself
I haven't seen whether Miuccia has made any comments on the car theme ... I don't know. But you could also think of it like a dinosaur print. She could be saying that cars are a thing of the past. Or she could just be saying, 'hey, this is cute' ... if we're going to get upset about cars, shouldn't it be about fuel standards, or who killed the electric car (car manufacturers), or the lack of public transportation in the US ... pretty much anything but Prada?

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