Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fashion Then And Now...



Despite the fact that I grew up in a house with Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily, I looked like a “Glamour Don’t.” “You always have the wrong shoes,” said my oldest sister.  But because of my mother, who was creative with a needle and thread, but was otherwise staid, I followed fashion, and still do.

So, it was with interest that I looked at the pictures from the Paris fashion shows last week in The New York Times, January 29, 2015,  and was intrigued by the headline “Fluidity in the Idea of Gender.” Rick Owens had models with tunics that could have been for either sex, but just in case, you were wondering, he stuck a keyhole next to the model’s privates.

Recently, Miucci Prada recently showed clothes neither feminine or masculine on both men and women. Co-designer for Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli, stated that “if you can change aesthetic values, you can change the values of society.”

It’s Tough To Be Pigeonhold

The idea that sexuality is fluid, of course, dates back to Alfred Kinsey who says sexual orientation is a continuum and even further to Freud who says we’re all born bisexual.  More recently, Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Professor of Clinical and Developmental Psychology at Cornell University and author of The New Gay Teenager, 2005, says that most of the teens he interviews don’t like being labelled. “These new teens know they’re not totally straight, and they don’t want to be. Most are okay with it.  Some are thrilled with their sexuality, but don’t see why they must therefore label themselves as gay.  Yes, they are sexually attracted to other girls or other boys, perhaps ever so slightly. Maybe their feelings are romantic, but not sexual, or sexual, but not romantic.  That’s not bad. It’s natural. It gives them an edge, a certain mystery.  It sets them off from their peers-and from us adults.”

Last summer, I went to a 70’s party which included 70’s disco and 70’s food.  For an evening, I dressed as Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, complete with wire-rimmed glasses, pantaloons, tie, vest, man’s shirt, and fedora with pilgrim- type shoes. No make up was visible. “ La-di-da,” as Diane would say. Following Rick Owens’s aesthetics,  I didn’t look feminine or masculine.  My sexual orientation could have been questionable to strangers. But sometimes, it’s fun to look “fluid,” as the designers know.