Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I post links: Are fashion makeover shows discriminatory?

I've got to post this, before I run off to work. (Need to pick up the pace on my unpacking after Cincy Fashion Week -- still haven't found the USB cable to upload the pics I got! Grr!)

But I've sang the praises of The Fashionate Traveller before, and today I'm going to do it again.

"How do I Look" -- Is it discriminatory?

I love a good makeover show as much as anyone. Seeing girls or older women who have no clue about fashion and style and who really want to learn, and see them benefit from others’ expertise, is a lovely thing. Sometimes it results in a whole new lease of life and improved self esteem which is a great thing.

But lately something has been irking me that I’d like to get off my chest: some shows, particularly “How Do I Look” decide that alternative culture is not valid and ladies with alternative/goth/punk/rock fashion senses need a good smack upside the head. Occasionally this is true. For every well put together rock chick there may well be another girl who just looks, well, trashy. But often I see people who already have a strong sense of self, being pressured to give up their old clothes, hairstyles etc…in order to please well-meaning siblings and friends who want to ‘vanilla’ them down. Know what I mean?

I've had these exact same kind of off-put feelings while watching "What Not to Wear." I loves me some Clinton, but not everyone wants to dress like they came out of a khaki cookie-cutter, like these shows seem to do to um, everyone. Good comments abound in this post, and I encourage you to go check 'em all out.

What do *you* think?

Monday, May 2, 2011

VU Fashion program needs to step it up

Over a week-long period, when I was at my most stressed-out this semester, I considered changing from the costume construction major to fashion merchandising at Vincennes University. I knew it would be less time-consuming.

Boy, am I glad I didn't.

In a final presentation in my history of costume class, I watched a fashion major exhibit an adequate level of knowledge. Um, that is, adequate if you want to work a minimum-wage retail gig in southern Indiana for the rest of your life.

She didn't know what a crinoline is. She couldn't pronounce the word. She did not know how to pronounce the names of Karl Lagerfeld or Vivienne Westwood. This presentation was over fashions FROM 1980 TO 2008. We were alive during this time! There is no excuse! I can understand, maybe, being a first year and mixing up your 15th-century farthingales. Because we don't really often use farthingales anymore. But come ON. Failing to know even the most basic basics of recent fashions? Being unable to pronounce the word "proliferate?"

Anywhere outside of Vincennes, you're gonna get laughed out of the room. I politely maintained my poker face in the classroom while resolving to work like hell on studying independently as much as possible, beefing up my portfolio, and researching quality apprenticeships and internships. I wish a better fashion school were within my budget; this is not the current reality. Thus, my resolve is strengthened to work even harder and make up for what my price-range lacks in useful education.

I don't want to sound ungrateful. There are some things I've learned this semester. But most of them have been from Professor Sevak in the costume department. I'm not saying any of this to be mean. I'm providing an honest assessment of what I've seen so far of my peers, which is honestly much more tactful than what they'd receive from "real" industry-types. I'm saying the truth: A fashion revolution is happening, right here in our state, just a few hours to the north. As it stands, we students can't rely on this institution to prepare us, because we will be far from ready. The Vincennes University fashion department needs to step up their game, in a big way, if they and their students want a slice of the action. We deserve better, and we ought to demand such.


I'm going totally Herbal-Essences commercial over this post by Jeremiah Williams over at the Indianapolis Fashion Collective Blog.

A Fashion Revolution for the Men of Indianapolis? Yes, Please!

My good man, I could NOT agree with you more!

Excerpty goodness:
Unlike the ladies, most men often underestimate what style can do for them. There is a clear difference from just putting on a suit, and styling the suit to you. That difference could be getting the job or promotion, over someone else. Putting together your look before you go out, to a social event, could affect your networking connections or making that romantic connection. I went to my twitter followers, to see what they thought of style over just getting dressed, for men. One response, kind of summed it up perfectly. Grey Granite (@greygranite), a local music artist said, “ In 2011 you can judge a book by its cover – we have graphic designers and stylists and TV to ensure that you customize your look so that it will only take a split second for your audience to find you – and love you”.

So men of Indianapolis, let’s give people a reason to fall in love with you. The city has too much talent and passion, to let it get underestimated; JUST BECAUSE IT IS LOCATED IN THE MIDWEST.

*pumps fist* Let the revolution begin!