January 13, 2017

"Critics of those designers who’ve voiced their reluctance to dress the new first lady have maintained that it’s a designer’s job to simply make clothes..."

"... that they should keep personal opinions out of it and not pass judgment on people who wear their clothes. But over time, society has demanded much more from the fashion industry. It expects Seventh Avenue to be cognizant of its impact on young women predisposed to eating disorders. It rallied against the industry’s lack of diversity. It has pressured the industry to concern itself with the labor practices of its subcontractors and to create clothes that empower women instead of objectify them. Society expects fashion to be philanthropic and awake to the world in which it exists. So doesn’t taking a stand on a new administration and its policies — in the most direct manner possible — fall into that category?"

Writes Robin Givhan in The Washington Post.

She makes a good argument, but I don't know whom she is arguing against. Who says "it’s a designer’s job to simply make clothes"? Is that a straw man?

Fashion is an medium of expression. Of course, designers have the freedom to choose not to attach their works to persons they don't want to be associated with. I don't think we're talking Melania and Ivanka attempting to buy something off the rack in a store. It's a more active relationship, expressive of endorsement. The designers can choose to sit that out. It's a bit sad if designers feel pressured to avoid association with the Trump family out of fear of boycotts and other retaliations. But when something is sad — in Trump times — we just say "Sad!" and move on to other things that work out better.

70 comments:

Skeptical Voter said...

The lady pulls 50 inches of vacuum between her ears.

sean said...

Kind of strange though, that something as important as fashion--about the most important thing in history--would be subordinated to something as trivial as politics.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

WTF, between Ivanka and The D selling clothes, why would there be a need for any outside sources?

I guess that DJT's devotion to ethics keeps him and his family from wearing their own stuff. They don't want to seem to be selling merch.

And, assuming wearing clothes requires a permission slip from the designer, rather than presenting dough at a store, it seems like the DJT family may be naked. Look what the libs have done, no clothes for the DJT family!

Michael K said...

A test of the validity of these questions is whether any of the designers have done clothes for the Trump women before.

rhhardin said...

I'd go with L.L.Bean. They're already getting hassled for contributing to Trump.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The Robin Givhanses and Meryl Streeps exist in bubbles of their own manufacture, where their opinions really matter. They're the people who can say to a cab driver or airline attendant, "Do you know who I am?" and not see the irony. Other than their friends though, nobody really gives a shit what their political opinions are.

rhhardin said...

Buy the "tall" size for jackets if you're using them for bike riding.

Duke Dan said...

So if a designer doesn't want to make a dress for a gay wedding, then how does the argument go?

Ryan McLaughlin said...

Isn't baking a wedding cake "expressive of endorsement"?

John said...

Only a bit off topic since entertainers are doing something similar. Don Surber excerpts from a Cracked.com article about entertainers who have refused to sing at the inaugural but are fine singing for real dictators:

Nelly Furtado, 50 Cent, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Usher, all of whom had performed in separate private events for several of Gaddafi's sons.

Hilary Swank received a letter from them following news that she would be appearing at an event in honor of Chechen enemy-disappearer Ramzan Kadyrov. The good news is that the Human Rights Foundation's emails were definitely read. The bad news is that they weren't read by Swank, but by her manager Jason Weinberg, who assured the HRF that she would not be attending the event. This became awkward when videos of Swank totally attending the event appeared online.

In 2013, she [JLo] performed at a birthday bash for Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his closest accomplices.

Deceased Uzbekistan ruler Islam Karimov had a delightfully unique rap sheet. Among the usual charges of political imprisonment, child slavery, and torture, he's also accused of boiling at least one person alive. [Sting was happy to perform for him.-JRH]

Nicki Minaj Is Warned About Human Rights Issues In Angola, Goes Anyway And Shows Off

And so on.

Read Don Surber's post at http://donsurber.blogspot.com/2017/01/they-sing-for-real-dictators-not-trump.html

Or the original Cracked article at http://www.cracked.com/article_23862_6-brutal-dictators-you-didnt-know-had-celebrity-bffs.html

Perhaps the problem is that the inagural doesn't pay enough? If Trump offered Sting $1mm, would he show up?

Fuck all these celebrity assholes.

John Henry

Guildofcannonballs said...

"But when something is sad — in Trump times — we just say "Sad!" and move on to other things that work out better."

You got that right.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

John H,

You can't compare volunteer work w/ for-pay gigs.

Elton John did Rush's wedding. Not that Rush is like a dictator. But, libs don't mind shaking down folks that they don't agree w/. Maybe you think they should only get dough from folks they like or agree w/. OTOH, maybe some folks may think that taking dough from bad people seems like a good thing, because that leaves less dough for them to do bad stuff w/. Regardless, if you want someone to do something for free to benefit someone/thing that they're not into, don't be surprised if they say nope.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Wedding #4, for those in these threads that are all math-y.

Bad Lieutenant said...

LLBean +eleventy!!!1!

Let a hundred great designers turned her down. Some unknown out of the Midwest will be glad to become the hundred and first.

JHapp said...

What is the importance difference between dress designs made by gays vs wedding cakes for gays, civil rights wise?

bgates said...

libs don't mind shaking down folks that they don't agree w/.

Obama's been making that clear since he was shaking down banks in Chicago.

maybe some folks may think that taking dough from bad people seems like a good thing, because that leaves less dough for them to do bad stuff w/.

Right, if leftist celebs give thousands of concerts for the enjoyment of tyrants, eventually the tyrants won't be able to pay the water bill and they won't be able to boil people to death anymore. Genius!

if you want someone to do something for free to benefit someone/thing that they're not into

-like the peaceful transition of power -

don't be surprised if they say nope.

We can be endlessly disappointed in you people without ever once being surprised.

Alex said...

You don't 'grab 'em by the pussy' and not expect consequences Trumpistas. The next 4 years are going to be very lonely for you guys.

We on the left have ALL the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers. We've got it all.

Fuck you.

Fernandinande said...

Of course, designers have the freedom to choose not to attach their works to persons they don't want to be associated with.

Fashion designers are better, higher-class people than cake-bakers and photographers.

Alex said...

You are allowed to discriminate on the basis of ideology, so there is no hypocrisy. It's perfectly fine to send a message to Trump and his basket of white supremacist deplorables that hatred and racism is NOT ok.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

"-like the peaceful transition of power -"

If you don't perform for DJT you are guilty of treason.

Hopefully Jeff will prosecute and punish.

glenn said...

"But when something is sad — in Trump times — we just say "Sad!" and move on to other things that work out better"

Some of us do. Some of us bi**h and whine and complain until we get more num-nums

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

Some states protect people from discrimination based on exercise of a fundamental right like Freedom of Speech, right? Activists in those states need to get busy getting those ganders into that sauce.

Activists in other states should push for an expansion of Free Speech protection to punish would-be discriminaters in public accommodations. Right? Because that is the way the game is played by rules created on the Left.

Alinsky their asses.

Amadeus 48 said...

Alex and LPBO are beating their chests about things that people with sound values and real lives don't care about at all.
Yawn.

Cyclone Bee said...

"You are allowed to discriminate on the basis of ideology..."

Words cannot express how much I'm looking forward to the next eight years of this backfiring spectacularly on progressives of all stripes.

Islam is an ideology. So is egalitarianism, feminism, globalism, interventionism, pro-immigration, prochoice...

I want the discrimination to come in the form of a big, beautiful wall that discriminates which side you're allowed on, and a big, beautiful boot that discriminates in your face over and over as to why you'd be better off letting the wall discriminate you over it.

And the best part of it, the absolute icing on the cake that we will no longer be forced to bake, is that none of it would have been possible, or desired, if not for armies of people like Alex putting the whole apparatus in place.

Unknown said...

Of course they are being pressured. This article is pressure and behind the scenes it is even greater.

William said...

Melania was part of that world. Designer clothes look good on her. She was paid good money simply because of that fact. The fashion industry is rejecting one of their own........Reagan was from Hollywood, more so than from anywhere else on earth. He was even president of the SAG. Made no difference. He was despised by Hollywood......If these people can't embrace their own tribe, do they truly meet the standards of love and compassion that they propose for the rest of us.......Trump might end up being two or three clicks above or below Berlesconi, but he's not Hitler. They're not protesting Trump; they're protesting their own lurid fantasy of Trump. Well, they're imaginative people.

buwaya said...

Its two parallel worlds in the US, and it certainly isnt going to get better.
We risk a vast array of mutual boycotts, and politically-culturally separated economies. You will have Democrat entertainment and Republican entertainment with no crossover. Maybe (well, probably) even separate grocery brands.

Lola Falana said...

poor deranged Alex projecting all over himself. its you and 'all the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers' --hedonists, immoral carnival clowns who will be sad and lonely for the next EIGHT years as this country gets back on track and more and more people see how utterly useless and what smug, idiotic, foul fools you truly, truly are.

buwaya said...

There will be Democrat ketchup and Republican ketchup.

Democrat baby food and Republican baby food.

Maybe Gerber will make both, in Republican and Democrat flavors.

Kathryn51 said...

Alex said: We on the left have ALL the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers. We've got it all.

Fuck you."


Hmmmmmmmm, if I didn't know better (and actually, I don't), I would say that Alex is a person known to me through Facebook who lives in LaLaLand, works in LaLaland and loves to say Fuck You a lot. But maybe a lot of sanctimonious libs are named Alex??? Probably a coincidence.

traditionalguy said...

Trump is a commoner. Royalty is not impressed. And don't look in this direction either.

BJM said...

What is Givhan smoking?

"It expects Seventh Avenue to be cognizant of its impact on young women predisposed to eating disorders. FAIL.

It rallied against the industry’s lack of diversity. FAIL.

It has pressured the industry to concern itself with the labor practices of its subcontractors FAIL.

and to create clothes that empower women instead of objectify them." FAIL.

Jeff Teal said...

Strangely enough many activities that Progs insist people do for anyone despite moral objections or for religious expression require the application of "art" such as cake -decorating,photography etc.But they want to have their cake and eat it too.And tell the photographer who and what to photograph.And require veteran's organizations to take down expressions of faith in transcendental mortality.Gee think it might actually be about control.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Alex said...

We on the left have ALL the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers. We've got it all.



I've been doing just fine without them for some time now. Truth is, they need me far more than I need them.

Jeff Teal said...

Strangely enough many activities that Progs insist people do for anyone despite moral objections or for religious expression require the application of "art" such as cake -decorating,photography etc.But they want to have their cake and eat it too.And tell the photographer who and what to photograph.And require veteran's organizations to take down expressions of faith in transcendental mortality.Gee think it might actually be about control.

Steven said...

Robin Givhan's quoted statement makes sense if, and only if you define terms as follows:

A) "society" means "a truly tiny subset of upper-class liberals", and
B) "much more" means "pay lip service to".

Now, after making those adjustments, it is obvious that the same flakes that demand pure lip-service obeisance to a long list of items (that they don't actually cares about enough to actually demand more than lip service to) also demand obeisance in their campaign to "other" Trump and all his associates and supporters.

Well, let them. I've got my own proposal -- let's tax the rich on goods that are nothing more than blatant status advertisements. A 900% federal excise tax on any and all items of apparel priced at more than $1,000, and on any and all handbags, shoes, or accessories priced at more than $250.

(And let's be clear, no dodge like deducting the excise tax from income for income-tax purposes, either personal or corporate; pay the tax with post-tax dollars -- or do without.)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bake the fucking cake.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sorry, sorry, got that one wrong.

It's: Bake the fucking cake and shut the fuck up.

Right?

cyrus83 said...

If they don't want to dress the ladies Trump, that's fine. The provision of personal services should always be at the discretion of the provider. Maybe we'll get a fashion designer who ends up becoming fabulously wealthy by dressing Trump and Republicans due to being the only one willing to do it, much the same way Fox News is a ratings machine because it lacks any serious competition for the same target audience in the cable news world.

It would be nice to see consistency on the subject however, seeing as the left gets extremely sanctimonious when anyone outside the left has the temerity to decline a service to one of their protected classes, yet they seem to feel they can deny service to anyone who is not part of the cult.

lgv said...

The noun she uses is "Society". I'm pretty sure she has her own definition of society. It excludes the roughly half of the population that voted for Trump.

What if the other half of the population that is not part of her society felt the need to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding or a birthday for an abortion doctor? Is that OK? Maybe the opposite society of her world expects bakers to take a stand. Her society represents some type of righteousness compared to the evils of the other half of the population.

I have no problem with designers not designing for Trump. I also have no problem with bakers not baking cakes for lesbian weddings. I have no problem with Chick Fil-A being closed on Sundays even when I starving for a chicken sandwich.

gnome said...

The Hillary pants suit Vs the Melania pants suit.
I'd be going into hiding too, if I was responsible for Hillary's outfit.

tim in vermont said...

On a related note, did you read how the politician in Oregon who fined those bakers six figures got tossed out on their ear November?

Same as the Vermont legislator who pushed through single-payer last election.

I agree that people have a right to control their brands, but, you know, love wins!

gadfly said...

@HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's: Bake the fucking cake and shut the fuck up.

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh no!

The wet cake, with the all the sweet, green icing flowing down, cost $135,000 not to make.

Perhaps Melania can sue the dressmakers for discrimination against immigrants who pose for nude pictures while rubbing up against other nude women? $10 million sounds like a reasonable settlement.

On the other hand, her step-daughter owns a business that designs and markets women's clothes.

tim in vermont said...
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tim in vermont said...

One of the defining characteristics of a troll is the obvious pride they take in saying the stupidest things. Let's hear "Thing I believe because Hillary told me" for $1,000, Alex.

If Hillary could only have gotten Alex to make ads for her, or lyin' BP&J! Imagine how much more Trump could have won by!

MayBee said...

Love Trumps Hate!!

Fritz said...

JHapp said...
What is the importance difference between dress designs made by gays vs wedding cakes for gays, civil rights wise?


Gays are a protected class, families of Republicans aren't.

Fritz said...

Alex said...
You are allowed to discriminate on the basis of ideology, so there is no hypocrisy. It's perfectly fine to send a message to Trump and his basket of white supremacist deplorables that hatred and racism is NOT ok.


So we are allowed to withhold energy and food and other natural resources from democrats?

Got it.

urbane legend said...

Alex said...

We on the left have ALL the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers. We've got it all.

You are more than welcome to them.

tim maguire said...

She makes a good argument,

Good in the sense of valid, not good in the sense an argument good people should support. Liberals are taking "the personal is political" to it's logical conclusion and making it impossible for us to function as a pluralistic society. Ms. Givhan's argument is part of the left's fascism with a peace sign that we are coming to know all too well.

Kevin said...

But when something is sad — in Trump times — we just say "Sad!" and move on to other things that work out better.

Wallowing in sadness does not make America greater.

Kevin said...

We on the left have ALL the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers. We've got it all.

So it's like climate change.

damikesc said...

Again, the Left is fully supportive of "artists should be allowed to choose who they do work for" --- as long as they are the artists.

Perhaps it's time for the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to have a tragic accident and cease to exist...

Roger Sweeny said...

But over time, society has demanded much more from the fashion industry.

No, it hasn't. One part of it, progressive, university-oriented, has.

tim in vermont said...

It worked out fine when Venezuela went with pretty people's choice, didn't it?

mockturtle said...

Such hubris! We could all survive very nicely--and more happily--without these 'artistes'. Fashion? The Trumps should order everything from LLBean.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Those other guys have ALL the designers, actors, musicians and entertainers. We're just going to have to make do with the stupid old government.

damikesc said...

I love that we should worry about Trump's "impact on women", when the fashion industry is responsible for all of the "body issues" girls grow up with.

It's not men who want skinny women with no curves. That's other women and the fashion industry.

William said...

One of the many advantages to being extremely good looking is that you don't have to wear expensive clothes to look well dressed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It rallied against the industry’s lack of diversity.

So they've got some straight guys now? It doesn't show.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Just don't refuse to design something for the gay couple's wedding. You'll lose your business if you refuse to comply. But uber liberal NY fashionistas, sure they get to decide who they work with...

Won't design a gay wedding cake? Homophobe

Won't design an inauguration gown for Melania? Hero

Fernandinande said...

William said...
One of the many advantages to being extremely good looking is that you don't have to wear expensive clothes to look well dressed.


Why, thank you!

mockturtle said...

One of the many benefits of this whole election cycle is that the arts and entertainment crowd has shown just how petty--and how irrelevant--they are.

John said...


Blogger Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

You can't compare volunteer work w/ for-pay gigs.

So it's all about the money then. Is that what you're saying? If Trump had paid enough, they would be happy to perform for him? Wouldn't that make them whores? Nothing wrong with that, I'm a whore too. I'll do pretty much anything if the money is right and it is not terribly illegal.


Maybe you think they should only get dough from folks they like or agree

No, I think they should get dough from anyone, assuming it is legal. Not North Korea, for example.

But I also think they should STFU about how they won't perform for Trump because he is EEEEVIILLLLLL!!!!! if they are going to perform for other folk like Ghaddafi, Uzbekistan and others in that list.

I think they should STFU about how anti-woman Trump is and how they won't sing and dance because if it if they are going to perform in places where second class citizenship would be a huge improvement for women. ie most Muslim countries.

They are free to perform for murderers and not perform for Trump. They are free to perform for money and not for free. No problem with me.

They just need to say why they are not performing. Not do this big virtue routine.

And especially not bully others into not performing.

Whatever happened to "A person's body, a person's right?"

John Henry

John said...

If it only about the money, PB&J, what about the Rockettes?

The owner of the group may not be getting paid but the individual dancers will be.

Should they have the right to opt out of a performance because Trump is a HORRIBLE!!!! person?

Or should their employer, the Rockette organization have the right to fire them if they refuse to dance?

I would say they can be fired. Not should be, necessarily. Just that the decision is up to the employer.

John Henry

Gretchen said...

I don't think a baker should be forced to bake a cake for a gay couple, and I don't think designers should be forced to dress Melania or Ivanka Trump. Anyone who does dress them will see sales skyrocket, because never before have we had such glamorous first ladies, and frankly it will be easier than dressing more ordinary women like Laura Bush, Hillary or Michelle Obama.

Ivanka's company should design a White House collection and donate the proceeds to charity. She's make tons of money with the two of them showing off the fashions. They left would still figure out a reason to go insane.

mockturtle said...

Good idea, Gretchen! I can just hear the whining from the couturiers now!

mockturtle said...

Or should their employer, the Rockette organization have the right to fire them if they refuse to dance?

I would say they can be fired. Not should be, necessarily. Just that the decision is up to the employer.


I say they should be fired, John. After all, wasn't a woman fired for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple on the ground that it was her job?

Things are looking more and more like we will end up as a divided--in the real sense--nation. I wonder how ugly it will get? Civil war?

Gretchen said...

Mockturtle, yes it is different when you work for a company than when you are a sole proprietor, the owner makes the decision. Rockets should dance, solo performers can choose their own gigs. Muslims shouldn't become waiters and refuse to serve pork, and Catholics at non-Catholic hospitals should perform abortions or go to work elsewhere or get a different specialty, Catholic hospitals have the right to not perform abortions, sex change surgery or contraception, but certainly they should treat patients if they went to a butcher abortionist.