February 16, 2017

"Society is in a time of renewed ferment about gender. Culture wars rage..."

"... over bathrooms and even the very notion that men or women have to choose one fixed gender identity. President Donald J. Trump reportedly likes his female staff 'to dress like women'; just what this means isn’t entirely clear. The divide looms between those who welcome the new fluidity and those who yearn for clearly defined gender roles. So designers on the runway this week engaged in a continuing dialogue about how clothing defines masculinity and femininity — and how it scrambles these notions, too."

From a NYT fashion piece by Susan Chira titled "Gender Fluidity on the Runways."

And I see that the 5th photograph is a picture of a Jeremy Scott outfit that I grabbed from a Tom & Lorenzo blog post yesterday and dropped into a text to Meade as I said "This is what you should wear." That one and also this one. I will be wearing this.

IN THE COMMENTS:  Roger Sweeny said: "You will both be surpassingly ugly." Which sent me on a Google search that got me to "How to spot a 'Hippie'" at a blog called Life of an Architect:
Hippies were once a symbol – a youthful subculture that grew out of counter-cultural ideologies of the Beat Generation that embraced psychedelic rock, free love and pot. Now they mostly look like homeless people which isn’t really fair to homeless people. Now that the hippies have all grown up, all I can say is stay away from psychedelic rock, free love and pot (and maybe Whole Foods Market).
Key point: The hippies of the late 60s and early 70s are old people now. The hippie spirit knows and loves the beauty of decrepitude.

60 comments:

Rick said...

The divide looms between those who welcome the new fluidity and those who yearn for clearly defined gender roles.

Completely wrong. The divide is between those who yearn for societal celebration of their personal circumstances and those who understand there are important things to focus on instead.

Roger Sweeny said...

You will both be surpassingly ugly.

Ann Althouse said...

"You will both be surpassingly ugly."

Says a man with no photograph in his profile.

mockturtle said...

I'm assuming most of us aren't part of 'society' since we know bloody well what gender we are.

traditionalguy said...

Interesting, but where does the Polo Player emblem go. Maybe it's on the inside, like for when you need to go to an adult function and then you can reverse them.

Lewis Wetzel said...

President Donald J. Trump reportedly likes his female staff 'to dress like women'
"Female"? This is old think. New think is that there is no such thing as biological sex at all, there is only 'gender': http://everydayfeminism.com/2017/02/trans-women-not-biologically-male/

F said...

Granting the idea that clothing styles start on the coasts and move inland, I still predict that those examples of style will NOT be making it here to NV in the next 50 years.

zipity said...


I can't help feeling that these designers are all simply trying to see who can come up with the most ridiculous, over the top, hideous designs, and see which morons will embrace it as inspirational and meaningful.

I find it outright pathetic. It's just a bunch of indulged 1 percenters trying to outdo each other, doing inside jokes on the rest of us.

mezzrow said...

Boy, am I ever glad I have a bag on my head.

Carol said...

Yeah my fellow boomers really look old, esp with facial hair all white and scraggly ponytails. They look older than the old guys looked back in the day. I think we women have held up better but maybe I'm deluded.

Of course I am.

tcrosse said...

You have to work harder and harder to shock the squares.

sojerofgod said...

This is the inevitable result of the current period in the art world, which I have long termed "Transgressivism" -the motif of which is to shock the perceived sensibilities of the non-art proletariat. Sad fact for them is though, they are become a casualty of their own success. Now each event has to go further afield to provoke an equivalent reaction from the proles. Each episode of transgressive art has to work so much harder to shock that niggling details such as quality and relationality are cast to the curb. What other purpose to a fashion show that exhibits clothing so bizarre that only a paid model would wear it? Why hold a showing of hastily cobbled anti-Trump fashions that remind one of an old 70's movie about gays called "Cruising?" The poor Mexican ladies hustling overtime in the sweatshops were drenched I'm sure to produce such dreck.
The designers of course, bathed in the lauding of plaudits from their contemporaries. Which smelt the sweeter?

zipity said...


This is in the same vein as the embrace of tattoos and piercings to shock the "squares".

What do they do when it's become so mainstream?

You're going to have to walk around with a javelin through your abdomen soon to get a second look from anyone....

Fernandinande said...

"Society" = a few crazy people, including some denizens of "the runways".

Rick said...
The divide is between those who yearn for societal celebration of their personal circumstances and those who understand there are important things to focus on instead.


The purpose of these trivial fads is virtue signaling.

Sean Gleeson said...

You did not link the NYT article. I had to Google the text to find it, as if it were the Washington Post.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

President Donald J. Trump reportedly likes his female staff 'to dress like women'

Maybe he likes his staff/personnel to dress in ways that are not distracting to doing business and in clothing that won't get caught in the office equipment. What people do on their own time is a different story. However, on the job you dress according to the workplace standards required by your employer.

Those are some butt ugly outfits. Looking through them I only saw 3 that I would ever have consider wearing. The rest look like Halloween costumes.

rhhardin said...

I suppose His and Hers towels are out today.

khesanh0802 said...

And these are the people who try to tell us Trump is insane!

rhhardin said...

My own wardrobe is on the line out back drying, at least as soon as it goes above freezing again it will resume drying.

It never ends. Every two weeks you're out of clothes and have to throw them in the washer.

Getting more clothes doesn't help. The washer only holds so much.

David said...

Will you also dye your hair cotton candy red and crop your locks? Could be a good look.

Fashion (at least this kind of fashion) is for people who are elevating themselves over others. If your gig is service over self (a quaint notion I know) conservative dress is the path. And then there are the people whose selves predominate over whatever they wear. Trump, for example.

Clyde said...

Lots of Ironic Jesus as well as an Ironic Marie Antoinette. From "Take, eat, this is my body" to "Let them eat cake." Ironic Cake.

Big Mike said...

Particularly since you live in a university town, wearing a shirt with a pig on it will not incline a policeman to cut you some slack if he -- or she! -- pulls you over for something.

Original Mike said...

"...the very notion that men or women have to choose one fixed gender identity."

You don't have to choose. Nature chose for you.

Ann Althouse said...

"we know bloody well what gender we are"

Especially the women.

BJM said...

Ooooo...Jesus imagery, so edgey. Not.

When they print the "Holy Prophet" on their fashions then they can claim edge.

zipity said...


"Lots of Ironic Jesus as well as an Ironic Marie Antoinette. From "Take, eat, this is my body" to "Let them eat cake." Ironic Cake."

Cowards. Let's see the ironic Muhammad images on the catwalk....

Roger Sweeny said...

"...the very notion that men or women have to choose one fixed gender identity."

You don't have to choose. Nature chose for you.


That's the problem. Sometimes it made a rather strange choice, e.g. looking like a woman and feeling like a man. Contrary to the contemporary American worship of nature and natural, what is natural is often kind of perverse.

Or to put it in somewhat different terms, "What can we tell about God by studying God's Creation? She has a weird sense of humor."

MadisonMan said...

I like those clothes, but they look pretty high-maintenance, especially the velvet trousers.

Can you hand-wash them?

Roger Sweeny said...

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/38/e8/89/38e88975c189353f0e1ecebd94c5208b.jpg

Otto said...

Ann you have to realize that with getting that retirement check, you are ,whether you like it or not , an alta cocker.You 60s crowd could never handle reality. Play golf.

Big Mike said...

As to Meade, I thought you made all your men wear medium blue work shirts. (I'm referencing a very old post of yours.)

Ann Althouse said...

I'm so sorry I forgot to put the link on that one. The fun of it was looking for the 5th picture. Sad!

AllenS said...

This is what I'm wearing. Pretty much what I wear every day during the winter.

Owen said...

Roger Sweeny: "...feeling like a man." What does that feel like?

Claims of gender fluidity are written on water.

Marc Puckett said...

I enjoy looking at these fashion events when AA does posts about them-- my take is that beautiful models can make anything tolerable-- but otherwise I don't pay any attention. For myself, long ago decided on a certain very basic wardrobe: life is simplified thereby.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann you have to realize that with getting that retirement check, you are ,whether you like it or not , an alta cocker.You 60s crowd could never handle reality. Play golf."

Do you even read this blog? I've been out and proud about aging the whole time. Look at the side bar with selected tags, in the order of frequency. One of the top ones is "aging." Come back and talk about it after you've read 20 or 30 of them.

Embracing aging doesn't mean believing that you are not an individual but a stereotype. Where do you get that idea?

I'm against ageism, like saying "Play golf" because you are old, but I am not against being aware of your age. I don't think you'll find, in all my 13-year archive of 47,000+ posts any post where I assert that I am really young and not old.

buwaya said...

My profile is remarkably well dressed. He would also make some ridiculously expensive shoes and handbags.

Big Mike said...

Lady Gaga already modeled the Democrats' new look for us at the Hillary rally.

Seeing Red said...

At least bright colors are coming back, but I swear I've seen some of that patchwork before.

Suede and crushed velvet? Who wants that maintenance or bills?

Let the young spend their money on it. I have retirement to plan.

I laughed when I saw Marie Antionette. That crowd should look in the mirror.

Ann Althouse said...

"As to Meade, I thought you made all your men wear medium blue work shirts. (I'm referencing a very old post of yours.)"

Ha ha. I know what you are talking about: "We're here in Asheville, North Carolina, at a unique family reunion. For example, here are RLC and Meade, together at 12 Bones/So there you have it: a picture of my husbands, former and future."

"Big Mike said... 'Do you make all your husbands wear the same shade of blue?'/"Ha ha. They independently chose blur shirts. Long sleeved. Both wore blue jeans too."

Peter said...

'sojerofgod' said, "Each episode of transgressive art has to work so much harder to shock that niggling details such as quality and relationality are cast to the curb."

I always thought transgressivism in art reached an endpoint with the display of Michel DuChamp's "Fountain" (yes, it was an upside-down urinal) in 1917. After that, well, what's a transgressive artist to do (other than self-mutilation as performance art, perhaps)?

Whereas architecture has privileged novelty above all else, thus producing a similar devolution (but limited by the need to produce structures that are at least somewhat useable).

That's not to say that novelty, and even transgressiveness, are not or should not be important values in some art or architecture, just that pursuing them to the exclusion of all else can result in works that, while they may indeed exhibit a transgressive novelty, can also become boring in that all-too-predictable "I'm a rebel just like all the other rebels" banality.

jono39 said...

I will know that America is returning toward health when we are two genders with some choosing to be homo-, bi-, non-, masutrbators, and flagellants. What we have become is an embarrassment.

n.n said...

It's all progressive (i.e. monotonic change). It's over, right?

More like chaos, with its unpredictable states and transitions outside of a limited frame of reference. In human societies (i.e. high-level organization and insular), it's probably due to generational (e.g. family) inertia. The so-called "transgressives" are either a short-lived rebellion of boys and girls with a cause and without a clue, or they are the products of decades of indoctrination including Dodo Dynasties.

There is a distinct rise of anti-nativism including an effort to marginalize competing interests, especially blocks of interests (e.g. family, tribes), that began with debasing human life (as a choice or voluntarily) and characterization of boys and girls as colorful clumps of cells (e.g. [class] diversity)... to be molded, cannibalized, and redistributed.

Roger Sweeny said...

Roger Sweeny: "...feeling like a man." What does that feel like?

Owen: What does it feel like to you? Probably pretty simple and basic.

Roger Sweeny said...

Says a man with no photograph in his profile.

I do that for your protection.

Amadeus 48 said...

You know, I can't unsee any of this stuff after I have looked at it. The 60s were great...I think. Can't quite remember.
We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow.

AlbertAnonymous said...

NYT - Garbage
Style Section - Double Garbage

Why should I care about any of this?


Otto said...

"Proud about aging"Is that like saying I am proud to be 6'2" tall?
"Embracing aging doesn't mean believing that you are not an individual but a stereotype" Ah the me, me, me generation.The sad part is when you look in the mirror, there isn't much,and there isn't less.
Repeat:the 60s crowd never could face reality, play golf.

mockturtle said...

Ann, I enjoyed seeing the photo of your ex- and current husbands. Neither of them looks like a buttercup and I'll wager they are both a lot of fun.

rcocean said...

"Yeah my fellow boomers really look old, esp with facial hair all white and scraggly ponytails. "

God, there's nothing worse that the "old guy with a ponytail look" - especially if they're half bald. Then they look a Chinese Coolie with a pigtail.

The featured clothes look "unconventional" and therefore fun to wear, or fun to think about wearing.

rcocean said...

Someone asked what does "dress like women" mean. I thought it was obvious. Heels, attractive business-like skirts and blouses, etc. No sweatsuits, tennis shoes, Mao suits, etc. CF: Hillary.

mockturtle said...

Someone asked what does "dress like women" mean.

I'd say no pantsuits. Pantsuits are an abomination. I also hate seeing women dressed like something off an MTV video in the workplace.

SukieTawdry said...

The 70's were the absolute worst decade for fashion and home decor. I kept several decorating books from the era so I can occasionally revel in the awfulness. There is simply nothing you can do to make those "fashions" look good.

Unknown said...

When all the designs and colors that make sense were done years ago, a designer has to get more and more extreme to get noticed. These fashion shows are explicitly about getting noticed. Other shows are for the clothes that stores actually buy to, you know, sell to real people.
When I see old hippies, I wonder if they still say "oh, wow, man" and if they notice that 50 years have passed, or if it is just that their look is stuck. I bet in Roman times there were hippies too.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, I thought you might remember.

n.n said...

Society is bored, and confused.

n.n said...

Ironically, disguising women as men serves to reinforce a lower status of the female sex and feminine gender. Same for disguising men as women. And babies as colorful clumps of cells. Progressive confusion (PC) is a first-order cause of catastrophic anthropogenic social change.

urbane legend said...

MadisonMan said...
I like those clothes, but they look pretty high-maintenance, especially the velvet trousers.

Can you hand-wash them?

What does that mean, hand wash clothes? Dry clean I understand, but hand wash? Life does not include high-maintenance clothes.

Darrell said...

Gender fluidity is the primary reason you see models falling on the runway today.

Laura said...

"Pantsuits are an abomination."

Pantsuits have also become a political statement, symbolic of a political opponent.