January 3, 2008, 1:53 am
I decided to check out The Commodified (a Vancouver hipster street style blog), and found an image that truly stood out and absolutely horrified me (posted below).
I won’t even go into what is wrong with this girls’ outfit (because that is too painfully obvious to bother discussing), but jump straight to the hideous display of disrespect from this little blond twat for the man pictured.
The look on his face while he holds that plate of pizza juxtaposed with her disgusting Paris Hilton-esque kissy face and pink pepto 80s mini dress makes me ill. Seeing this photo on a blog that gets a fair bit of exposure and has a high readership is silly and embarrassing.
Come on guys, you should really know better.
Victoria, the blog author, has encouraged me to post the response i left her:
I appreciate the discussion you’ve brought up! When I took this picture I was really hesitant because I didn’t want to be perceived as exploiting the man. I took the risk, though, because I thought it was important too portray a less glamorous image of street style. Her outfit epitomizes the excesses of fashion. Whoever designed this 1980s prom dress was clearly inspired by Christian Lacroix, whose extravagant dresses parodied the materiality of 1980s wealth. So perhaps it is appropriate that the girl pictured is posing beside a downtown eastside resident?
I've since raked through some of my texts for some interesting literature on this subject. Pictured below is one of Lacrox's famous 1987 Pouf dresses:
"Fashion cannot be separated from conspicuous consumption... in eras of inequality, conspicuous consumption has to be understood as a social norm... [and] as a necessary imperative for the insistent representation of social distance and social hierarchy." - Gilles Lipovetsky
"During the 1980s throughout the industrialized world, people in the top economic strata enjoyed significant increases in disposable income, and responded by flaunting their wealth in the purchase of consumer goods, including clothing." Valerie Steele, in Fifty Years of Fashion
"Conspicuous consumption... during the Reagan years was regarded as a badge of personal achievement. The heroes of the eighties... outfitted their wives in dresses by Christian Lacroix" - Holly Burbach in The New Yorker
"His clothes were not simply opulent and luxurious. . . Lacroix was a witty iconoclast, who was not afraid to go over the top." Valerie Steele, in Fifty Years of Fashion
"Lacroix makes clothes of such extravagant, gorgeous excess as to divide the classes once and for all." - Julie Baumgold, in Dancing on the Lip of the Volcano
Some interesting trivia about Lacroix: he revealed his first collection under his own name in 1987; the same night the stock market crashed. Many fashion journalists joked that his dresses were excessive to the point of being "crash chic".