Vibrant colors and lively conversation were in abundance at the Fashionless Fashion Show. The Susan B. Anthony Women’s Center put on the show last Thursday night for an audience of approximately 20 students. The show had two main segments: a slide show with an open conversation with four panelists moderated by senior Alex Nichipor and then the actual fashion show.
After a brief introduction from the director of the Women’s Center, Susan Birns, the show began its slide show and conversation segment, which displayed western fashion throughout the years. The panel discussed how pink used to be a “boys color” and blue was a “girls color.” During the early 20th century, the meaning of the colors switched.
“I thought it was really interesting hearing the different perspectives on fashion from the early 1500’s to today,” sophomore Lauren Terralavoro said. “A lot of things surprised me. Looking at the fashion for young children was the biggest shock to me. It also made me want to look into feminist walks that take place in NYC. It was overall a great learning experience; I am happy I went!”
One question the panel was asked was why it is more socially acceptable for women to wear men’s clothes, than for men to wear women’s clothes. The panel brought up the point that this “norm” is most likely rooted in sexism. Men often have to try to be masculine and dominant, and therefore cannot stray from what is normative. It is also a stereotype that men who wear women’s clothing are gay, and therefore results in most men refraining from dressing outside of what our society dictates.
Another major theme that was discussed was the over-sexualization of women in the media through fashion. The panel and the audience seemed offended by clothing companies marketing lingerie to little children. They also discussed some of the root causes of why our society is obsessed with sex. The panel and the audience concluded that the media, technology and major corporations are the main culprits behind this.
Pornography was yet another important theme, and the panel and audience discussed, inconclusively, where the line of censorship should be drawn some called for an end to violent pornography, while others defended the privacy and freedom of consenting adults.
The discussion then progressed into the dangers of certain fashion trends. They went over corsets, Chinese foot binding, tanning, and, surprisingly, skinny jeans, which can cause a deficit in circulation in the legs which can become a problem by middle age.
The talk then turned to culture, religion and clothing. The main subjects were Islamic cultures and how many women wear the hijab. The audience and panel seemed split between supporting the women’s right to modesty and the worrying about how restrictive the clothing can be for women.
The final thing discussed was why these issues matter, and what students can do to make a change. Expressing ones personal freedom and respecting another’s right to express theirs were the concluding sentiments before the actual fashion show kicked off.
For the actual fashion show, four people strutted their stuff in Sullivan Lounge. The first was a historical design, and a student walked the runway in a classic Victorian dress. The second outfit was vibrant and colorful and completed by a shimmering polka dot scarf. The third ensemble was based on a ballerina, with a blue tutu, and the last outfit was drag, where a man walked wearing a gothic style black and red dress, with black lace. Each of the four students won a $25 gift certificate to Pizza Works.