Yes, the “c-word” and its “f-bomb” counterpart. Maybe more so during a trip to New York or other budding fashion capitals, have these words crossed our minds or, heaven-forbid, our lips…Read More
In 2007, an American Apparel billboard was vandalized in New York City. The billboard is of a topless woman wearing tight leggings, bending over, and facing away from the camera. Her face is not visible, and the main focus of the advertisement is her nude upper body and her backside. Spray painted in big bold letters to the left of the woman is “Gee, I wonder why women get raped”. This act of vandalism promotes the idea that women who dress provocatively are a direct contributing factor to rape, and the fact that they are scantily dressed is seemingly used to justify their victimization. This perception is an example of traditional feminist theory, and thus exhibits the differences in feminist and post-feminist perspectives through the art of advertising.
As Rosalind Gill, a post-feminist critic, states in one of her articles entitled, Beyond the Sexualization of Culture, “[a] crucial aspect of the shift from objectification to sexual subjectification is that this is framed in advertising through a discourse of playfulness, freedom and, above all, choice. Women are presented as not seeking men’s approval but as pleasing themselves, and, in so doing, they just happen to win men’s admiration”. This is demonstrated within the example of American Apparel advertisements, as one could argue that the imagery and positioning of the women in the photos is a much more modern depiction of female empowerment and feminist thought. Today, it seems that women impose feminine cultural norms on themselves instead of consistently seeking male approval, resulting in the constant scrutiny of the female body by both men and women.
Every year in Toronto and many other cities across North America, women and men speak out about this stereotyped and objectified “version” of the “real” female in the Slut Walk (www.slutwalktoronto.com). On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. Upon hearing this police officer’s shameful (and ignorant) comments, women and men from the city of Toronto organized the first annual “slut walk” by taking their frustration to the streets – literally. Marching through the downtown city streets of Toronto, crowds gathered to make their stance on this matter known with voices ready to be heard. The topic of objectification versus subjectification again arises when discussing women who dress in a stereoptypically “slutty” way. Are these women automatically objectified by society or do they subject themselves to the “male gaze”, choosing to dress and act a certain way in order to gain the attention of the opposite sex?
What do YOU think? Are women and models in advertisements today still objectified by men? Or are these women now subjects of their own sexuality? Are average women who get dressed up to go out with their girlfriends “sluts” and “asking for it” as a result of what they choose to wear? Where do we draw the line?
Photo Credits: Google Images
Dutch artist duo Lernert Engelberts & Sander Plug were curious about what a year’s worth of makeup would look like in one application, so they decided to create a video (titled ‘Natural Beauty’) where 365 layers of makeup was applied to a model.
Nine hours and a whopping 228.40 mL of makeup later, the model’s face looked far from beautiful, it was melted and almost deformed. In total, the duo used seven bottles of foundation, two bottles of eye cream, three lip pens, and two bottles of blush.
As an art, I think the concept behind the video holds significance by giving women an idea of how much makeup they consume in a year. However, the amount of makeup used usually varies person to person as well as occassion to occassion (I don’t know about about you, but I definitely don’t think I use seven bottles of foundation in a year!)
Technicalities aside, I do agree that women do rely a lot on makeup. Foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara, blush…sometimes used a bit too liberally. Makeup has the power of making people feel beautiful and increase self esteem but it can all alter and harm our skin significantly. According to greenlivingonline.com, some cosmetics can contain hormones disrupters and even carcinogens, which makes me think twice after watching this video…is it really worth it?
Why do you wear makeup? Is it to cover up what you think are imperfections? Or is it to enhance the natural beauty you already have? Let us know in the comments section!
Via The Toronto Star
This is BIG news guys…our FIRST designer announcement of the Spring/Summer 2012 Season!
Introducing Mr. Alexis Reyna! Alexis’ S/S 2011 collection, “unleashed” really speaks for itself….bold colours, amazing prints, painted bodies, spray painted hair, out of this world makeup….his runway shows are always a party and this season will be no exception! Check out my 4 favourite “lewks” from his S/S 2011 “Unleashed” collection below.
You can check out Alexis’ website and other collections here.
While the production details of Alexis’ show are being kept top secret I can let you in on this little ditty : never in my four years of working for OFW have I ever witnessed a production plan like this and our new venue is the PERFECT setting.
Get ready…because Alexis and the OFW crew are going to knock your socks off!
Question: What is the relevance of haute couture clothing in today’s society. A few fashion houses like, Chanel, Givenchy, Valentino, Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli and Jean Paul Gaultier (just to name a few) would all agree that haute couture is just as relevant today as it was in fashion’s past. Never one to deny the fashion gods I am, however, on the fence about this one.Read More
Ottawa is birthplace of many young designers, models and creative giants. Every fashion designer started somewhere whether it be New York or a small suburb in Toronto. What brings them into the spotlight is their ability to take their vision and execute it in a way that stands out and catches the attention of the industry game changers.
This year’s Richard-Robinson showcase is a place where the fashion design students were able to show their first piece to the style-savvy folks of the city.
One student in particular, Amy Donovan, decided to go get creative with her first dress ever. For many students, this was the first time one of their pieces would be shown to the public and so it was important that the one piece stands out.
Amy decided to create a three-dimensional piece by taking the bubble dress to a whole new level. Her dress, seen below, was inspired by her love of details. The students were asked to make a haute couture dress. “Haute Couture means created by hand and what’s more hand-made than detailed work, right? My whole theme was details,” she explained. She made all of the ribbons by hand and draped them over a newspaper fabric that had Elvis Presley’s birth certificate all over it.
Her dress brings a sense of mystery and playfulness. Many ask what is in the dress that creates such a unique illusion. The secret lies in the famous children’s toy: the hula hoop. Getting the hula hoop inside the dress was quite the procedure: “It was the most complex process but created the look I wanted,” she said.
This was Amy’s first dress—and one she will never forget. “It’s my first dress that I ever made so I felt like I had to go all out. I essentially had the time to do an outrageous dress- so I did,” she said.
Richard-Robinson Fashion Design Academy is a fantastic school for the budding fashion designer and a place where many feel welcome and motivated to succeed. “My favourite part of school is learning everything- there’s so much to learn. I love going to school every day and I never have- I’ve never been good at school,” she said.
Experiencing the showcase helped her realise how much she loved being backstage. “Everyone’s running around, everyone’s crazy and freaking out and it’s just mayhem- I love it,” she laughs.
Originally from London, England, Amy is considered to be a British designer and wants to follow in the footsteps of Alexander McQueen or work for his label one day. Among other designer favourites, McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Aidor Throop are her top three. “I love anyone extravagant really. And anyone who designs pieces that are different and catch my eye,” she said.
Photo credits: Maryalice Mullally
Recently, both Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores decided to censor the cover of Dossier magazine. The cover featured androgynous male model, Andrej Pejic, posing shirtless and with his hair in curlers and was deemed too risque by the stores. Similar to pornographic magazines, this issue of Dossier was placed in a translucent sleeve making it impossible for customers to know what or who was on the cover.
Skye Parrott, Co-founder and Creative director of Dossier, suspects that this move will decrease sales of the magazine, though there is a greater issue at hand. The issue surrounds questions of gender roles and their impact on image.
“It’s a naked man on the cover of a magazine, which is done all of the time without being covered up, so I definitely don’t think it merits this, but I understand what it is,” Parrott expressed to HuffPost Style that it’s the cover’s play on gender roles that makes it unique.
This left people the lingering question: is there a double-standard when it comes to public displays of men vs women sexuality? If a broad, masculine male is able to appear bare-chested, why not an androgynous male? According to the Barnes & Nobel and Borders, are concerned that people may confuse Pejic with a woman.
On HuffPost Style’s comment box, readers seemed quite divided by the issue. Some brought up the debate of censorship as a whole in relation to the “porn vs. art” debate. Some also commented on Pejic’s figure, raising questions of anorexia and body image for both males and females. One reader seemed to justify the bookstores’ concern with public confusion by expressing that the cover is disturbing “only because she’s flatter than a board”. Another (hereinmiami) aruged that “there’s nothing scary about people whose gender does not happen to fit into our society’s two narrow definitions”.
This issue can be looked at from a multitude of perspectives: one raises the question of masculinity’s role in society – the action of the bookstores can be interpreted as being unaccepting of an image that goes against the typical rugged and muscular male figure. By censoring the cover, they send the message that there is something about Pejic’s image that people should feel uncomfortable about.
On the flip side, it can also be said that censoring a male’s image is a step towards parallel gender standards. Like on a cover with a female that requires censoring, Pejic being censored could also represent the fact that bookstores are choosing to censor an image that may make people feel unsettled, regardless of the model’s gender.
In my opinion, the actions of the bookstores reflect society’s discomfort with those that go against social norms. Even if the bookstores themselves have no personal issue with an androgynous male on the cover, their reasoning was that they felt that it may make their customers unsettled. This implies that they thought that their customers would be unaccepting of this counter-gendered photo. While I understand their justifications, I hope that people can grow to accept changes such as this in the way genders are viewed. Personally, I’m a huge fan of androgynous models because of their versatility to fit into whatever situation they’re put in; not just one typical role.
What’s your opinion? Are the actions of these bookstores justified? Should they be able to censor a male who may resemble a female? Or are they too caught up with the concept of ‘masculinity’ and gender roles? Leave us a comment!
Image via cocoperez.com
Source: HuffPost Style
Have you heard the talk of the town?
Ottawa Fashion Week has just announced that our show will take place at the Ottawa Convention Centre from Wednesday Sept.28 to Saturday Oct.1.
With this move to the new venue, it will give us more space to accommodate more guests, more seating, and a bigger runway to showcase our fabulous designers. Event days now on weekdays beings something to look forward to at the end of the workday, and Sunday to recover from the ultra excitement of the new Wednesday-Saturday event.
We’re so excited that this news could finally be shared with everyone! This is just the first of many more announcements to come. It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again- Ottawa Fashion Week is bigger and better than ever!
Here’s to the beginning of another great season!