Thursday, August 31, 2006
Why the 'Islam' Reference in a Couture Op-Ed?
Ahh, late August, when the September issues of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and their lesser competitors appear. I admit, I am a fashion magazine addict. I usually stick to the pictures and just skip the articles about just which outfits-I-can't-afford, especially as I'm never around the women who CAN afford this stuff. Now I know, you guys are thinking, Pim's Ghost, what the hell, you found something in a fashion magazine, and then took it seriously enough to write about? But bear with me.
So, I decided to read an article in this September's Bazaar about the over-sized, layered looks that have taken runways and magazines by storm, aptly titled "Could You Get a Date in These Clothes?". Written by long-time and older Glenn O'Brien, he laments the odd looks and their lack of sex appeal, noting quite rightly that "women don't dress for us; they dress for each other". I'll buy that. But what grabbed my attention, other than the clothing pictured, was his offhand references to Islam in the op-ed piece, pp. 307-308.
"Sure, for the uninitiated, leatherlike masks, burka headgear.....might seem outrageous." Now I took that as just mocking the goofiness of Couture shows, as O'Brien also mentions that they "wouldn't be shows without showmanship". Still, after a paragraph lamenting the Chloe collection resembling maternity wear, he continues to muse on what is behind these new trends.
"Another big trend: covered. Floor-length, chin-high clothes. Is it Islam-mania? The rash of interest in films about Elizabeth Regina? A tribute to the new Supreme Court?"
The man obviously has a sense of humor, but why an offhand use of a term, "Islam-mania", used just as casually as some writers throw around "Islamophobia"? I have yet to have heard of "Islam-mania", even from under my Islam-monitoring rock, except from the wackier articles presented by CAIR and the ISNA. But used casually in the fashion world? I must admit to being baffled.
Fashion cycles, it always does. I took these layered looks as a well-deserved homage to the early 80s and break from the class-less images of Paris Hilton and her ilk. Yet these new looks have taken an odd tinting to me now, especially after articles by Mark Steyn and Fjordman, among others, noting that European women are starting to wear clothing that is more "covering" and modest, even headscarves, to stem abuse in public by verbally abusive Muslim men. As Steyn noted in his "Happy Warrior" column in "National Review" only a few months ago, some of his European female friends were enjoying the change that they experienced in the attitude of Muslim men when they went out at night. They, over his objections, claimed to like being treated with "respect" instead of being called "whores" or threatened with attack.
So, now with these Couture sea-changes coming out of Paris, Milan and New York, are we just seeing a normal cycling of the fashion world, or is this an "Islam-mania" that hasn't reached our ears and just slipped out through O'Brien, or is this "Islam-mania" really just the typical appeasement of "dhimmi-mania"? I think we all have noted that phenomenon already. It just made me wonder. Quite a bit.
Posted by Kiddo at 4:13:00 pm