Wednesday, June 16, 2010

links: fashion maketh woman, burlesque, and queerness

my writing was really on quite a roll last week, but of course, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. sadly, when most of my little projects were almost ready to share, post here and on other blogs, i was struck down with a particularly nasty head cold. trying to write/edit when my head it such a congested mess is out of the question... so to tide my wonderful readers over until i can show you some of my own writing and ideas, here are some links worth checking out!

first off, a very interesting event entitled "Fashion Maketh Woman" is happening tomorrow as part of the Intelligence Squared Spring 2010 debate series. for any of my readers on the other side of the pond (aka Westminster), i highly recommend trying to make it out! for the rest of us, there's always the internet!
Featuring an acclaimed panel including Stephen Bayley, Susie Orbach, Grayson Perry and Grazia's Style Director Paula Reed amongst others, the speakers will debate the motion: “Fashion Maketh Woman.”

"Woman is born free, but everywhere is fashion’s slave. Her choices are an illusion: the fashion companies and magazines dictate her purchases to her. She feels compelled to own the latest must-have handbag, believes the key to happiness is the new bondage boot; they’ve told her she’s worth it and without her fashion fix she feels worthless. This, at least, is the story told by those who scoff at fashion. But isn’t that just sour drapes? Isn’t it rather the case that the world of fashion defines the spirit and mood of the age? That the brilliant designers in the fashion houses bring vim and vigour to an otherwise pedestrian world? And that those who somehow think they¹re above it all just end up looking drab and dull?

The debate is being held on Thursday, 17th June from 18:45 - 20:30 at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, and doors to the event open at 18:00. To find out more, please go to where tickets are available for £25.00. Half price student tickets are available...

We are streaming it live and on-demand at

i will be watching the live stream of the event, and i'm really excited! it's free, so if you can't make it to the event, i highly recommend checking it out. i posted about this on monday on my tumblr and a lot of people expressed interest in it, as well. i'm very interested in seeing how class dynamics are addressed. i also adore grayson perry (well, what i know about him, and his deconstruction of conventional ideas of masculinity and transvestism) and i feel like a lot of very interesting and important questions about women's relationship to fashion could begin to be unpacked here. we'll see!

secondly, the debate about cultural appropriation, specifically in relation to native stereotypes, rages on. thankfully, this debate is spreading like wildfire across the internet, and discussions are starting to arise about what actions need to be taken.
  • my culture is not a trend is really on fire, and a great resource for anyone interested in the topic. i really have to resist the urge to reblog every single one of their posts on tumblr! so good, so honest.
  • published in january of 2009 (so way before this firestorm of online discussion really took off, which i would say was the spring of this year), see light outlines how to define and identity cultural appropriation. it's been making the rounds on tumblr and i thought some of you might be interested in checking it out.
  • the comments on threadbared in response to the above pixie market advertisment are also amazing, as we have come to expect, appreciate and adore. all of these spaces we've carved out in the internet give me hope that we can bridge the gap between discussing the theoretical problems around cultural appropriation and the actions we can take to voice our opposition and encourage critical thinking around issues of "post"-colonialism in the fashion industry.
moving on!

along the same questions of "appropriation," we have this really well written and thought-provoking piece about the politics of the term genderqueer: questioning transphobia: appropriation of genderqueer identities. it is a very informative piece, definitely worth a read.

to end off our link sharing, here are two that the wonderful iris shared with me this week + an email tip-off:
last but not least, today is my little sister jasmine's birthday. so i thought i would take this opportunity to share the amazingness that is my relationship with my sisters with the internet, with the help of a few absurd photos:

jasmine being a supermodel for my etsy store

and of course, the trio:

justyne (the eldest), yours truly (middle child syndrome right here) and jasmine (the baby)
photo by simon dumas

christmas 2008 (yes those dresses were a joke)

now, to go rest my throbbing, aching head. hopefully this post was coherent!


Tiara said...

aww thank you julia! :D

Sibylle said...

love that white dress! if i wasn't already married, i would wear it as my wedding dress! Beautiful!

Andi B. Goode said...

I started reading the genderqueer appropriation article and didn't understand a single word. It completely broke my brain. But the 'difference between queer and lesbian' was good, though! I had a general idea of the word's usage but it's good to read another perspective. I will have to read the comments later because there are so many. One of my closest friends doesn't like the word queer, because of its negative history/associations (she is/identifies as a lesbian but, from what I believe, she's not a particularly political person).
-Andi x
P.S. You and your sisters are all gorgeous.

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