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Alter Identity Project

8 Nov

For my alter identity final project, I chose to focus on Teen pregnancy. I chose to do teen pregnancy because it’s something we see a lot today and people view them differently. I also chose to do this project because I want to know how it feels to be stared at, I want to put myself in teen moms shoes. For dress I will be creating a fake belly and wear it under my clothes. I will be observing how people look at me and how I am treated differently when I’m pregnant and how it made me feel. Since this is teen pregnancy I will be wearing clothing brands that young women wear. For example, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Skate/ Surf brands and Pink by Victoria Secret. I will be visiting grocery stores, going to family functions, church, work, and even out with friends.

Teen pregnancy is hard because you are young and put your life on hold. You can’t do certain things you did before you were pregnant. A lot of people have different opinions on teen pregnancy. For example my parents are very traditional and feel that someone should be married before having a baby. I feel by doing this project everyone close aroud me can learn something from it as well.



Dress, Gender and Public Display

1 Nov

A females exposed body parts can mean different things in different cultures. In this chapter they give comparisons on the Kalabari tribe and the Euro American women. In the Kalabari tribe the way a woman is dressed starts with child hood and physical maturation and ends with the expected status of marriage. Dress tells a lot because the horizontal lines of women wrappers and blouses emphasize the roundness of the fertile or potentially fertile woman. The Kalabari tribe has an ideal shape for a woman’s body. The more plumped they were the more they where ready to give birth to a child.  The meaning of having a wider waist was to show people that they have given childbirth and contributed to the tribe.

It’s true how a woman’s body is always more exposed then a male’s body. It can be different occasions, as a uniform, or even on a daily basis. I think this statement is true because at my old job at Hot Dog on a Stick, the girls would wear short shorts and a semi tight shirt. The guys would wear long shorts with loose fitting shirt. All the uniforms looked the same but the girls attire always had to be a bit more revealing. Even in special occasions as in a wedding the bride is meant to wear white to show she is a virgin. It’s tradition to wear white on your wedding day but today it is rare to see that. A lot of bridal companies make their dresses in ivory. The wedding dresses expose skin on the shoulders and arms and sometimes shows a lot of cleavage. A man’s attire to the wedding is a suit that covers him from neck to toe. I feel like woman today feel like the only way they can feel “sexy” or secure is to show a lot of skin to catch a male’s attention. It’s sad because a man should be attracted to you for who you are and not how much clothes you are wearing.

Ivory wedding dress

Tribal woman exposing skin

Even at work women show more skin then men

Desire and Dread: Alexander McQueen

25 Oct

Alexander McQueen was in incredible designer. He graduated from MA Fashion Design course at Central Saint Martins in London in February 1992. His first collection was Victorian inspired. He focused on the dark side of the nineteenth century. His collections were dark and fierce. The themes of sex, death and commerce intertwined. People viewed his collections the wrong way. He showed women being abused and the themes were on rape, war, sex and death. But the inspiration came from the power of women. He likes to portray women as strong instead of a victim. It was the relationship between victim and aggressor. Marquis de Sade had the same views.

I have always heard of Alexander McQueen but never took the time to see his work. But after researching and looking at his work he became one of my favorite designers. At first while reading, since I didn’t know much about him, I was a little bit shocked and frightened. What he used for his inspiration for his designs was a little out there to me. I then did some research and it made more sense to me. The details he does on his garment are amazing. The shapes and curves and the structure where eye catching. I couldn’t stop looking at his work. I kept researching and researching. Just by looking at his work I found inspiration. He inspired me and made me open my eyes to things that can get your mind thinking and that any thing can be an inspiration. He inspired me with the lace details on a window display. I wish I could own a piece of his clothing. Taking this class has opened my mind to being creative and when looking at something to really observe it, look at the detail and really take it in.


Embodying the Single Girl in 1960’s

23 Oct

“Fashion photography in this period shifted stylistically, giving expression to the Single Girl ethos. The model is shot outside, often walking, or running; she is ‘active'”.

“Audrey Hepburn marks a transitional moment in the move from haute couture to pret-à-porter, seemingly anticipating the new ideal promoted by Helen Gurley Brown. … She is remembered for the black turtleneck and capri pants that she wears frolic as yet unreformed in the cafés of Paris”.

“In the 1960’s, fashion editors looked for a ‘face’ that was somehow ‘new’ , or different, while focusing on a certain almost perverse image of girlishness”.

Fashion from women has changed over time. In the 1960’s women started being independent and had careers. A women’s body was now free from all the constraints of the previous fashions. The constraints were now being replaced with diet and exercise. In the 1960’s there was an ideal of the single girl. Through fashion photography, women in the 1960’s would look and want to be this ideal girl. Fashion photography and women’s fashion made a new feminine ideal. The ideal girl dominated the feminine culture. She was young, single, and economically self-sufficient. Fashion photography in this period shifted stylistically, giving expression to the Single Girl’s characteristics. The women or model would usually be shown and photographed outside, often walking, or running. She was active and shows that this new ideal showed youth. I still think that it is still influenced today because the woman you see in the magazines are thin, physically active, and pretty much your “ideal woman”. I mean I know that a lot of it is Photoshop but I still think that the fashion industry still tries to continue with the ideal size and shape of a woman’s body should be. We still look up to celebrities and see what they wear and want to be like them.

The film industry took part of it, as well as woman’s magazine. The “ working girl”, became the main target customer in 1965, when editor Helen Gurley Brown revamped Cosmopolitan Magazine. The working girl was the one who set fashion standards. But there was a difference of the working girl and the career girl that people would mix up. Haute, high class, couture was catered to the wealthy women of leisure, who had time and money to afford a wardrobe. Ready-to-wear was for woman of limited time and money and for whom fashion was useful as well as pleasurable. Ready-to-wear is the same today as it was in the 1960’s. It’s still made in factories and in standard sizes, which most women of today can afford instead of high-end couture clothing. Ready-to-wear clothing is now a lot more popular because a lot of people cant afford really expensive things. Ready-to-wear lines were important because the represent a shift away from formal evening gowns and a European look. Aubrey Hepburn marks a transitional moment in the movement from haute couture to pret-a-porter (ready-to-wear). She is remembered for the black turtleneck and the black Capri pants. In the 1960’s editors looked for “the face” of something new, different and also the image of girlishness. And that’s how Twiggy was discovered. She was 5’6, and weighed 91 pounds. They identified her as the “youthquake”. This chapter did have some similarities to how fashion is today.


Manliness, Modernity and the Shaping of Male Clothing

18 Oct

“Any man, whatever his build, can always be measured with the great accuracy by means of the common inch tape…”

“…urged readers who were making the transition from theory to practice to ‘remember always that your hands are going about sensitive intelligent man, and not a horseblock”.

When I read this quote I thought about Abercrombie& Fitch

” Here a well-proportioned physical frame, with dress cut tightly to suggest muscular form and brightly to accentuate the possession of fashionable knowledge, could stand as a symbol of modernity; and to the wearer at least these attributes could come together to constitute a form of sexual attractiveness”.

The chapter talks about how in the late eighteenth century; tailors would make one pattern that fit the ideal body. The ideal body was average height, about 5’10 and had an athletic fit. Then eventually realized that the pattern they used didn’t fit every male body and that even man was different. They learned how to measure the different body parts required to make a perfect fit. They even learned to stand and kneel down when taking a measurement of a part of the body where the male may feel insecure.

When I think about men and fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is that that in present day I have met a lot of men that don’t pay a lot of attention to what they wear. But I have noticed walking down the street that there are a lot of men that do. Some men can wear the same outfit all day and some change up to two to three times a day. Reading the chapter I noticed that men are usually the tailors. Men know about structure and how the male’s body is built. But I also question myself on how there are a lot of male fashion designers that design for women’s apparel. I noticed that women designers are good at draping and knows women’s curves and add a feminine touch to the garment. A male designer knows and is well at structural design. A tailor knows and specializes in a male’s body structure. Everyone’s body is different. Every male’s body is different and talented tailors can make a suit on any shape and size. I also noticed that in movies when a wealthy man is getting fitted for a suit of just getting fitted for a special occasion the tailor is a male. I think if you have the money to pay to get your suit tailored I would. It would fit more comfortably and fit you perfectly.


Performing Selfhood

16 Oct

” The major artistic genre in Elizabeth and Jacobean England was the art of portraiture. This is a medium through which the costumed body in Renaissance England can be examined.”

” The Renaissance was also the golden age of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.”

” The costumed body in that period was, as i shall show, a site of mediation between real life, the visual arts and the art of the theatre. All these areas of human activity participated in the discourse of performance, which was paradigmatic to the age.”

Real life, the art of the theatre and visual arts such as portraiture all share a relationship with performance. The clothing had life and meaning. The costumed body in the Renaissance era was visual and was very dramatic. The art of portraiture was very popular in the Renaissance. It was used as self-advertisement for the powerful people in the English society. It has been the most important source for the study of the costume in this period. Theatre was also popular in the Renaissance because it was the age of Shakespeare. All the clothing was similar in style but there was a distinction of reality versus imagination. The wardrobe of theatrical costumes was everyday apparel.

When they say that ‘all the world’s a stage’, the first thing that I think of is that you got to look your best when your going out into the real world. First impressions always count. When you’re meeting someone new or even seeing the same people all the time. I like to be comfortable all the time. I’m a simple person that wear’s basic clothing. I dress up for special occasions or when I feel the confidence to. I sometimes I wish I could be one of those people that do their hair, makeup and dress their best everyday.

It would have been interesting to live in the Renaissance era. The dress was so theatrical and dramatic. The way the dresses were made with royal colors and how women wore corsets to be thinner. Of course you would have to be wealthy to own many dresses in all different styles. But just to be elegant everyday is a lot of work but seems so fancy and exciting.


When they are veyl’d on purpose to be seene

11 Oct

Scold’s Bridle

Inspiration used in Fashion today:

“plain metal cage fitting tightly round a person’s head with metal gag protruding inside”

“One does not see these fans in action, but numerous contemporary texts imply that they were used to cover the remaining part of the naked face”

” a black half mask, covering the upper half of the face, was a common winter accessory worn by well-to-do women in London”

Masks were worn, non-masquerade, by women in the seventeenth and eighteenth century in London. At first when you wore a mask it was to conceal a person’s identity and would make you a stranger. No one wanted to be a stranger because in the post-modern context it wasn’t a good thing to be a stranger. When women were punished they had to wear the ‘scold’. The scold bridle was a mask of plain metal cage that is fitted tightly around a person’s head with a metal gag protruding inside. Women had to wear this on her head and it caused great attention that everyone in the village knew she was being punished. The population grew in London that it was normal to be strangers. During the first half of the 17th century the half black mask was known. It covered the upper half of the face and was common in the winter. Fans were also common accessories in the winter. The fans were not used in action but were used to cover the remaining part of the naked face. The fan and mask have a relationship together because they both protect the face. The masks were worn to help not to make eye-to-eye contact with others. One of the main reasons to wear the winter mask was to help protect the delicate skin of the face from the cold. It also played the role of disguise. It helped hide facial expressions but affects communication.  Masks would catch attention; they wear the mask on purpose to be seen.

Reading a doing a little research was interesting of how the meaning of the mask changed over time. How at first it was a punishment, to protection of the skin and then to women wearing them purposely to attract attention to themselves. It was a good history knowledge.