This season Project Runway welcomed its first-ever Native American designer, textile artist Patricia Michaels. The show raps up tonight and the Taos, New Mexico designer is one of the final three competitors.
But whether Michaels wins or loses tonight, having her viewpoint and hand-crafted talents highlighted on one of the most popular shows on TV has been, quite honestly, a welcome change from several recent factory-made fashion appropriations of Native American culture.
It's no wonder that there's a spot for Gossip Girl's Blair in the competitive world of fashion: she's the daughter of the creator of Waldorf Designs, she attended an elite private school where she gained connections to high society, and her family has no shortage of money. But for less privileged, real-life aspirants who move to New York in search of fashion dream jobs, the workforce is not so glamorous.
Indeed, clothing and our gendered relationship to it continues to be a site of analysis, performance, and resistance for feminist artists. How appropriate, then, that a new exhibition in Mexico City showcases the wardrobe of one of the art world's most beloved feminist icons. Las Apariencias Engañan (Appearances Can be Deceiving) features more than 300 pieces from Frida Kahlo's personal collection of dresses, costumes, medical paraphernalia, and accessories.
Buying a gift for a fashionista can be one tough nut to crack. Do you want to dazzle and impress, but have no idea what the difference between a cowl neck and a crew neck is? Are you as ensembly challenged as Amber from Clueless? Fear not! Here at Bitch, we understand that navigating the fashion world can be daunting to the unfamiliar. So we've compiled a list of our most favorite finds for the trendsetter in your life. Don't waste another minute stressing! Take the scotch tape out and get ready to put a bird bow on it.
Chicago-based artist Sandie Yi is the virtuoso behind Crip Couture, an avant-garde wearable art project for disabled people seeking to redefine constricting standards of beauty, agency and "normalcy."
Yi transforms traditional, uninspired prosthetics and orthotics into tailor-made creations for clients, taking into account the individual's needs, desires and state of mind. The point is not to manufacture conventional, "corrective" physical aids that blend in with the status quo; instead these innovative pieces capitalize on the diverse beauty found in disabled bodies, highlighting difference and redefining not only fashion but disability itself.
Last night I pried myself away from the hot bodies of the London Games to watch a documentary about a different group of people who make their living with their hot bodies: supermodels. Timothy Greenfield Sanders' feature-length HBO film About Face: Supermodels Then and Now gives viewers plenty to look at but, like they say about beauty itself, this documentary is only skin deep.
As a tomboy bride, I BARELY wanted to wear a dress, let alone something that looked like to me like a cupcake.
The wedding industry, and pop culture in general, is so bossy about what everyone's experience of gender is. Hey, Wedding Crap Culture! Not everyone is a pile of princess fantasies! And stop telling all humans to lose weight! Stop counseling us all on up-dos!
"What will your wedding day hair be, Michael?" It will just be my hair. It's short and sits there on my head quite well.
If you've ever felt disturbed by how cheap the tank tops were at H&M—but bought one anyway—you're not alone. In her illuminating new book, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, Elizabeth Cline writes that the average American buys 64 pieces of new clothing a year, or a little more than one item a week. Much of it comes from "fast fashion" chain stores, which produce cheap clothes in massive quantities for the purpose of creating new trends that cycle out every few weeks, then sell them for next to nothing. Even secondhand stores can't keep up with the clothing we discard anymore, Cline writes; she visited one Salvation Army in Brooklyn that processes a staggering five tons of used clothes a day.
So how did we get here? In a phone interview with Bitch, Cline explains what's happening with the U.S. garment industry—and what it means for our jobs, our shopping habits, and our sense of responsibility to the world around us.