Fascism and the fashion world For the first time, i am turning over the production of a blog to two of my students, noah and christian.Read ahead to their blog and post a few commentaries an individual of france said to you,"You, your family, and your ancestors are not worthy of a french home!Your boots, clothes, and face are too ugly. "In the mid1900s, mussolini used his extreme belief in his own country(Fascism)To decide who belonged in the country.Respectively, in 2011, john galliano, former creative director of dior, thought only certain people could wear his clothing.As with the bar incident, you will realize that both galliano and mussolini were highly selective in the choice of who gets to be a part of their things. Maybe we were.Fashion is more than business in france:It's a mythology, a secular religion, a source of national pride, especially during fashion week, when the country recalls its history as the birthplace of haute couture. In recent days, though, in response to the antisemitic diatribe by christian dior's creative director, john galliano, the french have been recalling a far more ominous chapter in their history. According to witnesses, a drunken mr.Galliano exploded at a woman seated near him in a paris bar. "Dirty jewish face, you should be dead,"He is said to have told her. "Your boots are of the lowest quality, your thighs are of the lowest quality.You are so ugly i don't want to see you.I am john galliano! " France is highly sensitive to such matters, and reprisals came quickly.Dior fired mr.Galliano, who now faces charges of using a racial insult, a crime in france.But beyond the spectacle of one man's abhorrent politics, the episode invites consideration of the curious relationship between french fashion and fascism. During the occupation, the nazis and their french allies recognized the power and national prestige of the french fashion industry and sought to harness it.When the collaborationist vichy government took over direction of the french lifestyle magazine paris soir, it announced in its pages a"Summer of couture and shopping. "The nazis were so enamored with fashion's place in french culture that in their plans for postwar europe, they stipulated that, unlike other industries, the fashion sector would remain in france. Many in fashion were eager to play along.Lucien lelong, a designer who supported vichy and whose house stayed open during the war, saw couture as a political force: "Our role is to give france the face of serenity.The more elegant frenchwomen are, the more our country will show the world that we are not afraid. " French fashion publications advocated a deep connection between the cultural splendor of couture and frenchwomen's national, even genetic identity. "Every woman in paris is a living propaganda poster, the universal function of the frenchwoman is to remain chic,"Wrote one fashion journalist in the early 1940s. "Frenchwomen are the repositories of chic, because this inheritance is inscribed in their race,"Wrote another.And as vichy continued to toe the nazi line about aryan physical fitness, more french fashion magazines began focusing on exercise and diet for women. Although not everyone in the world of french fashion fell in line with fascist ideas, it's no coincidence that many did.After all, there are deep and unsettling parallels between the industry, particularly in europe, and fascism's antidemocratic aesthetic. Both, for example, rely on a handful of oracular, charismatic leaders who issue proclamations to(Select)Crowds.Fascist leaders offered their followers the prospect of an enhanced, mythic identity a dream of youth and beauty, the same attributes promised by high fashion. While fashion has moved far beyond the worst of the vichy years, the role of the stylized, quasimythical celebritydesigner remains in the form of figures likeMr.Galliano and chanel's karl lagerfeld;Mr. Galliano has been known to costume himself as a pirate or a Proustian dandy, whileMr.Lagerfeld sticks to a somewhat goth interpretation of an 18thcentury prussian officer. At the root of the whole system is the most elusive myth of all:The impossible promise that fashion can vanquish physical inadequacy and aging, conferring the beauty and youth we see on the runways and on every page of vogue a cult of physical perfection very much at home in the history of fascism. And although we insist on the racial diversity of fashion's current standards of beauty, the fascists' body ideal has persisted and expanded far beyond europe.The hallmarks of the nazi aesthetic blue eyes, blond hair, athletic fitness and sharpangled features are the very elements that define what we call the allamerican look, still visible in the mythic advertising landscapes of designers like(The decidedly nonaryan)Ralph lauren and calvin klein. Which brings us back to mr.Galliano in the paris bar.His was not a generic antisemitic tirade, but the selfconscious pronouncement of a worldclass arbiter of taste("I am john galliano! ").Not only did he use ethnic slurs, he accused the woman of being unattractive and unfashionable, associating both with ethnicity, with being jewish(Which she happened not to cheap ralph lauren uk be). The link is clear:Like a fascist demagogue of yore, he was declaring that she did not belong to the gilded group who wear the right boots, and from this mr.Galliano slid effortlessly to a condemnation of her very flesh, and a wish for her death. Last week the french daily le monde declared that by firing mr.Galliano, dior had sounded the"Death knell for the myth of the omnipotent designer. "That may be premature, given the myth's deep roots.But the drunken ramblings of one man in a bar may have set off an important discussion about a less pretty undercurrent in a multibilliondollar industry.Happy fashion week. Well, this was a interesting read.Ive never thought the idea of fascism as a fashion catalyst.Men like john galliano have everything in their life;Money, women, and talent.However, men like him live around fashion and beautiful women and i think he got what he deserved for saying what he said.Sure he was drunk and people do stupid things when drunk but the part whee he says"Dirty jewish face, you should be dead;"Had to be in his head somewhere.Whether or not he was drunk or not he had that idea in his head and his drunken state made him blurt it out.Unreasonable persecution is a disgusting thing, no matter what race.This shows that even celebrities and fashion designers aren aloud to voice their opinion if its racial offensive. I believe fascism has a direct correlation to fashion, as it does in sports, such as basketball as so mentioned by shadman today in class.To be part of ralphlaurenpoloshirts the fashion world, you must qualify for it.In other words, models must be tall, slender, have an athletic body, etc.In a fascism government, the standards apply as well;You must have specific qualifications in order to obtain a position.That said, i find the principle quite ridiculous because it is evident that no one is alike and there is not an ideal type of person nor people that share the exact characteristics.A person should not be judged based on their ethnicity, physical appearance, or social status, if not their character.That said, one should be recognized for one integrity, what one contributes to society, and what path will one persue in the future. I agree with clarissa.There should not be an ideal type of person and people shouldn share the same exact characteristics.Why follow the crowd and be where the fun in that?Everyone has unique characteristics that make them who they are which is great.Being an individual is way more important than being accepted in fashion.The media shoves that ideal type of person, mainly towards females, down our throats and frankly i am sick of it.The majority of the pictures in those magazines and billboard ads are photoshopped.However, when you make the comparison between fashion and fascism, you can see how it state(In the case of fashion i would say the media and how they portray ideal people)Is valued over the individual.No one should have to meet specif qualifications to be ideal.Being yourself is what makes you who you are and that what should be emphasized.It a shame society values looks so much. I believe that this article speak for many things that goes on in the fashion world that goes along with the idea of fascism.I never though of it but is true, a model to be part of the fashion world should be a certain weight, hight, sizes, and hair length it sometimes even goes into the model color of skin.In fascism you needed to be a certain way and look a certain way as well.It is important to point out that in both of these worlds their where always some type of expectations to always look up to, which make it so demanding.Which i think is rediculus because the reason why this world was made out of color is because people have different taste.I do agree with kayla and clarissa points on how people shouldn have those ideas of a perfect person. This guys rant at the bar compares with the propaganda of fascist leaders, because they both isolate the outsiders(Jews in both cases)And point out their faults(By saying the woman is wearing ugly boots)And make them seem like an enemy.In fascist states crippled poeple were not allowed in society, just like fat or peolpe who are not enough are shunned out of the model industry.And the likes of galliano are not going to just thin out because everyone has their own idea of what it is to be normal. I agree with rama and yamillet.In both fashion and fascism a person has to meet certain standards to be accepted in society, in the fashion world a model has to be this tall or weight this much and the clothes that are made by designers have to be also be first accepted before shown off.But i think that in the future the designers would try to make more clothes that can be good for the average person because not everyone are models.Also there may be designers and their creations john galliano that may thin out but will always be there for future designers for inspiration, so the ideal figure will always stay there.I actually told an aunt of mine that is actually a designer about this article and she wasn't so happy. To answer the question(Or at least try)The similarities b/w the and the speeches made are very apparent.The uses a negative racial term and speeches made by fascist leaders often expressed racism due to the extreme nationalist ideas they carried.Also the talks about a standard of both dress and body.Fasicsm held the concept of a certain standard of people and ideaology or be faced with consequences.The also had the name and idk if mussolini and hitler said their names but if they did then thats another similarity.From this articles, its very obvious how fascism affcted fashion for it set a high standard for people to appear as and many fell in line with fascism for the desire of this dream. Galliano's rant and the fascist leaders of the mid20th century have a similarity.Both are"Cult"In a specific area of behavior.Galliano uses the cult of physical perfection to design his clothes for dior.On the other hand, the fascist leaders use a cult of personality to persuade people that their cause is right.The differences are the extreme ways these people made.For example, fascist leaders employ forced to get what they desired, while galliano verbally communicates his ideals(Rant in the bar).Overall, fashion is developing a deeper connection with fascism.
- Related Links: