Alright, so I might as well tell you up front. I have a problem. That’s right, an addiction, so to speak. As an anarchist I try and try to justify this, resulting in schizy posts like this, but in the end, there is really no excuse. If it’s any consolation, I still do not own a tv and commercials make me dizzy! But seriously, ever since I went on a Rubí telenovela rampage, I’ve been addicted to sweeping melodrama, and since I know how much you love this column, I’m sure you’ll have no problem talking about….. Gossip Girl!!!
And what better time! Bart Bass (Chuck Bass’ father) is DEAD and Chuck Bass is going to, fashionably, lose it! Okay, Okay here’s my theory: Sketchy cop Andrew Taylor kills Bart Bass either because he is getting fired OR because of Dan Humphrey’s article about how B.Bass killed someone in that fake real estate fire OR because he found out some crazy shit about Lily and then, and then, Chuck finds out about it and wants to destroy Lily…?! So my theory isn’t fully thought out yet! Eitherway, my inside sources say that next week’s episode is going to be a real tear jerker! But, let’s get back to the fashion…
An Intro to Chuck Bass Fashion
Since we’re talking about one of the trashiest shows on tv, let’s not fuck around here. Chuck Bass is a fashion icon because his look is constructed by gg stylist Eric Daman, whose stated purpose in designing Chuck’s fashion is to undermine heteronormative symbology. To quote Daman, “Girls do it, so now it’s time for the guys to step up and get rid of those ugly T-shirts and square-toed shoes.” Simple, but to the point.
But here’s the real question, what makes Chuck Bass’ fashion so… meow? In my opinion, it is because Daman employs the strategies of confrontational eccentricity to evoke the symbols that we associate with wealth and heteronormativity and twists them in such a way that irrevocably undermines them. Chuck is too sharp, his look is too constructed, he is too sensual, he is too fashion conscious to be your average straight rich white man. He doesn’t blend in and he doesn’t want to, which sets him at odds with all the other men’s fashion in the show and the constructed masculinity of mainstream men’s fashion in general. That is and will always be the role of Chuck Bass, fashion anarchist… okay, I know that goes too far!
But that is not to say that Eric Daman has originated this approach to fashion, I suspect he is a little more than influenced by cultures like the Congelese Sapeurs pictured here:
Like Eric Daman, the Sapeurs utilize fashion to undermine authoritarian gender roles but take it much further. Their stance as non-violent, polite, fashion forward gentlemen puts them directly at odds with the militaristic climate of the Congo, and in doing so, demonstrates the radical and anti-authoritarian power of fashion. If you would like to find out more, there is a wonderful site from the documentarian Hector Mediavilla, with music and background stories for the pictures all about the Sapeurs here.
But back to gg! Let’s not forget the best part, his sequin blazer!!! aaah!!!
And here’s one of my Chuck Bass outfits…
Btw, when is Chuck going to give up on Blair and find a nice boy to settle down with! Let’s not forget that in Cecily von Ziegesar’s original Gossip Girl book series Chuck is bisexual and his conflict with Dan Humphrey originates over Dan sleeping with Chuck’s boyfriend Greg, which is a far cry from the waspy “tolerance” in the tv version… Maybe there will be a Chuck romance with Eric Vanderwoodsen? it would be nice to see him step out of the token shadow a little! (Plus, it sounds like Ed Westwick has internalized a little bit of the og Chuck, because last I heard there was definitely something brewing with co-star Chace Crawford…?!)