Some highlights from dressing Israel at the Tit-wrench benefit party last saturday…
Indigo denim pants, or blue pants as they’re more commonly known, are the epitome of iconographic garments. Historically they have symbolized a sexualized masculine rebellion from the class warfare of 19th century western miners, farmers and ranch hands, to the teenage rebellion of the 50′s embodied by western fashion icon, James Dean. While in popular culture they are seen as symbol of western class struggle, their production has always been classically oppressive (which means in every denim related labor struggle from the 30′s to the 90′s the state’s militia was used to kill union organizers and suppress economic democracy). As well, even the association of indigo denim with the American West is a reflection of American eurocentrism, as it ignores the original origins of the garment, which was with sailors in India, not white capitalists, surprise, surprise.
These days, the message of the indigo denim pants is worse. It has become a symbol of casual homogeneity, American nationalism, and middle class values of simplicity and conformity. Indigo denim has become almost invisible it is so common. Far from being a garment that conveys class consciousness, it has become everything from a businessman’s attempt to be “hip” to $300 pre- worn biking culottes with stickers that warn that the rips present when you buy them will become worse over time though you can “repair as you wish for a more vintage and personal look.”
By using recycled indigo denim as fetish gear and as an outfit for erotic dancing, we at the Free Boutique celebrate the radical sexualization of the working class, while undermining the nascent conformity of indigo denim as the benchmark of the status quo.
So I had the wonderful opportunity to be the mansy stylist for the recent Free Boutique fashion show. The Free Boutique, as you well know, is the only fashion forward free store in the world, so all these looks were made without spending a dime. The fashion direction was Deserted Palace and is a fall collection inspired by runaway tsarinas, broken chandeliers, sand dunes on the dance floors, that type of thing. This show came up unexpectedly, and since it’s been a while since the last donation party, the free b. clothes were pretty well picked over, but despite all that, I think I did a pretty good job! Here are my favorite looks as modeled by Yuzo, Olive and Noah.
As much as I’d like to take credit for thinking of the ripped jean/tights combo, they were directly stolen from the Bubbledome but since she is a post-apocalyptic giant cage of fashion smack downs, I figure she won’t mind a little pilfering now and again. Plus this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve been called the Stolen Store!
We have been wanting to do fashion shows ever since the free b. started but have never gotten around to it, but now that it’s on, you can expect a lot more! I had so so so much fun putting it all together and it was hilahrious to see my friends’ personalities transform into ditzy models in a matter of hours. Noah for example, was perhaps the cutest, as soon as he was dressed, it was like an episode of America’s Top Model and after a few hours he and his model cohorts were lap dancing, prancing around, constantly posing and at one point, found a bar of chocolate and had a chocolate makeout party… Models! I guess it goes to show that the absolute power of fashion corrupts absolutely!
Here’s the song that inspired the name of the collection by the supér Jean Michel Jarre:
deserted palace – jean michel jarre
Oh, and this isn’t a mansy look, but isn’t Geyl looking beautiful!