Such an enjoyable comment thread on fashion no-no's last week! And the timing couldn't be better, what with fashion in the news: Dunkin' Donuts caving to pressure to pull a commercial because Rachel Ray was wearing a black and white scarf (which looked vaguely like, but was not, a Palestinian keffiyah), and the premiere of "Sex & the City."
Regarding the Dunkin' flap, um, what else is there to say? Fashion-wise, the choice was terrible: that mouse-colored t-shirt, that brown handbag, that ratty two-tone scarf. I can't believe a stylist was actually involved, as DD said; it looks like the kind of outfit I'd wear to walk Milo down to the library and return some books, not to appear on national television. Politically? Come on, people. If you can't wear a black and white scarf on television then the terrorists really have won. Ridiculous non-controversy on every level, or should have been.
I saw one episode of SATC ever, and hated it, and never watched again. My understanding is that women who like it like the portrayal of strong female friendship and enjoy the fantasy element; those who don't like it don't like the materialism and retrograde gender stereotypes. Seems a fair enough assessment. I saw the one where Aidan drags Carrie out for a rural weekend, and just didn't think it was funny; it was rehashed "Green Acres" only without the surrealism.
But I liked the Carrie Bradshaw fashion ideal, as I understood it second-hand. There's a good article in Slate about Carrie's aesthetic, and how the movie, ultimately, betrayed it by being too much about designer labels and not enough about creativity and quirkiness. Julia Turner writes:
...Carrie mixed it up, combining dime-store finds with high-end pieces, wearing fur to Yankee stadium and a white tuxedo jacket over a threadbare Mickey Mouse T on a date. Above all, she valued looks that showcased the unexpected. (That and her great legs.) Some of these were beautiful, and some were pure disasters, but, regardless, Carrie offered an admirable model of how a woman should relate to her wardrobe: She should not unthinkingly adopt the latest thing; she can admire high-end designers without worshipping them; she should use her clothes as a means to express who she is and to become who she wants to be.
I couldn't agree more. And perhaps that explains my recent blog obsession: We Love Hijab. The title sort of sums it up; it's a fashion blog for Muslim women who wear hijab and follow traditional rules of modest dress. (Not all Muslim women feel that that's necessary, and if you want to meet some Muslimahs who will rock your world and preconceived notions, check out Muslimah Media Watch.)
In an odd sort of way, We Love Hijab reminds me of PeaceBang's fashion blog, Beauty Tips for Ministers. The religion and style sense may differ, but the underlying themes are the same: that fashion and beauty are not trivial. That since our visual appearance communicates to others, we'd better take control of that message. That both style and God, as well as the devil, are in the details. That "fun" and "sacred" aren't mutually exclusive categories.
And We Love Hijab has some great taste and ideas, that are practical for ordinary women whether you'd wear the scarf over your head or around your neck. I love their outfits and profiles of "haute hijabis." Here's one of their recommended ensembles:
Isn't that pretty? Pink and brown are such a striking color combination; the of-the-moment boots and bag balance the classic trench, and the animal-print scarf punches the whole thing up a notch and keeps it from being too boringly classic. And it's dignified and pretty and professional-looking and something you could imagine an actual woman (not Carrie Bradshaw) actually wearing.
I wish there were more fashion and beauty blogs that have real content--I don't mean religious, but substantive and smart, with more cultural analysis than just "buy this, buy that, here's what Celebrity X is wearing this month." (Hmm ... while Googling "We Love Hijab" to see if it's mentioned on other blogs, I also found this great Muslim fashion site--Hijabtrendz. A quick once-over looks very promising! I'd take a wardrobe makeover from these ladies anytime. "Muslimah Eye for the Jewish Girl," anyone?)
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