Feminist Fashion

1When we talk about feminism, or, more accurately, the antithesis of feminism, we often bring up the ’50s housewife and/or pinup girl fashion. We envision a woman who wore beautiful dresses and heels every day while milling around the house, dusting, sweeping, and baking a picture-perfect Betty Crocker devil’s food cake for the sock hop. She was subservient to her husband, devoted to her children, and never seen in anything less than her best. She didn’t “work,” though her housework never ended, and her opinions were largely dismissed with a pat on the head.

Thankfully, American society has come a rather long way from that time, now that 47 percent of our workforce is made up by women. And we’d venture to say we’re all pretty happy about that. We’ve rejected most of the things that were treasured in that era, including segregation, blatantly sexist and racist laws (sort of), smoking indoors and Wonder Bread. But one thing we haven’t quite given up is the fashion.

2There’s actually been a rather significant trend of rockabilly fashion, more commonly known as pinup fashion, which evokes a sexier, more exaggerated version of the ’50s housewife aesthetic: Including but not limited to candy-colored dresses, high heels, perfectly coiffed hair, and precisely applied makeup.

And let’s be real: It’s gorgeous. But for those of us who are proud feminists, it can be hard to rationalize loving a fashion style that came from a time when women were oppressed even more so than they are today. There’s no way pinup fashion could be feminist, right? Actually, that’s not entirely true. Here are seven reasons why embracing our inner ‘50’s housewife fashionista is actually empowering for women:

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1. It reclaims femininity in an empowering way.

There’s an antiquated notion that power and self-determination are purely masculine traits. This belief is probably singlehandedly responsible for the rise of the pantsuit (sorry Hillz) in the ’70s and ’80s when women started going into the workforce en masse. The idea was that, in order to be respected, women needed to emulate men’s fashion choices to blend in as much as possible.

We know now, of course, that feminine doesn’t mean weak. A woman can dominate the workplace in a tutu if she so desires — and those ’50s housewives were strong and capable as any man, they just weren’t aware there was another way to show it other than being a good homemaker, wife, and mother. Pinup fashion embraces the gorgeous aesthetic of the era while also propelling it into the 21st century. Its main message: Femininity was and will always be powerful.

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2. It embraces a wide range of body types.

Back in the day, when photos of pinup girls were hung up in army barracks and adorned mud flaps, the women were largely white and largely thin. These days, women of all sizes have been not only invited but encouraged to participate. There’s no height or weight requirement to be a pinup girl. Also, tattoos are welcome (if not encouraged), whereas in most modeling communities they are shunned. So inked ladies needn’t shy away!

The coolest part of this, in my opinion, is that a good amount of famous pinup models do tours around the world, inviting women to come meet them, get their hair done, be dressed in pinup-style clothing, and do a photo shoot with them. Up until her recent explosion to fame, Tess Holliday regularly did this with her fans (and hopefully still will).

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3. The pinup fashion community supports itself.

Fashion can be a vicious industry, especially when models and designers are encouraged to compete with one another for who looks the best. Because feminism is (or at least should be) about women lifting each other up, the feminist attributes of any fashion trend or subculture could be considered dubious when one considers the intense emphasis on competition.

While the pinup community is in no way exempt from this (it is on the Internet, after all), women in the pinup community support each other publicly and frequently help each other out by doing clothing swaps, giveaways, offering makeup and hair lessons on YouTube, and writing tutorials.

74. There isn’t an age limit.

Because pinup fashion is inherently an older style, you can be any age and still rock the look. In fact, the older you are, the likelier it is you or your family has some authentic ’50s fashion items laying around.

8 - Copy5. Quirky is good.

Even though it’s a fashion niche, pinup fashion allows women to express their individual style in tons of ways, whether it’s color combinations, hairstyles, tattoos, or themes in their clothing.

9 - Copy6. Strength is encouraged.

Pinup girls aren’t wallflowers. They’re ballsy, strong and the epitome of in-your-face attitude. They might get strange looks in public but they feel absolutely fabulous and couldn’t care less!

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7. It’s becoming increasingly diverse.

The modern day pinup fashion community still has a bit of a racial diversity problem (that’s another article for another time), but every day there are more and more badass women of color joining the fun. Hopefully they feel welcome, so we’ll see even more inclusivity across the board. Plus, how gorgeous is Angelique Noire in this photo!? More please!

Source: The Bustle

Stylinity

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A new app that pays you for your fashion selfies

Love shopping and sharing selfies in your new outfits, but wish you’d get a few more likes? You guessed it: There’s an app for that. “Stylinity” connects retailers with their customers, letting users easily share shoppable images and earn rewards for the purchases that they help influence.

With Stylinity, users scan the barcode on products that they try on, which attaches a shoppable link and product description along with any photos they share of themselves wearing the products. That way, if their friends want to buy the product, they don’t have to go scrambling to a store or scout for it online — there’s a direct link to it. It’s a win-win scenario: users earning reward points from the retailers the app partners with redeemable for cash or products.

It’s like an automated photo booth in the dressing room.  It plays on the fun part of discovery, without the tedium of having to search for products.

The app has partnerships with over 180 retailers — from Nordstorm to Urban Outfitters — and caters largely to women in the 18-34 age range. It not only lets users store their images in a “closet” and reap the benefits of being brand evangelists, but also enables retailers to get word-of-mouth publicity as well as provide a better customer experience for its customers.

U.K.-based fast fashion e-retailer Boohoo partnered with Stylinity last October, when it opened a pop-up store in New York City. Stylinity helped the brand generate considerable buzz among its target audience in what was its first step to expand outside of the U.K.

Style

A new app that pays you for your fashion selfies

Shoppable images have been promising to revolutionize e-commerce lately, without quite fully delivering yet. They help brands monetize their large social followings go from merely “liking” pictures on social platforms, to actually making a purchase. Companies like Curalate, for example, help brands use their profile links to direct visitors from pictures on social media directly to their retail websites.

Stylinity is different because a selfie is authentic, user-generated content. It doesn’t repel customers and makes brands more real.  Will you be checking out Stylinity?

Source: DigDay

Seedy Valentine

How pleasantly surprised I was this morning while browsing my favorite sustainable news source, Feelgood Style.  If you’re a sucker for wildflowers and sustainability – you’ll love this DIY Valentine.  If you aren’t familiar with seed paper, allow me to getcha up to date.

Seed Paper is a plantable, biodegradable paper product that can be used just like paper.

Seed Paper is a plantable, biodegradable paper product that can be used just like paper.

Seed paper is a special paper is handmade by using post-consumer materials.  The paper is embedded with wildflower, herb or vegetable seeds.  When you plant the paper in a pot of soil or outside in a garden, the seeds in the paper germinate and grow into plants.  I’m challenging myself to have a sustainable Valentine’s day this year with the help of seed paper.  I am refusing to participate with the 145 million others in our annual Valentine’s glossy card sending.  This doesn’t mean I’m giving up Valentine’s Day – it just means we need to think about Valentine ideas that are more about the love and less about the stuff.  I think these seed paper hearts are the perfect alternative to conventional Valentine’s Day cards.  And your sassy Valentine can plant and enjoy the flowers they produce for much longer than they’d probably display a paper card.

Seed Paper Valentine by Scott Meeks, Crafting a Green World

Valentine-Idea-Seed-Paper-Hearts-300x300What You Need

  • 1 cup of ripped-up newspaper or junk mail
  • 2 cups of water
  • Wildflower seeds
  • 3 heart-shaped mini aluminum pie tins or silicone molds
  • 2 large bowls
  • Blender

Prep Your Paper

  1. Tear the newspaper or junk mail into small pieces. This is the perfect task for tiny hands that need something to do! Be sure to throw in a few small pieces of red or pink paper.
  2. In a blender, blend the water and paper until it’s a chunky. It should look like oatmeal.
  3. Dump the mixture into a bowl.
  4. Take handfuls of the pulp and squeeze out most of the water. The pulp should now be moist, but not sopping wet.
  5. Put your squeezed-out pulp into a clean bowl.

Make Your Seed Paper

  1. Sprinkle your pulp with wildflower seeds and gently mix with your fingers.
  2. Divide your pulp into three equal parts.
  3. Mash each part into the mini pie tins or silicone molds.
  4. You can pat the tops dry with a cloth to get rid of excess moisture.
  5. After 24 hours, pop the paper hearts out of the tins and place them on a cookie rack for another 24 hours to finish drying.
  6. Attach these hearts to homemade cards or simply wrap them in wax paper and give away as Valentines.

Get non-toxic and cruelty free beauty and health tips from our source, FeelGoodStyle!

Pope Francis

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Ken Adam’s “The Devils”

As the January sales season nears in the West, Pope Francis will call on shoppers not to buy products which may have been made by modern-day slaves – whatever the savings.  In a speech to be delivered on January 1 entitled “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters,” the Pope will say that despite the financial crisis, consumers should think twice before buying “items which may have been produced by exploiting others.”

Photographer Marc Hom

Photographer Marc Hom

For their part, businesses “have a duty to be vigilant that forms of subjugation or human trafficking do not find their way into the distribution chain.”  His message, published by the Vatican on Wednesday, December 10, slams “the growing scourge of man’s exploitation by man,” an “abominable phenomenon” covering everything from forced prostitution to child soldiers and slave labor in factories.

Lara Stone Vogue Paris December 2009

Lara Stone Vogue Paris December 2009

He warns that a common source of slavery is “corruption on the part of people willing to do anything for financial gain.”  He notes that slave labour and trafficking “often require the complicity of intermediaries”, pointing the finger at “law enforcement personnel, state officials, or civil and military institutions.”

Dolce & Gabbana Fall Winter 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Fall Winter 2014

According to the 2014 Global Slavery index, published last month, nearly 36 million men, women and children are trapped in modern-day slavery, the definition of which ranges from forced marriages to people coerced into prostitution, fighting wars or manual labor like picking cotton.

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Kate Moss – W Magazine

The 77-year-old pope calls for better cooperation between countries to combat “the transnational networks of organized crime” and bemoans the “context of general indifference” in which tales of slavery are heard.

French designer Jean-Charles Castelbajac

French designer Jean-Charles Castelbajac

In the speech he says his thoughts go to refugees and migrants “deprived of freedom”, who “in order to remain within the law, agree to disgraceful living and working conditions” as well as those rendered “objects of trafficking for the sale of organs, for recruitment of soldiers, for begging.”

Crucifix heels

Crucifix heels

“I think also of persons forced into prostitution, many of whom are minors, as well as male and female sex slaves… (of) women forced into marriage, those sold for arranged marriages and those bequeathed to relatives of deceased husbands,” he says.