We launched our Girly project early this month with a live fashion film shoot examining 'fashion's relationship with overt, cartoon femininity'. We're excited to publish three essays further exploring different facets of the 'girly' trend - internet aesthetics, Luella and the problems of reclaiming girlishness.
In an extract from her academic article The Problematics of Reclaiming the Girlish: The Powerpuff Girls and Girl Power, professor and expert on children's media Rebecca Haines deconstructs the 'girl power' movement, citing nineties cultural references from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the PowerPuff Girls to the Spice Girls. She explores the messages of 'girl power' and their appropriation by advertisers as well as the contradictions present in this incarnation of feminism, 'the relationship between girl power’s pro-girl rhetoric and its emphasis on the construction of a circumscribed feminine appearance must not be underestimated. As one crisis girls face is a preoccupation with their looks, emphasising appearance is problematic, but appearance is central to girl power’s attempts to reclaim the girlish.'
MATCHESFASHION.COM's senior writer and shopping editor Chris Hobbs contributes an essay on fashion and the language of the web - inspired by the fact the 'girly' trend is heavily prevalent on and often inspired by social media sites such as Tumblr and Instagram. A self-confessed emoji addict, Hobbs writes about the fashion industry's use of these internet aesthetics, 'Daubing your brand in these mini pictures, for the moment at least, says 'we’re young, we’re with it and we’re a little bit off-centre.''
Finally, fashion writer Ana Kinsella offers an ode to designer Luella Bartley and her influence on the current wave of girly fashion. 'While Luella's English Girl might be an idiosyncratic character, straight from the wardrobe of Withnail and I by way of the King’s Road, her wares appealed to a myriad of types.'
Enjoy our three new essays while you wait for the fashion film - launching next week. And stay tuned for more content including an essay by writer and regular SHOWstudio panel guest Bertie Brandes, as well as interviews with fashion insiders who play key roles in making 'girly' popular - designer Ryan Lo and stylists Louby Mcloughlin and Lola Chatterton.