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A new Behind the Seams essay by Ana Kinsella

With the last of our round-up panels over, we are now officially saying goodbye to the S/S 2014 collections with an Behind the Seams essay by Ana Kinsella. The journalist focuses on fashion that celebrates women's diversity - in short 'smart' fashion. 

'Surely it's clear by now that it is reductive to view things like syrupy femininity or outré sex appeal as purely for a male audience. Women who wear provocative outfits may be doing it for their own reasons, dressing not necessarily for men and not always for women either,' she argues.

Read Kinsella's essay now for the final word on Spring/Summer 2014. 


  1. Jonathan Trevino
    16:06 26 Oct 2013
    If what the writer suggests about women expressing themselves for others through sexuality being dated and backward is what she believes, how is it relevant whether a gay designer was ever attracted to a woman? This alone is not only a negligent staement in terms of her thesis, its a very ognorant one in terms of her understanding of sexuality. Does she truely believe that sexuality plays no part in a homosexual persons (gay and lesbian) desire to dress the opposite sex? The most absurd thing about her Muglier/McQueen stab was that the writer projected her own sexual values in womens fashion onto the motives of homosexual men, the very same ogepn-holed values she tries to subvert in her thesis.
  2. Jonathan Trevino
    16:46 26 Oct 2013
    'Fashion', though it has its beauty, it is a beauty of one kind. Because of this, it is inherently pigeon-holed and boxed in.Hence much of the supposed "forward" thinking stemming from that industry having no solid ground in the visual reality of things. But though 'fashion' is a boxed in type of beauty, it has to be, thats how specificity works, especially for a business. If the formula works, stick to it. Yes, itd be great if fastfood tasted like homecooked meals or at least looked as yummy as the advertisement, but business doesnt sell truth, we know that true cliche. And 'fashion' doesnt sell truth either, much less beauty. Certainly not beauty proper, the beauty and truth long written about by philosophers, artists and historians which has room to expressively evolve. But that's ok. We just need to be more careful about trying to turn specific terms into synonyms. Beauty proper is not beauty as the beauty 'fashion' uses now. 'Fashion' is not fashion proper, the fashion of 'the street.' We know what fashion is as soon as we read or say it. We cringe depending on whos talking about it, but its always the same image. Fashion Proper has no image. Youll probably still think of 'fashion' when you hear it, but it is the fashion that lives in the public schools, neighborhoods and music of old and from traces of family history that dwindle down generations. Fashion proper has and always will naturally direct 'fashion'. Its own more apparent because the visual divide between the evolution of both systems is obviously less opaque. Though fashion proper precedes 'fashion' it still responds with an echoe, but the echoe prompts the next movement to continue the cycle. Most fashion issues come from confusions of terms and a lack of time put into really thinking about what they really mean. When i define fashion as a pigeon holed philosophy of beauty that individual designers and artists (photographers included) must work within, its not a stab at the industry or a defensive reaction to clearly beautiful people represented in every fashion image, its a step toward giving clear understanding that fashion is what it is and that the same cliched problems arise when people (writers included) think a haphazard thesis will change the fact that fashion is not revolutionary in terms of beauty or sexuality and clearly not gender. Though it is in terms of design, textile and ideas concerning clothes.Ad campaigns alone are the best evidence, visual evidence, of a pigeon holed philosophy that fashion must use to thrive on its beauty specific business. Everyone from photographer, stylist, makeup, assistants, unpaid assistants, unpaid interns, producers, studios, editors and especially retouchers, know this is a funny but true fact of 'fashion' in terms of beauty irrespective of clothes. This business is not the place for beauty proper, the amorphous beauty long contemplated, it is for 'fashion a stagnant pool of beautiful sirens who do not change but who remain forever fair, thin and young.