Most Fashion Shows are Grotesque Costume Parties
Shôn Ellerton, August 5, 2022
Today’s fashion shows seem as intent as ever to make fashion as unfashionable as possible.
Now and again, my wife and I will immerse ourselves into the, often cringeworthy, world of reality competition television. For example, MasterChef, The Block or, dare I say it, the Eurovision Song Contest. We all knew who was going to win this year’s Eurovision didn’t we? Ukraine of course! Ultimately, all these shows are contrived and pre-planned. With Eurovision, it was political, and it was clear from the outset that sympathy votes matter regardless of the performance. Let’s face it. Most of these shows choose their array of candidates very carefully beforehand based more on character or some other immutable trait rather than definitive merit. Every show must have its fair share of representation with the Alphabet (LGBTIQA2S+) community, the fat, and the so-called victimised communities. Many television producers would consider it commercial suicide to select the top couples based on merit alone for fear of being attacked by mobs of incels, social justice warriors, snowflakes, and generally, other angry people who just want to draw attention for their own self-gratification.
Enter the world of fashion. This might surprise some of my readers, but I do take an interest in fashion, although, at times too many to recount, I’ve often dressed haphazardly and poorly much to my discredit. However, I like to admit having an eye for fashion and knowing what looks good and what does not. I know a good suit when I see one. I appreciate the quaint traditions that accompany black tie dress or more rarely, the most formal of all, the white tie occasion. And the same applies to clothing for women. Good women’s fashion accentuates the shape of the woman’s body with elegance and style depending on the occasion. In a nutshell, good fashion is often very simple in concept and shape but exuding quality in terms of fabric selection and attention to details; for example, the fine bullnose stitching around buttonholes rather than being crudely cut and frayed.
My wife and I recently watched a Netflix reality series somewhat like a MasterChef show for fashion called Next in Fashion. We confess that we watched the entire first season for its outright cringe-worthiness rather than for its fashion content, of which, frankly, there was very little of. Most of the outfits were a complete disgrace fit only for a children’s costume party. And here’s the thing. The most ludicrous designs got all the winning votes, mostly from those ultra-feminist judges who doggedly make it their mission to ensure that women were not dressed in such a way to be remotely attractive to the opposite sex. It seemed the whole intention of the show was to highlight the ugliest, over-embellished, most ridiculous of clothes.
The show was flawed inasmuch that contestants were paired together; some having known and worked with each other for years and others, total strangers. Another problem is that the winner was decided solely by the judges who displayed obvious biases throughout the series. Next in Fashion should have been judged by audience rating, or at least a combined judge/audience rating like the Eurovision contest. I guarantee that an audience rating would have produced a far better result. As men and women, we know what we like in fashion, but this would be problematic for the show, as it was probably already predestined for the winner of the show to be South Korea’s Minju Kim, who created the most god-awful designs known to mankind, including an outfit that looked like shiny garbage bags.
Netflix ensured that the widest spectrum of diversification in terms of racial and sexual identities were met on the show. However, most of those selected for the show epitomised the extremes of woke culture exemplified by the most hardcore of the Alphabet community. The show just had to have the campest and most openly gay contestants. I’m sorry, Netflix, but fashion is not owned by the Alphabet community. I am not anti-gay or anti-trans or against others having their own sexual proclivities or self-identification, but this is a fashion show, not an open platform to virtual signal how great the Alphabet community is.
I’m sorry, Netflix, but fashion is not owned by the Alphabet community.
Another thing that irks me is this notion that most male fashion designers are gay men. There may be a higher proportion of gay men in the fashion industry, largely because it has been historically one of those professions where professing to be openly gay was more accepting, but by and large, most designers, tailors and seamstresses are straight men and women as it is with the general working population. I enjoy fashion and I’ve, some years ago, not been too bad with a sewing machine, but I’m as straight as they come, not that anybody needs to know in the same vein as I don’t need to know if someone is gay.
In my opinion, men, in general, come out with the best of women’s fashion. Why? Because men instinctively know what looks good on a woman. The same can be applied to men’s clothing. Gay men and women may be more likely to draw inspiration in men’s design for the same reason. This could be overgeneralised, but I believe there is some truth in it. Someone posted an answer to a question on a forum why there seems to be a higher proportion of gay men in the fashion industry than usual. The answer was as follows:
“Women got a lot more power in the late 1960s. Female models decided they really didn’t like getting dressed by heterosexual men. So, they made them stop. Unfortunately, that meant that fashion models would have to look like rail-thin adolescent androgynes, which is not what most heterosexual men like. We like women with tits and butts. But gay men like models that are more than a bit boyish, and the women like models that represent early adolescence, the period of time when the girls are tall and skinny and everyone is saying that they are mature, while the boys are short and pimply and croaking like frogs. So that’s become the standard.”
When I see a fashion show, I want to see fashion, not a costume party. The above answer depicts accurately the whole culture of today’s fashion shows. That is, the most assured way to dress someone up as to make them as unattractive as possible! Seriously, it doesn’t take much effort to look up what men and women don’t like to see in today’s fashion. But it doesn’t seem to be in vogue to do so. The fashion industry has forsaken simplicity and elegance with overcomplicated and frumpy design. For example, many women seem to like men in a suit with clean lines, or a nice-fitting t-shirt with slim-fitting jeans rather than baggy cargo pants, shouty shirts and sandals. Many men take delight when women are wearing simple and sleek pencil skirts and properly fitting shirts and blouses rather than frilly baggy skirts and oversized sweaters.
Along with the opinions of many men on women’s fashion, I recoil at the idea of over-embellished and over-accentuated features (for example, 80s power shoulders and layer after layer of ruffs and drapes), unbecoming footwear like Uggs (those fluffy brown boots), maxi skirts (something to hide?), men’s wear with trousers (yuck!), high-waist trousers or jeans, flared pants (the 70s are officially over), and horror of horrors, bicycle shorts (camels come to mind), unless you’re riding a bicycle. Some women may disagree with me and rebuke that dressing in this manner will lessen unwanted eye-ogling from men. That will most certainly be the case if that is the desired effect. Along with the bicycle shorts, I concur that most men do not want women to appear too promiscuous or slutty with inappropriately scant clothing or those reminiscing a Parisian boudoir. We’ll leave the scant clothing to those frost-ridden nights in Newcastle, England while nightclubbing during our more youthful years. I am certain the opposite is true with men’s clothing from a women’s viewpoint. Many men do not take the valuable opportunity to get their fashion vetted by women or gay men.
In Next in Fashion, each show was based on a particular theme, for example, runway, denim, streetwear, underwear, rock star, leather, and others. Unfortunately, most of the winning designs were merely elaborate costumes clearly not fit for purpose except on a runway or a Halloween party. Not sure what the producer’s intention was, but it was made clear that we mustn’t have any eye-ogling by men during the underwear show of the series. This was made clear when male and female models were parading their wears along the runway. All the males were your bronzed and chiselled Adonis figures while all the females were of the oversized variety. It would be bigotry from those women who accuse me of fat shaming then turn around and say that they would much rather be in a relationship with a traditionally attractive man. This is nature, as brutal as it is.
It would have been nice to have a proper fashion competition reality show fit for purpose and judged by the audience who, no doubt, would have had far better sense of fashion than the judges on the show’s panel. Get rid of the angel wings, oversized carpets draping off the shoulders, airy-fairy frilly lace outfits, and sexless bags of burlaps pretending to be a story. I don’t want a story. I don’t want a costume. I want fashion!