And this is the way the window display looks in the recently inaugurated Reformation bride workshop in Los Angeles. No one is going to marry being a virgin, and, let’s face it, you’ll be with more men in the future, but there’s only one wedding dress.
A lot has been written and debated about whether women do certain things because they really like them or because they feel socially compelled to do them. Hair removal, hair dye, make up, corsets… anything a woman does is always brought up for public discussion, and we are always, always left with the doubt: do they do it because they want to or because they have to? This, for starters, is male chauvinistic in itself, since it presupposes a feminine inability to think for themselves or freely decide about their own bodies. For instance, “Nosotras parimos, nosotras decidimos” [We give birth, we decide] is a really good claim, but, once more, the power is limited to decisions for women in their role as mothers.
Many of us don’t give birth and also want to decide, but many of our decisions will be taken, by some feminists, as a subjugation to male roles.
Lingerie, like jewels for instance, or any other luxury item that we don’t really need, have always been considered as prizes that men give women.
A negligée by La Perla as a present for an obliging lover (a recommendation for lovers with megabucks: La Perla is really passé, if you want to drive her crazy, have a look at Fleur du mal). A ring for the submissive wife (reminder: the tradition dictates that an engagement ring should cost three times the suitor’s wages… although it doesn’t say if it’s before or after tax). Or a necklace (to keep on a short leash) a self-sacrificing mother.
It’s considered acceptable for a man to buy a watch out of sheer whim, but don’t you dare buying a designer handbag just for the sake of it, without any excuse, just for the pleasure of spending your money (a lot of it) in whatever your pussy fucking wants to. OK, pussies can give birth to babies, but also to more or less superficial ideas that can be quite pleasurable.
Luckily, some feminist women have gone from burning their bras to symbolise the liberation from a sign of patriarchal oppression to spending two hundred euros in one to symbolise female empowerment.
But, hey! Chill out! I bet you all have your hands on your head now thinking, “that isn’t empowerment, that’s a consumerist strategy from capitalism to brainwash silly girls.”
You know what? Let me spend my money any way I want to, since it takes me a lot of effort to earn it. And more in a country like Spain, with a gender pay gap of 24% in which on average I earn 6,000 euros less than a man, where I would have to work seventy nine days more every year to earn the same than men and where only 26% of women get to managing positions although at universities there are more female than male students. So let me fucking break the glass ceiling by hitting it hard with my Michael Kors handbag, if you don’t mind.
But let’s get back to fashion. Some brands created by women and for women have become conscious of this feminist-consumerist trend.
Based in Los Angeles and with a rather ECOfriendly (but not boho-Podemos) philosophy, Reformation is becoming one of the references of the new womanly feminism (I don’t think ‘womanly’ feminism exists, but ‘girly’ infantilises women, so I won’t use it): huge V-shaped cleavages down to the navel, open backs, ultra-feminine cuts… And then there’s the way they produce their clothes, defending fair wages for local seamstresses, and expressing themselves with a feminine and feminist sense of humour in their social networks.
A New Zealand lingerie brand that has started to become quite well known around the globe thanks to its shop online and which they define on their web site as a “brand with the vision to empower women to be themselves”. It could be a mere advertising slogan, but if you have a closer look of their Instagram account you will see that they take things quite seriously. That this is making them sell more knickers? Well, yes, because there’s a commercial niche of women that want to spend their own money in garments to feel sexy (we’ve said it before, but, in case it’s included in the exam, it’s OK to repeat it).
Their project Lonely Girls asks their customers to become models for the brand by publishing their photographs wearing their underwear in social networks. Feminist-womanly icons such as Petra Collins or even Lena Dunham herself have already done it, so they’re already blessed.
You mark my words, but I bet Oysho will take two more seasons, tops, to do the same, although erasing with Photoshop all the models’ pubic hair, as they do.
An Australian brand from Melbourne (it seems that in the antipodes they’re one step ahead when it comes to these things), Hopeless has very clear principles: super sexy lingerie inspired in art, films and with a bondage touch, created by women for women of all shapes and sizes. And I mean really, with real fat girls, not that shit they sell us here with big sizes starting with size 12 (example: Violeta by Mango). They make beautiful bras and knickers with the philosophy of increasing self-esteem and empowering their customers: “With a faithful commitment to encouraging self-confidence and individuality, our small team believe that beautiful lingerie is worn for oneself. We hope that you feel empowered, comfortable, confident, and proud.”
If you don’t think that these knickers are the golden ratio of lingerie and that they’re worth the eighty dollars they cost, then yes, the person writing this article is a silly girl who’s been brainwashed by capitalism.
*Author’s note: none of these brands has paid me or given me anything to appear on this article… I wish!.
Si todavía no os suenan nombres de la nueva ola arty feminista como Petra Collins, Mayan Toledano, Arvida Byströns o Paloma Elsesser (las dos últimas, modelos de esta campaña) no estáis preparados para leer O; pasaos primero por PlayGround.