Tracie Egan blames gay men for women's fashion failures

katran26

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http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2009/08/tracie_egan_blames_gay_men_for.html

and the quotation from her blog

"Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I do not subscribe to the notion that gay men intrinsically "get" women, know what's best for women, or are the authority on what women should be wearing. (In fact, I think that gay men are actually the most to blame for many of the problems in the fashion industry, like the absence of womanly curves on the runway, and the hideous, figure-assaulting trend that is the tent dress, which no women who have tits, and no straight men who have an appreciation for tits, have any use for.)"
http://www.onedatatime.com/dick_liker/


What do you ladies think about this?
 

lilflobowl

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I agree & disagree. Some of the things designers put out on the runway, or the trends they set, may seem really "out-there" but I wouldn't blame it on just gay designers. If designers, gay or not, never took risks we probably would never have gotten some of the marvellous pieces that we have now.
 

katran26

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I agree & disagree. Some of the things designers put out on the runway, or the trends they set, may seem really "out-there" but I wouldn't blame it on just gay designers. If designers, gay or not, never took risks we probably would never have gotten some of the marvellous pieces that we have now.

very good point...I'm trying to just think about personal experience, and by and large my favorite designer to wear is Alberta Ferretti, but then again, I also adore Dolce & Gabbana. So yeah - agree & disagree

(Love your avatar by the way!!)
 
I agree & disagree. Some of the things designers put out on the runway, or the trends they set, may seem really "out-there" but I wouldn't blame it on just gay designers. If designers, gay or not, never took risks we probably would never have gotten some of the marvellous pieces that we have now.
I completely agree with you on that. We need designers to take risks or things will never change!

I read that article on The Cut, and I didn't know what to think about blaming all the gay male designers on the "absence of curves" on the runway. Not every designer is a gay male, and not every magazine editor or model scout is either, and yet they all pick skeletons. Like they said, it was the designer of Givenchy (a gay man) who discovered Lara Stone. And I'm not sure about Jean Paul Gaultier's sexuality, but I remember he very famously had a plus size model finish one of his shows in this gorgeous figure-hugging dress.
 

Bitten

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I don't really see that errors on the catwalk can be attributed wholesale to a designer's sexuality. All that differs is the design aesthetic between designers - some design for an adult woman, others for pubescent girls. Depending on where your individual figure and personal tastes fall, you're going to prefer one designer over the other.

I understand the frustration that Ms Egan clearly feels over seeing a predominance in clothing design for no-breasts-or-hips designs however it is well known that a coathanger is easy to design and dress - no tailoring required, no structure necessary, minimal design skills actually. Make jeans and a t shirt and hurrah! You're done! Since there are a limited number of truly talented designers out there, of course most will take the easy option. However there are a small group of brilliantly talented designers who, irrespective of their sexuality, create flattering clothes for adult women a la Alexander McQueen, Dolce et Gabbana, Stefano Pilati.
 
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I wonder, though, if straight men really dominated fashion (not sure why they'd want to...), how it would be different.
 

amanda

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I think you have to sort of know Tracie's background and context in order to really get where she's coming from - I looooove her personal blog and read the larger site that she writes for, Jezebel, every day. She's very blunt and talks a lot about feminist and gay issues, but I think she writes in a really fantastic, honest way.

And the idea that she's setting forth here is one that's been around for a very, very long time. A lot of people posit that the rise of androgyny in womens fashion, and the body type that goes along with it, is a result of a large gay male influence. Obviously men are going to have a different perspective than women on a woman's body, and gay men are going to look at it in a different way than straight men would. It's natural for someone to embrace something that reminds them more of themselves (particularly since gay men don't have the sexual link to a woman's body that a straight man would), and for a gay man dressing women all day, it's going to be bodies that look as much like their own as possible. I don't think anyone thinks it's a conscious effort to undermine women, but it's important to examine the unconscious biases or preferences that things like sexuality might bring to someone's design aesthetic.

I'm surprised, though, that that quote got picked up at all. Like I said, it's something I've heard and read a lot over the years, and it has never sounded like that controversial of a statement to me.
 

tadpolenyc

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is there much of a difference between the cut or sizing between clothes designed by a woman vs. a straight male vs. a gay male designer? i don't want to think that the prevalent skinny-obsessed way of designing can be attributed solely or even largely to gay men. then again, i don't have enough comparative data based on personal experience buying this stuff to really to say one way or the other. i think the fashion industry is now stuck in this size-ist rut that even the women aren't designing with women in mind anymore if that makes any sense.

you know what's a really ridiculous trend that can be blamed on men? ridiculously, irrationally tall heels. i mean, six inches? why??? i see women in my office building teetering tottering on these just a split second away from snapping their little ankles clean in half. of course, pencil thin skyscraper stiletto heels would be created by a segment of the fashion population who will never have to wear or suffer in them. what i don't understand is why women designers like miuccia prada and the mulleavy sisters would want to jump on the bandwagon and help proliferate such a thing. :confused1:
 
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interesting reading all the comments, I have to agree I don't think a designers sexuality comes into play with what we see on the runways and whats made available to us in stores. There are plenty of female designers who opt to design clothing that don't neccesarily show off a womans shape.
 

papertiger

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Lots of gay men have designed clothes that accentuated women's clothes most notably JP Gautier, Herve Leger, Gianni Versace.

I think Elbaz' clothes are exceptions rather than a rule - he makes clothes that are beautiful that women enjoy wearing rather than display outfits that advertise the 'perfect' body within.

Everybody's different - that includes gay men.

Why blame gay men as a group?
 

lilflobowl

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katran, thanks shoe twin!! :lol:

I have to totally agree with Bitten & tadpolenyc... those guys totally do not realise how 6" heels are impossible for walking, & even though some may master it it's really bad healthwise in the long-term! 4" are already the bane of my existence (ironic since I've bought loads) so I can't imagine 6"!
 

LinaFelina

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I wonder, though, if straight men really dominated fashion (not sure why they'd want to...), how it would be different.
I wonder, though, if straight men really dominated fashion (not sure why they'd want to...), how it would be different.
Straight male here, and I love women's fashion. Regarding six inch heels, guys do think it's a sexy look, and there are plenty of women who want to exude sexiness for that reason, so it sells. Is it often wearable? Not really. I don't know if most straight designers have tried walking down a flight of stairs in six inch heels, they should!

It fails when there's a disconnect from what looks beautiful to others doesn't make you feel beautiful while wearing it. The really good designers (straight or gay) achieve both.

Public taste changes also. Until J. Lo came around, I didn't know any woman who wanted her butt to look bigger, and Angelina Jolie's lips sure started a trend. Add to that the paparazzi has no shame these days. Tiny Jessica Simpson gains five pounds and it's big news? Okay, those jeans were not very flattering, but the obsession with celebrity bodies seems to fuel the fashion juggernaut.

I'm getting off track, somebody teach me how to sew.

How it would be different? Everyone has a unique point of view. Boobs for guys are universally attractive, but I also like a woman's hips. I would want a woman to show that off if I designed, but not every woman would like that. In the end, I would want her to stand in front of a mirror and say, "I feel beautiful in this outift".