16 October 1983

Thoughts on ISP Topic: "Masks, Hoodies, Headgear, and the Iconic Black Beret"

Masks: The Martin Margiela bejeweled mask is a staple of all of his couture presentations, a strategic way to reinforce the culture and cult of anonymity that the brand is known for, stemming from the designer’s own anonymous person. Using masks have a way of emphasizing the movement over the individual.

The same has been done, as mentioned earlier in the response paper on the Black Panthers,
However, it becomes an issue when the mask, the headgear, and the anonymity it bestows upon the subject becomes the basis in which that individual is subject to prejudiced generalizations and the violence that it engenders.
Trayvon Martin is but one of many examples in which headgear, and the prejudiced generalized bestowed unto it and its wearers, becomes the basis for unwarranted violence.
The Rolling Stone recounting of the Hoodie becomes important in understanding how the cult of anonymity and prejudice became bestowed upon this item: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-history-of-the-hoodie-20120403

One question raised from this, is anonymity just like androgynous fashion anti-fashion? What about deferring subjecthood makes it anti-fashion, when fashion oftentimes perpetuates an hegemony that forces anonymity and androgyneity upon subjects that don’t fit its commercial mold? Is activist fashion therefore fashion that gives voice to those considered anonymous and unidentifiable by the system?

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