“Macho America Storms Europe’s Runways”

Whatever. That’s the headline in tomorrow’s New York Times Fashion & Style section. For what it’s worth:
“A remarkable reversal of sentiment and symbolism has occurred in the five months since designers here and in Milan and London, the site of fervent antiwar rallies, displayed peace flags and, in one instance, staged a love-in that featured a couple in a bed. At that time, European opposition to President Bush’s position on Iraq ran so high that Tom Ford, the creative director of Gucci and a fellow Texan, told reporters after his women’s show in February, ‘I’m embarrassed to be an American.’
“But last week in Milan, on the same runway where he had criticized the president, Mr. Ford struck an image that symbolized the virile Texas cowboy in boots and broad hat. Other tried-and-true symbols of American strength and power appeared at Prada, as correct displays of 1950’s country-club attire; at Jean Paul Gaultier, as waistcoats inspired by James West, the 1960’s television cowboy version of James Bond; at Junya Watanabe, as battle jackets and cartridge belts fashioned from banker’s broadcloth; and at Louis Vuitton, as well-scrubbed young men in tennis whites and navy blazers.”
You can read the article to find out why European fashion houses are gravitating toward symbols of American strength. Or you can probably figure it out for yourself.


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