In case you were wondering, the profound political thinkers in the fashion industry are “dismayed, angry, and frightened” by President Trump. So reports Robin Givhan, the left-winger who covers fashion for the Washington Post.
Givhan tells us that designers are processing this dismay, anger, and alleged fear of Trump through their shows. One designer featured “beefy men in black velvet.” Givhan explains that this was “a brooding commentary on life in this moment.”
Or perhaps a nod of approval towards the black-attired thugs who riot in our cities in protest of Donald Trump or for some other pretext de jour. Or maybe just some fantasy that has nothing to do with Trump.
A German designer gave a more explicit shout-out to the thug protesters. He dressed his models in “purple camouflage overcoats, flame-red satin trousers, [and] neoprene face masks.” Not one of the peaceful protesters I saw in Washington on January 21 wore a face mask. That was the gear of the January 20 rioters who injured police officers, destroyed vehicles, and hoped to avoid detection through attire that made them difficult to identify.
Another presentation “opened with models standing in the cramped confines of a prison yard — a tight square surrounded by chain-link fencing and lighted from above with spotlights. Black-clad guards stood sentry.” Then, “one by one, the models stepped out of the cage to walk confidently into the light and stand atop a platform” to a soundtrack that “featured quotes from Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, even RuPaul.”
The story was not simply about race, but also gender, sexual identity and ethnicity. Chavarria eloquently tapped into concerns roiling the nation, and he used the power of fashion to underscore our stubborn reliance on stereotypes and appearances, the way we segregate ourselves into opposing social tribes.
Or into criminals and non-criminals.
This presentation simply channels standard-issue modern leftism. It’s open to question whether it had anything much to do with Donald Trump.
The same question applies, I think, to most of the antics we’re seeing from the left. Would leftists behave much differently if Ted Cruz, or any Republican who ran as a conservative, had been elected president?
I doubt it. The protesting crowds might be a little smaller and we wouldn’t be seeing “pussy hats,” but the atmosphere would be basically the same.
The fashion community would be dismayed, angry, and frightened. In all likelihood, it would still present beefy men in black velvet and models posing as inmates.
The left thinks it’s smarter and more enlightened than the rest of us, and thus entitled to rule. In this respect, it mirrors the fashion industry which seeks to dictate our tastes.
Donald Trump’s election is unacceptable to leftists mainly because it deprives them of the power to rule. A Ted Cruz or even a Marco Rubio presidency would be unacceptable for the same reason.
Trump gives the left an excuse to “act out.” Maybe it would be a little more cautious if some other conservative were president. In the case of the fashion industry, probably not.
By acting out, the left runs the risk of further alienating those who, though not natural Republicans and not in some senses conservative, gave Trump the votes he needed to prevail. I doubt that many of these voters would be impressed by the presentations Givhan describes (you can see pictures via the link to her story).
More likely, they would be dismayed and maybe angry or frightened.