Reading #6 Questions and Answers

1. Refereeing to highland rape, rape is a horrific act, why are magazines allowed to romanticize it and put it in advertisements?

Magazines are allowed to romanticize such images because it has a deeper meaning than just an outfit. An image can be disturbing like McQueen’s Highland Rape’s runway outfit, however the meaning was not so much about the rape but it was more about the history. In the reading Desire and Dread, it explains why McQueen used this past as his concept for the Highland rape show. The author wrote, “But McQueen claimed that the rape of Scotland, not the individual models, as the theme of the show was the Jacobite rebellion.” (pg 202) Therefore it was not so much about “rape” but about the history. “Highland rape was about England’s rape of Scotland’ (cited in Lorna V 1997: 26). The harsh styling was intended to counter romantic images of Scottish history:” (pg 202) In my opinion, I think as designers, their ideas and inspirations come from everything they see or know. McQueen used what he knew for his inspirations. We can’t really say why magazines choose to publish these images. I think if a designer’s idea can be seen as different, then their magazines can be sold more. People are not used to seeing “horrific” act through fashion clothing, but I think we should just be more open to it and try to see the deeper meaning than just the clothes itself. Magazines uses certain to gain more publicity and audience.


2. Is it possible for clothing to provide the type of protection McQueen try’s to creative by making women look “so powerful no one would dare lay hands on them?

I think clothing does provide the type of protection. Make-up and hairstyles add the touch to that. I interpret his message a bit differently and not in the same way that McQueen tries to convey it. He states that his outfit is to show the powerful side of women, but I believe his clothing was more dangerous than powerful. “I like men to keep their distance from women, I like men to be stunned by an entrance.” (pg 206) Through his artwork, his clothing styles may be interpret as powerful but it is because they look dangerous and that can keep men away. So in a way yes, by women wearing ‘dangerous’ clothes it can be intimidating for a man to approach nor lay hands on them. They can be stunned at what his models wears, therefore it is a kind of protection.


3. Are the opinions of the viewer or designer a more correct interpretation fashion?

The designer is a more correct interpretation in fashion. For one, they are the designers so they can choose to interpret fashion in their own way. It is only up to the viewers to like or dislike it. Whether they like it or not, does not mean that they fully understand what the designer was trying to get across. Using myself as an example, I used to wonder why certain designers would make clothes that people wouldn’t buy. But now I understand it is more than just creating the simple and ‘normal’ look, it is about having a concept and really creating something magnificent that is outside the box. I have learn to like designs that I would not have liked before. My opinion matters of course, but it did not mean that I know what fashion really is.

4. Why is it appealing to sexualize or eroticise fashion?

If fashion was not appealing in some sort of erotic ways, then it would be too boring. It is appealing to sexualize fashion because it’s no surprise, “sex sells”. I believe as you get older, sexuality becomes a normal talk where most people are used to seeing erotic images. A discussion we had in class, how people were okay being naked a long time ago and now it is not a normal thing to be naked since we are too used to the idea of being “conservative” or “covering up” reminds us that it was once normal. Also, women shown in advertisements can intend to use sexuality as a threat, “A women who uses her sexuality as a sword rather than a shield”. (pg 207) That is because they are using their sexuality to show that they have power.



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