On Fashion & Making

This BBC article, Why are Women Finally Designing Women's Clothes, makes me so damn angry. I will give you a few choice quotes.

"Of course there are many more gay male designers," [designer Tom Ford] said. "I think we are more objective. We don't come with the baggage of hating certain parts of our bodies."

"Designers are normally men. I don't know of an eminent motorcar or motorbike designer who was a woman. Or many female architects." It's not because of any lack of ability but because women aren't as "pushy" - designer Jeff Banks

Men like Lagerfeld, McQueen and Galliano were defined by the need to be spectacular, unlike the "self-effacing" [Sarah] Burton, who has won great acclaim since replacing McQueen (..)  "Men put on great shows. Women design clothes that people want to wear" - fashion editor Lisa Armstrong

Mmm, makes you wonder why they want to make us clothes in the first place, doesn't it? Or maybe that explains the clothes we get? Don't you just love the implied sneer at the idea of 'wearable clothes'?

I believe the handmade movement can offer a useful counterpoint to the fashion world's often misogynistic view of women. Handmade clothes can be stunningly beautiful, full of showmanship, flattering to the female form, and within reach.

Female entrepreneurs like Sarai of Colette Patterns and Ysolda Teague are not just examples of young women setting up their own businesses, but also of women giving other women the chance to reject token notions of female beauty and the confinements of the high street/runway by making our own clothes. Locally I see the Glasgow Craft Mafia leading with a strong, clear voice that makes my heart sing: independent small shops abound where you can buy handmade clothes designed and stitched by female designers.  Craft Mafias exist throughout the globe and I recommend you seeking them out if you want to get involved or are simply interested in learning more.

I find that the more interested I become in fashion, the more I find it imperative to question it. Making parts of my own wardrobe (and hoping to create larger and larger chunks of it as I improve as a sewer) continues to be an important part of this questioning.