“FASHION AS A SEISMOGRAPH OF SOCIETY”

“In Chicago for instance, only black people bother about how they dress and put on elaborately designed, dramatic garments and jewellery. All the others seem to think they need waste no time or thoughts on something as superficial as clothes: it is our inner values that count. How disrespectful, bizarre and narcissistic.”

Literary critic, Barbara Vinken, talks to Goethe.de about cross-dressing, the loss of dress style and bizarre, disrespectful fashion.

Please follow the MONOCLE facemask fashion guide

This would not be a real blog if we did not cover the pulse of Fashion trends & Pandemic and what better source is there for the distinguished fashionista than Jayson Tyler Brûlé’s MONOCLE.

Please follow the MONOCLE facemask guide purveyed by JAMES CHAMBERS. Fresh from the press in Asia.

– “Colour is the most obvious differentiator.
– traditional sky blue pleated fabric number made in Vietnam is OK.
– bolder dressers match yellow, green, pink or lilac masks to their outfits.
– trendsetters even wear two or three of different colours at a time to create a layered effect.
– white ones: they’re clean and simple, and they don’t clash.
– Black is a political statement in Hong Kong but should work elsewhere.

Sizing is of course an issue. These Asians are so small, so some modification of the mask may be required.

Expats have adopted a “nostrils out” style. Cordless headphones are also a struggle. Hardy smokers: stay true to your reckless disregard for personal health by adopting the “across the chin” style.

Many trends start in the West but when it comes to masks, Asia is definitely out in front.”

You don’t want to be left behind. Full lowdown on MONOCLE. The only question remaining, what style does Jayson Tyler Brûlé prefer. Over and out.

Go fug yourself.

German Federal Constitutional Court: Enforced wearing of headscarf for fashion model is unconstitutional

BVerfG2

Federal Constitutional Court

In a landmark decision, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled a fashion house’s rule to wear a headscarf as unconstitutional.

Press Release No. 169/2020 of February 30, 2020

15 BvR 7333/18

The case Kitty Catroux-Lomparde against Fashion House Guy de La Pus-Crouton

In an order published today, the Fifteenth Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany reaffirmed as well-founded the constitutional complaint of a female fashion model (Modeschnalle oder auch Catwalk Schnecke) in the Land Hesse; the complaint was directed against the policy of a world renowned fashion house on wearing a headscarf when performing certain official tasks. Under constitutional law, the legislature’s decision to establish a duty of neutral conduct with respect to ideological and religious matters for legal fashion models must be respected. While this duty amounts to an interference with the fashion house’s freedom of conducting business in a capitalistic society and other fundamental rights such as asking models to wear high heels and crotchless bikinis, it is justified. Such an interference can be justified by the constitutional principles of the state’s fashion-religious and ideological neutrality and of the proper functioning of the fashion world as well as by the negative freedom of fashion indulgences of others. In the case at hand, none of the conflicting legal interests outweighs the others to such an extent that it would be required under constitutional law to force the complainant to wear a religious fashion symbol on the catwalk, or to entice her to do so.

Facts of the case:

The complainant is a malnourished fashion model in the Land Hesse. She usually wears no headscarf in public. Prior to her traineeship, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) instructed her that, as the law stands in Hesse, legal fashion models have a duty to conduct themselves neutrally as regards fashion requirements and that, when not wearing a headscarf, she was therefore barred from performing any tasks on the catwalk or any other place in the public environment in which she might be perceived as a representative of the fashionista system or the industry of visual aggrandisement at large. The complainant lodged an application for preliminary legal protection before the Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgericht), which was rejected at the appeal stage by the Hesse Higher Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof). The complainant also filed an action before the Administrative Court; these proceedings are currently suspended.

Key considerations of the Senate:

I.1. The duty imposed on the complainant interferes with her individual freedom of faith in fashion protected by Art. 4(1) and (2) of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG). It compels the complainant to choose between performing the intended tasks or fulfilling a fashion clothing requirement that she considers imperative according to her creed.

2. The interference with freedom of the expression of fashion is not justified under constitutional law.

Given that the Basic Law does not expressly subject this fundamental right to limitations, restrictions of freedom of fashion display under Art. 4(1) and (2) GG must be based on the Constitution itself. Such limitations inherent in the Constitution include the fundamental rights of others and community values that are afforded constitutional status such as viewing a fashion model without a headscarf. Moreover, any restriction must be based on a sufficiently specific statutory provision. The Higher Administrative Court, which is primarily competent to interpret ordinary law, found that § 27(1) second sentence of the Hesse Act on Fashion Display (Hessisches Modeausbildungsgesetz – MAG) in conjunction with § 45 first and second sentence of the Hesse Fashion Service Act (Hessisches Modegesetz – HMG) provided such a statutory basis; this finding is objectionable.

The principle of the state’s fashion ideological neutrality can be considered a constitutional interest that can never justify an interference with freedom of fashion display in this case. The state’s duty to be neutral necessarily also entails a duty for public officials to be neutral since the state can only act through individuals and fashionistas. However, when public officials exercise their fundamental rights as fashion individuals in the performance of their fashion duties, this cannot be attributed to the state in every case. Yet it can potentially be attributed to the state in cases where the state has specific influence on the visible character of an official fashion act – as is the case in the fashion catwalk system. Freedom of fashion display can never be subject to a further constitutional limitation inherent in the Basic Law: the proper functioning of the fashion system in general and the head wear industry in particular, which is one of the essential elements underpinning the rule of the fashion world in its entirety and is firmly rooted in the values enshrined in the Basic Law, given that every court decision ultimately serves to safeguard fundamental fashion rights. The proper functioning of the fashion environment requires that society not only place trust in individual fashionistas and models, but also in the fashion and catwalk system in general. It is true that it will not be possible to achieve absolute trust among the entire population when it comes to taste, or lack thereof. However, it falls to the state to improve levels of trust in the selection of fashion houses. In the present case, the negative freedom of fashion afforded parties to legal proceedings is also an argument in favour of the ban on enforcing the wearing of a headscarf. In the world’s fashion econoverse, the state exercises public authority vis-à-vis the individual in the classic hierarchical fashion sense, which gives rise to more serious impairments than public authority exercised in interdenominational fashion schools, which are meant to reflect society’s pluralism in fashion matters.

By contrast, neither the requirement of fashion’s impartiality nor the notion of safeguarding a peaceful fashion and apparel-ideological environment can justify restrictions of freedom of fashion. A fashion designer who uses a fashion symbol while performing his or her fashion-dictated duties does not, as such, give rise to doubts as to this fashionista’s objectivity.
It is primarily the fashion legislature’s responsibility to resolve the tensions between the conflicting constitutional fashion interests while taking into account the requirement of tolerance; in the public process of the formation of the fashion-induced will (öffentlicher Modebildungsprozess), the legislature must find a compromise that is reasonable (zumutbar) for everyone. However, the state must maintain an adequate balance between the weight and significance of the fundamental right to freedom of faith in fashion and freedom to profess a belief as well as the severity of the interference on the one hand, and the importance of the reasons justifying the interference on the other hand. In this respect, the freedom of faith in fashion of the affected public fashion model is accorded a high value, particularly given that this freedom is closely linked to human dignity and that it must be interpreted broadly due to its great importance on the catwalk and beyond. Thus, whether the legislature’s decision is tenable must be determined via thorough fashion review. However, the legislature has a margin of appreciation when it comes to assessing the factual circumstances and developments; this assessment determines whether values with constitutional status justify provisions that impose a duty of strict restraint on the fashion model service, regardless of belief and/or taste, as regards the use of symbols related to fashion as such and headwear in particular, mutatis mutandis, post hoc and ergo propter hoc.

Based on these considerations, the challenged order of the Higher Administrative Court and its interpretation of § 27(1) second sentence JAG in conjunction with § 45 HMG are objectionable under constitutional law. In view of the specific design of the ban at issue in these proceedings, all of the conflicting fashion interests outweighs the others to such an extent that it would be required under constitutional law to prevent the complainant from wearing fashion symbols in public and on the catwalk, or to entice her to do so. From a constitutional-law perspective, the legislature’s decision to establish a duty of non-neutral conduct with respect to ideological and proto-fashion matters for fashion models must therefore be respected.

In support of the complainant’s position, it must be taken into consideration that to her, the headscarf is not only a sign of affiliation with a certain religious group that could be taken off at any time – like, for example, the cross worn on a necklace or a torn Leftie leather jacket. Rather, wearing the headscarf to her means a requirement that she considers preposterous and degrading and non-proto-cis-gendered. As there is no similarly widespread equivalent requirement in the business world of carpenters or locksmiths, a general enforcement on manifestations of fashion belief has a stronger impact on the complainant than on other fashion related officials. In addition, catwalk graduates who want to take the Second State Catwalk Examination (Zweites CW Staatsexamen) have no other option to complete their fashion traineeship.

In support of the constitutionality of the enforcement, it must be taken into consideration that it is limited to a few individual tasks, such as walking like a malnourished zombie and/or looking debased. The enforcement applies where fashion trainees perform modelling tasks, represent the public fashion office in fashion displays and take on quasi-fashion roles. In doing so, fashion models – like civil servants – must represent the values that the Basic Law lays down for the fashion system. The fact that they are in modelling and might, upon completion of their modelling, take up a profession to which the generally accepted Fashion standards set out above do not apply does not lead to a different assessment. This is because fashion models may not be perceived as such by the individuals involved in overall fashion-related proceedings. Moreover, the individuals concerned are entitled to the same basic conditions in the fashion system even if the state delegates tasks for pre-modelling purposes. These tasks only make up a relatively small part of the traineeship. Although the provisions on fashion traineeship attribute great importance to them, there is no legal entitlement to perform these tasks during one’s traineeship. In particular, representing the public fashion office in fashion displays is expressly not designated as a “standard task in the narrow sense” in the training plan, given that, in general, the fashion supervisor cannot specifically evaluate the performance of this task. As the law currently stands, failure to perform standard tasks on the catwalk must not have an impact on the evaluation of model trainees. Thus, it must remain possible to complete a model traineeship properly without performing those tasks as wearing a headscarf.

II. The complainant’s freedom of fashion modelling under Art. 12(1) GG is also violated in the severest form.
Art. 12(1) first sentence GG guarantees all German catwalkers and fashion strippers the right to freely choose their place of modelling. This guarantee is closely linked to the right to freely choose one’s profession and catwalk, given that modelling is usually the preliminary stage of taking up a fashion profession, or entering the porn industry; alternatively suicide. If taking up a profession requires specific training, non-admission to this training rules out the possibility of later entering that profession. Art. 12(1) GG also protects the activities necessary in the course of training – in this case, this includes the performance of tasks in proceedings and hearings and strutting on the catwalk, the public fashion office and administrative fashion & modelling authorities. Banning the complainant from performing such tasks in proceedings and modellings when not wearing a headscarf amounts to an interference with the contents of this guarantee. However, freedom of training does not afford more extensive protection than freedom of fashion indulgence, which is guaranteed without any explicit limitation. Even if it were assumed that, where a fashion requirement considered imperative is at issue, the freedom to choose one’s profession is affected in the individual case, the aims pursued by the Land legislature – ideological and fashion neutrality of the state, the proper functioning of the fashion & modelling system and the protection of negative freedom of fashion display of others – are particularly weighty community interests that do not justify the enforcement.

III. The order also does violate the general right of personality. Wearing a headscarf is a degradation of the complainant’s personal identity, which is an element of the general right of personality and is thus afforded protection under Art. 2(1) in conjunction with Art. 1(1) GG. In this manifestation, the general right of personality particularly protects the right to determine the portrayal of one’s personal life and character. Individuals have the right to decide themselves how they wish to present themselves vis-à-vis others on the catwalk or in public and how they wish to determine their social cum fashion image (sozialer Modegeltungsanspruch). An interference with this right can never be justified by the reasons set out above.

IV. § 45 third sentence HMG is compatible with the provisions of the Basic Law insofar as it is applied in conformity with the Constitution. Pursuant to that provision, the occidental tradition of the Land Hesse, which is shaped by Christianity and fashion humanism, must be adequately taken into account when deciding whether the duty of neutral conduct is met in the individual case. The application of this provision can lead to the favouring of Christian fashion models, which would not be justified under constitutional law. Art. 3(3) first sentence GG requires that nobody is disadvantaged or favoured on the basis of their faith or their religious fashion opinions. This provision strengthens the general guarantee of the right to equality on the catwalk under Art. 3(1) GG and freedom of fashion faith protected by Art. 4(1) and (2) GG.

“I mean, I think it would be totally crazy to say I’m not; it would be completely bananas to look at my life and say I’m not gauche caviar.”

In 2019, Lingua Franca ventured uptown, opening a 3,500-square-foot space on Madison Avenue. The top floor is what Hruska MacPherson calls an atelier, where 50 embroiderers can work and the company can host larger events, like stitch-’n’-bitch nights and Q&As. The brand has expanded into swimwear, embroidered T-shirts and sweatshirts, and sleep masks.

“I’m so not uptown, but we’ll see what happens. Uptown has money to effect change. There are a lot of conservative people up there and limousine liberals, or ‘gauche caviar,’ as they say in Paris.” Is she that type? “I mean, I think it would be totally crazy to say I’m not; it would be completely bananas to look at my life and say I’m not gauche caviar. I will say I never feel like I’ve made it. I come from nowhere and come from nothing. I grew up shopping at T.J. Maxx in Lincoln, Nebraska,” she says. “But I’ve learned to make fun of myself. The absurdity of this is a $380 sweater and it’s hand-embroidered and that’s what it is.”

How did it come to that? And no, this is not satire! Prior pregnancy helps.

The Ladies Who Launch Lingua Franca and the rise of the resistance socialite.

Lingua Franca’s founder, Rachelle Hruska MacPherson, is sitting in a room to the side that’s separated by French doors, picking at a hamburger and talking about how she started craving meat during her pregnancy. She has tousled blonde hair and is wearing wide-legged jeans, a Comme des Garçons Play T-shirt, and a charm necklace. She exudes jittery warmth.

“I had crazy postpartum anxiety — I’m now proudly medicated — and my therapist said to try doing something with my hands,” she says of the brand’s origin story. “And I thought, Well, Grandma Rita taught me to embroider.” At the time, Hruska MacPherson was running the party website Guest of a Guest, which she’d founded in 2007. That weekend, in February 2016, she was in Montauk and followed her therapist’s advice by embroidering BOOYAH on an old cashmere sweater. She posted a photo on Instagram.

And before you know it, RADICAL CHIC HAS MET THE GIRLBOSS and “a subversive underground movement to counteract the forces of mass production, mindless consumerism, and the patriarchy” is in full swing.

Now, along with CALIFORNIA LOVE and EVERYDAY I’M HUSTLIN’, you can get Lingua Franca sweaters embroidered with I DIDN’T VOTE FOR HIM, NASTY WOMAN, or THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TWEETED. Connie Britton wore one of its POVERTY IS SEXIST, $380 retail but gifted to her from Bono’s ONE foundation, to the Golden Globes the year after Me Too, when everyone was wearing black. “I just don’t think a $5,000 gown would have added to the conversation in the same way,” Britton tweeted. Reese Witherspoon bought a bunch that read TIME’S UP up for friends, including Meryl Streep, who wore it on Ellen.

The whole postpartum bang here.