Bleats

Who Thought Turning Concentration Camp Uniforms Into High Fashion Was A Good Idea?

How does this keep happening?

There are fashion disasters like nip slips and clashing colours, and then there are straight up fashion disasters that 100% should never have ever happened. Well and truly falling into the second category is a $2,835 outfit that looks almost exactly like a concentration camp uniform from the holocaust.

Spanish fashion house, Loewe put out the striped outfit as part of their William De Morgan capsule collection. The collection was meant to be inspired by the English pottery artist and novelist, who lived in the 1800s, but that inspiration isn’t what most people saw. 

This is the sort of thing we were meant to think of when we saw the clothes

Vertical stripes as a pattern obviously aren’t out of bounds for fashion designers, but as Diet Prada – an Insta account that acts as a fashion watchdog – pointed out:

“With the particular stripe proportions and layout, uniform-style garments, and prominent chest patches, there’s not actually much left to the imagination when the resulting look is so uncannily disturbing.”

Loewe has apologised on Insta, saying:

“It was brought to our attention that one of our looks featured in a magazine as part of our Arts and Crafts ceramicist William De Morgan could be misconstrued as referring to one of the most odious moments in the history of mankind.” 

“It was absolutely never our intention and we apologize to anyone who might feel we were insensitive to sacred memories. The products featured have been removed from our commercial offering.”

It’s not even as if Loewe didn’t have other examples to learn from. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a few brands accidentally turn the holocaust into fashion.

Urban Outfitters had a grey striped t-shirt with a pink triangle over the breast pulled for looking like the uniform that gay inmates were forced to wear. 

Zara had a similar shirt pulled that was meant to look like a cowboy sheriff’s badge, but really just looked like the Star Of David stitched to Jewish people’s clothes when they were in concentration camps. 

A lesson for all fashion designers – maybe put two seconds of thought into what your clothes might resemble before putting them out into the world. Also, the holocaust isn’t fashion.

It’s About Time The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Binned Itself

The secret is out.

2019 has been a big year for people saying dumb things and getting cancelled, but all of that pales in comparison to the announcement from Victoria’s Secret that they’re going to actually cancel their annual fashion show for this year. 

Before being cancelled for this year, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show had been running since 1995, and what was once a massive moment in pop culture has become something that most people cringe over and side eye these days. The world collectively went from idolising nobody other than the very thin, very white models to realising that there are more body types and skin colours that deserve celebration.

This is great, but other types of people exist

It also reeeeeeally didn’t help when last year Ed Razek, Victoria’s Secret’s former chief marketing officer, told Vogue that he didn’t think that trans models should be in the show “because the show is a fantasy” and that they “attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”

My face while reading his comments

There’s a reason he’s the former chief marketing officer.

That hasn’t been the only controversy either. More recently, we found out that the CEO, Les Wexner, was buddies with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and Bella Hadid came out a couple of days ago and said that the whole experience of modelling for Victoria’s Secret was a bit shit. 

All of this combined with Victoria’s Secret’s refusal to get on board with any models who didn’t fit their very, very specific beauty standards have been hitting them pretty hard. In 2013, 9.7 million viewers tuned in to the broadcast of the show, which plummeted to 3.3 million last year. 

This isn’t actually that hard to achieve!

Look, the world has moved on from thinking that the only way to be beautiful is to be an incredibly thin white woman who hasn’t had a glass of water all day before hitting the runway. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show should have been binned a long time ago, but it’s always better late than never.

Apparently We Needed A Smart Dress To Prove That Women Are Groped In Public

A dress for respect.

One of the rules of the world is that if a bench has a ‘wet paint’ sign on it, people will inevitably touch it and then be surprised when they get paint on their hands. I can only guess that’s the same backwards logic that means when women tell people they’re being groped in clubs, people will disbelieve them and then be surprised when technology proves those women right. 

The ‘smart dress’ is a dress lined with pressure sensors that records when people grope someone. It was created by the Sao Paulo branch of advertising company Ogilvy, as part of a video campaign with Schweppes called The Dress For Respect.

The video opens with the statistic that 86% of Brazilian women have been harassed on a night out. The same survey shows that 86% of Thai women had experienced harassment, 79% for Indian women, and 75% of English women. Australia wasn’t in this particular survey, but the ABS reports that over half of Australian women have experienced sexual harassment.

The video moves along to interview some guys outside nightclubs. They moan about how “I think it’s just complaining about everything!” and question “who will go out on a Thursday night just to dance?”, as if just going out for fun with friends is a foreign concept.

After showing a bit about how the dress is made, the video follows three women on a night out. In 3 hours and 47 minutes, the women were groped a grand total of 157 times. That’s more than 40 times every hour.

Hands off.

The gross men from the street are brought in, and are all genuinely shocked by the results. Again, just like touching the bench with the wet paint sign and being surprised when the paint is, in fact, wet. 

Is it really so hard to believe women that we have to go to this extent? It’s not just one or two women talking about it either, it’s the majority of us. How many women have to experience harassment before people believe it’s real?

The smart dress is the latest in a long line of technology that’s tried to increase women’s safety. We already have nail polish that changes colour if somebody has spiked your drink, hair clips that call emergency services if they detect trouble, and bracelets that let a potential partner know if you’re too drunk to consent. Technology is great and all, but you want to know what would stop the need for all the effort that goes into creating these things?

Stop.
Harassing.
Women.

Unfortunately the smart dress was a one-off for an ad campaign, so we can’t get our hands on one no matter how useful it sounds. It was an interesting concept while it lasted though, and now that these guys have their ‘proof’, I can only hope we won’t need to make any replicas.

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