Monday, September 26, 2011

You Can Give Everybody Money, But You Can't Make Everybody Rich

From "The Secret History of Soviet Fashion," a book review:
The Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli was invited to open the Dom Modelei in Moscow, and was bewildered by the outfits on display: 'I was of the opinion that the clothes of the working people should be simple and practical, but . . . I witnessed an orgy of chiffon, pleats and furbelows.'
Eschewing her own surrealist tendencies, she designed a capsule collection for Soviet women -- a simple black dress, a covetable red coat, lined in black, with large pockets and a matching beret. It was entirely suitable for mass production, but the authorities dismissed it as being far too ordinary for Soviet women and moaned that the big pockets would attract the attention of thieves on public transport.
Shoulda stuck with those Soviet fabrics, Elsa.

Fashion is conservative insofar as it's one place where hierarchy can never be abolished. So here's my question: Would that sentence be more interesting if I had written "beauty" instead of "fashion"?

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