Fashion is a polysemic category. When it comes to thinking about it critically, there’s one aspect I particularly like: the way in which fashion is also connected to a more philosophical dimension – referring to a form of temporality; to the search for newness, the ‘irrational’ appetite for novelty; the idolatry of commodities; a speedy pursuit of replacement and therefore, an assimilated rationale based on transitoriness and ephemerality. This particular Euro American narrative of fashion has dictated that ‘the centre’ of ‘real’ fashion derives from European modernity; and that such a ‘centre’ would further land in four great cities that ended up making the global circuit of runways. In this narrative, widely accepted and dispersed, the rest, in other words, everything that stands outside of such a location is considered the periphery. This story has, however, begun to break down. The subject deserves a more hybrid narrative.
The clothes worn by the performers evoked the ways in which women often dress to have fun and to dance, to be young and alive at night, in bars and streets and discos, but they are also reminiscent of the kind of clothing a woman might wear when she is raped or killed. These are the kind of outfits that are still moralised within the sort of male gaze that inherits a cultural tendency to assign guilt to the feminine subject and not the masculine agent. These are the sort of clothes that call to mind the throbbing question that arises all too often when a woman is raped: what was she wearing?