Style Matters—RIP Margaret Heldt, Creator of the Beehive

Before there was the Beyhive, there was the original Beehive—a vertiginous hairstyle created in the 1960s by Margaret Vinci Heldt, who died this week at the age of ninety eight. Born in Chicago, Heldt originally designed the cone-shaped tall hairstyle to fit under a fez; it first appeared on the cover of a Modern Beauty … Continued

Celebrities, Fashion

Fashion Elitism and the Zoolander-ization of Lands’ End

It may rank low on the level of cultural outrages, but the takeover of Lands’ End by a fashionista junta is noteworthy nonetheless. A great American brand, and all the stolidity it has built up across the decades, is being reimagined along sleek European lines. We’re told, “frumpy duds are out, strappy heels are in” … Continued

Culture, Fashion

Is the Future of Fashion a Dress that can Tweet?

In a recently-opened exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, designers of so-called technological style showcased the future of fashion, including “clothes that respond to the environment, dresses you can tweet, and garments that come off a 3-D printer ready to wear.”  Such innovations in #techstyle are “poised to have a profound impact on the … Continued

Fashion, Tech

Hijabi Fashionistas Show That Modesty Can be Beautiful

Vogue recently featured hijabi Instagram star Amaal Said, “a 20-year-old Danish-Somali photographer and poet” who lives in London and frequently posts stylish images of herself to social media. The profile talks about Said’s fashion philosophy and everything that makes her pictures fun and inspiring: the bold colors, fun accessories, and gorgeous scarves she borrows from … Continued

Culture, Fashion

The Cult of Ugliness: America’s Celebrity Fashion Crisis

“Contemporary art has made a cult of ugliness,” British philosopher Roger Scruton once wrote. Looking at Hollywood award shows this season, I think the same can be said of contemporary celebrity fashion culture in America.  And it’s not just at awards shows. At last year’s gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, whose … Continued

Celebrities, Fashion

Dolce & Gabbana Discovers Muslim Women, But What About Modesty?

The Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana recently launched a line of Muslim headscarves (hijab) and cloaks (abaya). The pieces reflect the signature D&G style—bold playful—and are shown accessorized with oversized sunglasses, towering stilettos, and bags that pop. The line has been received enthusiastically by the fashion-conscious, especially those accustomed to wearing high-end fashion—which includes … Continued

Fashion

Glitter Beards and the Death of Masculinity

  Ladies, lock your doors. Mothers, close your craft closets. Girls, guard your scrapbooks. Everyone, avoid Hobby Lobby and preschools—the men are coming, and they’re coming for your glitter. For some unknown reason, grown men all over America are stuffing their bearded faces into heaps of sparkly glitter, snapping selfies, and trying to convince themselves, … Continued

Culture, Fashion, Politics

Amal Clooney’s Odd Choice for Met Gala Dress

Amal Clooney looked stunning on the red carpet at the Met Costume Gala last week. I just have one question: Why would a woman who has devoted her life to defending human rights wear a dress designed by John Galliano? Mrs. Clooney’s human rights work is beyond extensive. She has worked as a prosecutor for … Continued

Fashion

France’s Crackdown on Skinny Modeling is Prudent Public Policy

Earlier this week, my Acculturated colleague, Chelsea Samelson, offered a strongly worded critique of France’s proposed legislation barring the use of “skinny” models in fashion. Samelson offers several valid arguments, including pointing out that lawmaking will not stop eating disorders and rebuffing the notion that BMI is a perfect barometer for vetting health. However, I … Continued

Culture, Fashion

France’s Bizarre “You’re Too Skinny” Law

Imagine, for a moment, the fury and horror that would ensue if we passed a law making it illegal to hire a woman for being too fat. It’s almost unimaginable, right? The idea of legalizing and enforcing weight-based discrimination is so preposterous it’s almost comical. But that just happened. Not here, but in France, and … Continued

Culture, Fashion