I’ve thought a lot about fashion as resistance lately. It’s part, I think, of why I’m suddenly drawn to the ’30s and ’40s: art that comes out of tragedy is more interesting. Anyone can doll up in petticoats when the living is easy. To keep making things beautiful while the world falls apart – that takes something else. Guts. Respect for impermanence, too. Yeah, in the scheme of things, there’s no real point, no teleology of beauty. So what? Deciding to live when you know you’re gonna die is the biggest fuck-you I can imagine.
Don’t let anyone call your art, whatever it is, frivolous. Resisting oppression is about emphasizing the good as much as fighting the bad. It’s about tiling the world so densely with noble ideals that there’s no room for hate. It’s about building a world worth standing up for, and any such world will by god include beauty and joy and lightness. It’s not about distraction. It’s about not letting anyone take those things away.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A hat tells those who’d cage you: I will never bow my head.
I’m working on an article for Bustle about precisely this: fashion as visible resistance. Fashion as tangible joy. I’m leading with French women’s “fuck Nazis” hats, and I’d love to hear from their modern counterparts as well. If you’re a woman (especially a religious or ethnic minority) who wields fashion like a weapon, give me a ring! I’m looking for any and all interview subjects. You can find out more on my writing blog. Please boost this! I’m hoping to harness as many perspectives as I can.
Pants: ’40s vintage, via Old Gold
Jacket: ’40s vintage, via Cheshire Vintage
Hat: ’30s vintage, via Barge Canal Market
Coat: ’40s (?) vintage, gifted
Everything else: thrifted