Cross-dressing vs. fashion

October 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

Over the years I’ve become less hostile to the fashion industry.

It definitely represents a lot of the things I hate: huge, unsustainable consumerism; a stark illustration of society’s inequality; sweatshop labour; the blind following of trends rather than individual choice. The people involved are usually exactly the type of people I most dislike; super-rich, vain, shallow and more interested in surface than in ideas, politics and aspirations.

Trouble is, I bloody love clothes, me. I also really, really like women who have fun with clothes. Women who dress in interesting, odd, unusual, expressive ways. I enjoy fashion blogs, even though I might not actually like the people who write them, should we ever meet. This was starkly illustrated by London Fashion Week, when London filled up with people dressing like cunts and being rude on the Underground. Some of them looking amazing though. I have a soft spot for red lipstick and interesting hair. And I’ll give up my seat for the right pair of knee-high boots.

There’s another aspect of my sexuality here. I often really, really fancy exactly the sort of woman I don’t actually like.

In the hierarchy of my taste in women, top of the pile is alternative-looking women. My wife, for example, is – happily – my ideal woman. A metalhead with piercings and tattoos and a style that combines punk, goth, metal, fetish and the sort of face that would suit a Disney evil Princess. See? The evil bit.

In celebrity terms, I go for people like Fairuza Balk, someone who got pretty much typecast as an evil goth. Mmm. Evil.

The weird bit comes when the evil bit takes over. It makes me fancy city businesswomen in their heels and suits. Pretty much any characteristic or look that’s remotely femme fatale are fetishes of mine – smoking, heels, even fur. And I’m VEGAN! My sexuality formed long before my morality. And, in fact, if my morality wasn’t as it is I almost certainly wouldn’t find these things sexy.

And so the fashionista in Louboutins and a £2000 Louis Vuitton bag does it for me on that level just as surely as the archetypal goth girl. I actually find that whole loads-of-shopping bags consumerism sexy exactly because it conflicts with my values. Weird.

So the fashion industry has this odd kind of allure.

Ultimately, I’m never going to make the sort of money that would allow me access to that end of the fashion industry anyway. I can look at the clothes and the shoes and the shiny, shiny bags and then I can come back down to earth and make choices that reflect my own values and attitude to life. I am close to having a wardrobe that allows me to really play with what I wear, rather than sticking to the same stuff, but I never want to be the sort of person who goes to Primark to buy stuff because its cheapness means it doesn’t matter whether it gets worn.

Now then, to track down a new pair of shiny black leggings. It’s going to be a goth-girl week, I think.

Here’s the next installment of Occult Comedian, by the way. Please share it about.



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