Downtown: BLURRED MINDS

The following post is written on January 23th, 2014. I wrote this with a fellow student for our website Trendpit.nl .

On Wednesday, January 22th 2014, the Trendpit report team arrived at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam. It was time for the fifth day of 10 days Downtown.
In collaboration with SSBA Salon a tableau vivant (living picture) took place around the Spring/Summer Collection 2014 of the fashion designer duo MaryMe-JimmyPaul. MaryMe-JimmyPaul has an affinity for the theater, so this was the perfect location to show their collection. A young theatre collective, The Amazing Agency, was present to show a selection of their pieces. A perfect place for theatre lovers and fashion lovers to meet and get acquainted with the various disciplines. But not only fashion and theatre were present, pop music had a big roll this night.
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When we walked into the area on the ground floor the first thing we noticed was the loud music, the actual song we heard is called ‘Bound 2’ from Kanye West. When we walked closer, horses appeared on a big screen. Right in front of the big screen was a motorcycle, with two girls on it dressed in bright pink outfits with pink metallic boots. In the beginning of the act the two girls were hugging each other. As the act progressed one girl lied down on the motorcycle, she started seducing the other girl who started rapping along with Kanye West. The girl that started rapping was acting like a guy and was seduced by the other. But she was actually dressed in bright metallic pink with sequins.

The act was actually based on the video clip ‘Bound 2’. Kanye’s ‘Bound 2’ video clip radiates mostly sex and lust, the woman is mainly seen as the sex object. The role of the females within this context is that they can play the role of the female as well as the male. Sexualizing the actual music video even more by fulfilling a fantasy of many men, two underdressed woman riding a motor cycle.
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“Next stop on the first floor: ‘I want to break free’.” A cosy setting with a fluffy dressed female model sitting on a coach, reading a book was our next stop. A male model dressed in women’s clothes is vacuum cleaning his ass of. It is obviously a parody of Queen’s ‘I want to break free’ music video.
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Housekeeping is stereotyped as a woman’s job. Vacuuming women dressed in revealing clothing is a man’s dirty fantasy, sexualizing a daily task. But is it still sexy when roles are swapped? When a man dressed in revealing ‘women’ clothing is sexualizing vacuuming?

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On the last floor there were already four ladies and a bicycle waiting for us. Three ladies dressed in outrageous dresses with bright colours and weird shapes coming out of the fabric. Like some kind of craft boxes: colourful, with odd shapes and different fabrics. The fourth girl was just dressed in a set of black underwear and a goat mask. Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ began to play, and the women started dancing. It looked like they’d already had a couple of drinks and were not to squeamish to show some offensive moves. On the white sail behind them appeared some hashtags, just as in the original clip, but than with a twist. Things as #blurredminds, #sorrynobudget and #goatcheese appeared.

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The last seems to refer to the girl with the goat mask, which presents itself like a sex object with the revealing clothes and her moves. #sorrynobudget seems to be a statement against fashion, which highlights the expensive price tag on designers pieces. Our minds are blurred. By pop music, but fashion blurs our mind just as much.

If we compare these three Tableau Vivant acts, one thing became clear. All acts were parodies of famous video clips. The woman’s role is sexualized,  women are reflected as a lust object in all three original video clips. These fashion theatre acts make fun of the woman’s role in these video clips in different ways. The pop culture has a big influence on fashion these days.

We immediately think that everything that happens in pop music and fashion is cool and that we should fit in this picture. It is time to make our own decisions and bother less about what happens in the pop music and fashion. It is time to make our own decisions.

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