Black Milk Clothing
Model – Lana Arowana Adams
Published June 10, 2013 at 960 × 640 in Gallery
“I hope that the stylists and fashion designers of the post-modern age will not burn in Hell. I am well acquainted with many of them, and I have distinct reservations about their ability to endure suffering. If they do burn in Hell, it will probably be because they have taken the crucifix and made it into a fashion accessory. The wearing of a visible cross was, in my experience, the prerogative of professional religious devotees or ladies with dubious reputations. Good Catholics wore them discreetly, often concealed under their sweatersets, and extricated them only for specific religious moments. In the punk and goth frenzy of the late seventies, crosses were worn to transmit a confusing, rebellious subtext: “Look at me, I am clearly not religious or conservative, but I choose to wear a cross. Hopefully, this will cause you to regard me as an enigmatic, troubled person.” By the 1980s, this fad had filtered down, and the stylists and fashion designers of the postmodern age encouraged middle-class girls to emulate punks and goths. (Think Madonna’s “Borderline.”) In the eraly 1990s, ladies wanted to look tarty. A cross, particularly when combined with a black push-up bra, a la Dolce & Gabbana, a la Sophia Loren, a la Guess Jeans, signifies the sketchy religious commitment of a lady with a dubious reputation. This look is definitely working-class and therefore wildly attractive to stylists and their mid-die-class clientele. A cross worn with dubious-lady styling suggests, “I, the wearer, regularly do things that make it necessary for me to take out a bit of religious insurance. I, therefore, prominently wear a cross.” A cross resting in the cleavage of a young lady, styled to suggest a dubious reputation, is a compelling sight. The stylists and fashion designers of the postmodern age knew only to well that middle-class girls love to toy with the cheeky styles of vulgarians and extremists, and were able to popularize the wearing of a cross as an accessory without too much effort. But what do nuns think of this? The various resonances of the crucifix are exploited by fashion designers, stylists, and fashion followers in a way that must surely make the average nun cringe. Maybe they undertsand. Maybe forward-thinking nuns even discuss their own crosses as if they were fashion accessories: “Sister Agnes, j’adore the new silver filigree cross you’re sporting!” (Simon Doonan, Creative Director, Barneys New York, Cross, p6)
June 10, 2013 at 2:06 am
This is just one person’s opinion on the symbolism of the cross within the fashion industry. I believe that fashion depicting religious iconography has become an art in its own context. Some may wear these garments as a fashion statement – to stand out against the societal norm, others may wear them as a declaration of their faith.
I’m a Catholic and I enjoy wearing fashion that reflects my personality including the cathedral leggings made by Black Milk Clothing. Some days I feel like making a testimony and wear them to church, other times I’m wearing them for comfort and because I enjoy them. I hope one day we can all appreciate the art of ‘difference’ and accept the individuals that choose to wear such ‘unorthodox’ fashion.
June 10, 2013 at 2:33 am
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