How to Whitewash A Dandy: A Colorless Account of Queer Fashion History

By Tiffany Mott-Smith

http://taggmagazine.com/a-colorless-account-of-queer-fashion-history/

Queer Fashion History Exhibit: The Museum at FIT, 2013

Queer Fashion History Exhibit: The Museum at FIT, 2013

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Queer Fashion History Symposium. I spent six and half hours preparing for this event. Three minutes checking in with my editor for the event, 55 minutes looking for my press badge, two minutes watching my boifriend find my press badge hanging from my doorknob, 30 minutes dropping off my favorite pair of boots at Phillips Shoe Repair, 30 minutes spilling the tea with my favorite shoe repairman’s wife, 30 minutes re-adhering crystals to my favorite pair of boots, four hours deciding on approximately three outfits to match my favorite pair of boots. In case you are wondering, yes dear, these boots are everything!

Arriving at the symposium with my boots and badge in tow, I scanned the room with an immediate furrowed brow. I had imagined wild hair under elaborate chapeaus, statement necklaces and new romantic inspired street fashion. Instead I saw almost exclusively plain shoes, muted colors and dulled accessories- perhaps foreshadowing the day to come.

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Les Sapeurs

Here are links to additional information about the Sape, the dandy phenomenon in the two Congos:

You may also be interested in this article about the Herero of Namibia, who transformed the dress imposed on them by German colonial forces into a distinctive style: http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/03/01/jim_naughten_documenting_the_herero_tribe_of_namibia_and_its_20th_century.html