Chanel, Spring 2008
At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, I find this look from Chanel gauche in design. "Stars and stripes" will inescapably conjure up images of our founding fathers in wigs and our gallant young soldiers fighting for their freedom from the tyrant King George. And perhaps it is no surprise that we have both a biopic on John Adams and a recent film about Iraq: two opposing views on the issue. Yet this kind of dressing is contrived and reminds me of a young man I once knew who wore Puerto Rican paraphernalia but who never actually lived or went there (nor was fully Puerto Rican). One can do stars in a less overtly political manner, like Stefano Pilati's Spring 2008 Yves Saint Laurent collection, without all of the garishness of wearing one's home country's map. As one who's married to a "foreigner" and who's always found herself surrounded by people of all races, cultures, and nationalities, I find it necessary to be sensitive to the overtures of loud political fashion. Of course, I say all of this as a byproduct of the very freedom that comes from living in this country, and I also am aware of the ironic implications of raising a fashionable eyebrow at those who embrace their freedom of expression.