Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “l’homme est né libre et partout il est dans les chaînes”—“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” Never has this seemed truer than now, even in the fashion world. Earlier I wrote about the cage trend that has been popping up everywhere, which seems to stem from abridged personal freedoms. Basically the chain mail craze told the cage thing: “I’ll see your enclosure and raise you one head shackle.”
On a model who makes Lady Guinevere look like an unglamorous and fat, Alexander McQueen threw on a graphic red dress over a studded-metal bodysuit complete with headwear that allowed for only compromised vision and maybe a little mouth breathing (above).
For a more wearable version, try Roberto Cavalli’s asymmetrical sheath dress, which is as fashion forward as it is dominatrix hot (is that such a thing?). The look is extreme for sure, and looks sleek paired with liquid leggings and absolutely no smiling.
Leather straps on this Prada get up make it even more intimidating. The model seems to be wearing a hula skirt of cat-o-nine tails, perhaps crafted by a bullied/sexually frustrated/otherwise disgruntled islander.
While chains continue to bind us in both clothing-wise and freedoms-wise, it’s hard to say what will be the next iteration of sartorial reactions against a prolonged crusade against our freedoms. In an outfit that could not be more bizarre, Vivienne Westwood paired a faded skirt in dull, faded tones with a completely concealing head-to-hip chain mail contraption. Paired with gladiator sandals, this seems the ultimate culmination of my previous politi-couture theories about gray colors taking over, ruined civilizations trends, and straight-jacketesque appeal to clothing. The model looks like a warrior beekeeper. The only thing missing? The blurred lines between femininity and masculinity. Imagine my surpise upon discover this skirt-donning chain male is indeed a man. Could this be the look of the future?