‘States of Undress’ – Michaela Lefebvre

With the film taking part in Pakistan, it gives an interesting insight to this ‘world’ of fashion and how things are so different. Most often we are only exposed to fashion worlds in Paris, Milan, London, etc. but to see a different point of view was eye opening. This film, in regards to our class and discussions, has some points that are similar to Niessen. The sense of the ‘anti-fashion’ and how women in Pakistan have a very hard time dealing with expression through clothes, and they are constantly being told not to wear/look a certain way. Pakistan fashion goers are very influenced by the ‘west’ are constantly competing for the minds of the public.

I thought it was really interesting to see a designer step out of the box and showcase their ‘bondage’ looks. However, in regards to our ‘American’ definition compared to their definition of bondage, it exemplifies being in tact with yourself. Another interesting point was how Pakistan fashion is focused on covering up, rather than exposing the skin, where it seems most other fashion shows in NYC or Paris are of the opposite. Also- who bans alcohol? That is definitely something I found interesting how it is seen as such a form for violence and as a misdemeanor that it has to be banned altogether.

A few points that were a little difficult to understand, fashion shows are a way to represent culture and expression for individuals and groups of people. Security is extremely beefed up, when it should be a place of happiness and togetherness. Women are treated as ‘commodities’ in Pakistan, and it is extremely unfortunate. Seeing the burn victims definitely had an impact on me and made me realize how the simplest form of expression is frowned upon. I could never imagine a world like that-being forced to act and a look a certain way. The women are stronger than the men-standing up for themselves when being repeatedly tortured by their husbands and families.

This documentary was important mainly in the exposure to this lifestyle and how Pakistani women are treated through fashion. Closely related to Neissen in re-defining the fashion theory, these women want the same things that all women do, they are no different, however it is seen as very controversial for women who choose to cover themselves up due to religious beliefs to not have an interest in fashion. Dress can be cultural, political, and celebrate diversity and difference amongst individuals. But to these women, their form of dress (Burka) is used to defend themselves, and is seen as the only option they have most of the time. Pakistan is a vital country in the textile industry being it the 4th largest cotton producer, so putting that into perspective is crucial in understanding the importance in where a lot of our clothing comes from, especially denim.  We are exposed to mostly religious Pakistani clothing, and little fashion, so this documentary was beneficial in helping me see how this side of the world feels about fashion, and how they maintain influential to our industry.



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