Posted by: apopalyptic | 07/01/2010

Gonna Dress You Up in my Clothes from Before All That

So Madonna is creating a new clothing line with her daughter, Lourdes, for Macy’s.

While that’s all well and good, let’s discuss this for a second. It’s called Material Girl. Haha okay we get it. And it is basically a cheaper, watered down rehash of Madonna’s 80s look, which was a combo of New York City street fashion and Cindy Lauper, as Randi has pointed out. It was 80s thrift store chic, which is to say not the first iteration of thrift store chic, but it was taking what people dumped into the SalArm of their 50s and 60s clothes, before vintage was Vintage with a capital V.

What’s happening now, I surmise, is that Madonna may have muttered under her breath: “So now all these kids are wearing what I co-opted in 1985? Shit, I want in on that, too!” And because Madonna is surrounded by marketing fairies and cultural sprites, a little birdie flew over to Macy’s window and said: we’ll make millions with this one! The issue, though, is that Madonna can’t wear that stuff now, and why would she want to anyway, when she’s got Marc Jacobs on speed dial? But, she does have an almost 14y.o. daughter who can and probably does (and holy crap– as any 14y.o. girl with a fashion-centered mother can attest– Lourdes kind of hit pay dirt), so there’s her in.

Or, her fake in. Lourdes allegedly wrote this blog entry, but I’m not buying that. Word to the marketing wise: if the kid whose style you’re aping goes to school in the UK, it’s “colour,” not “color.” Got that? Though I do buy into the fact that Madonna and Child do spend time thinking and talking about fashion, and shopping together, and discussing how one cultivates their own Original Style, my disbelief is not suspended so much here, especially since Madonna has kind of made it a point for Lourdes to stay away from public outbursts a la the Hilton Sisters. I’m kind of surprised that she would pimp out her kid like that.

See, this is what happens, though… Madonna took all that good  back in the day, turned it into a Thing which young teenage girls adopted as their own; and everybody knows that once any trope goes to the teenage girls, it’s pretty much over as far as being something interesting and controversial (I mean, I could buy mesh headbands at the Maryanne Shoppe on Bustleton Avenue in 1985, and Northeast Philadelphia is not Paris, I’ll tell you what). That’s how it always works, right? All fashion is a cycle. The high end gets co-opted by the low end eventually and becomes gauche, and then the cycle makes it’s way back to the top again where the style gets re-upped. And that’s what’s happening here. I predict, though, that the Material Girl Collection is going to be a failure (you don’t say) because it’s manufacturing cutesy nostalgia. It might work as a novelty for about five minutes, when Women of A Certain Age think it’s cute for their daughters to want to dress like they did. But, any of these ladies worth their salt will have saved their outfits and be able to upcycle them to their kids (including boys!). And these kids will make it their own (like we did) by learning to sew or to dye fabrics or what happens when you soak black jeans in bleach. The Apocalypse is not about making anew, it’s about reusing the old. Sorry, Madonna.

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