Thursday, September 12, 2019

Using "Old Lady" To Showcase Unflattering Clothes

Today I was reading an article from the Fashion critic Robin Givhan. The topic was about how Project Runway was using the phrase ' old lady' to describe a certain style. She talks about how she has a complaint from a Woman called Carolyn Dry who loves to watch the show but stated that " I found it hard to watch to the end." 

According to Robin, Dry spoke the designer Christian Siriano who has warned the contestants to avoid looks that were "old lady" or " golden girls".Although we know his intentions were to encourage the contestants to make their designs look modern, the use of language can be seen as insulting to many Women. 

Furthermore, one designer on the show defended the fashion sense of his grandmother. However, this does disregard that the phrase was used repeatedly. 

Designer Siriano replied to Dry's complaint with " I dress women of all ages and have for years. I have female customers that I see on a daily basis that speak in these terms to describe how they want to look in clothes to me. I would never equate the term 'old lady' with something negative, but rather as a way to describe something that simply looks dated. On a personal note, both my mom and sister have great style but would never want to wear what the other does! Many women describe the way they want to look based on age and that goes both ways, young and old." 

Robin explains that " Dry would like an apology and would like it to come from Siriano but in truth, the designer is really just a stand-in for a culture that persists in devaluing older women in ways large and small." 

Siriano wrote in his email, " this is obviously a much larger conversation about society and the language we use toward one another, in general, that should be addressed. 

In my opinion, the phrase 'old lady' is a term that is definitely used a lot. Sometimes I have used it myself but never really thought on it as it was just a phrase to describe a certain style. Reading this article has opened my eyes to the certain vocabulary society uses and Siriano is definitely right in the fact that a conversation needs to happen in regards to the phrase 'old lady' and many other vocabulary that is used. 

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