Sunday, January 15, 2006

A feminine icon

When I was at uni (more than ten years ago now) one of my disappointments was the mannish style of appearance of the young women on campus. The women would typically wear boots, jeans, a T-shirt, and a windcheater, with no makeup or jewellery or ornamentation of any kind.

They actually managed to look a bit boring, despite being in the full bloom of their womanhood age-wise.

I felt a bit robbed. I thought it a waste of youth, both theirs and mine.

Shortly after I left uni, the Australian fashion designer Alannah Hill rose to prominence. She was the exact opposite, style-wise, of the campus women. She was almost improbably feminine. I was mightily impressed, having been starved of the sight of a feminine woman for so long.

Earlier this year, Alannah Hill was interviewed for The Age newspaper. True to form, she described her fashion philosophy as follows:

I spend most days designing the most romantic clothes so that girls when they wear them will evoke some gush of love from the opposite sex.

Now, I am not suggesting that Alannah Hill is a conservative role model, or that women should aim to dress in quite the full-blown feminine way that she does.

Even so, it's a refreshing change for a woman to admit to wanting to inspire love in a man, and to do so by appearing feminine and romantically attractive. It sure beats campus grunge.


  1. Amen to that! I do think we're making some progress in moving away from the social viewpoint that women should be just like men. I agree that college-age women who dress like men are wasting their best years, and I suspect that they will look back in regret and some embarrassment at photos of themselves from that era when they dressed like dockworkers. Another trend that I hope is coming to an end is this fad of piercing and tatoos - especially those horrible "Tijuana License Plates" type of tatoos across young womens' lower back. *shudder*

  2. "..when they dressed like dockworkers."

    Funny you should use this particular comparison, as it's exactly how I put the situation to myself when I was at uni.

    I do agree that some progress has been made. In fact, if you were to visit my middle-class suburb of Melbourne during the warmer months you would see a host of beautifully dressed young women.

    And yes, it's disappointing that women would scar their own skin with ugly tatoos. It was a fad here a few years ago, but hopefully will soon lose its mainstream appeal, just as nose rings and eyebrow piercings have fallen out of favour.