Bibliostyle: “Shirley” by Charlotte Brontë


Above: Marchesa Resort 2016


Above: Zimmermann Resort 2016


Above: Pamella Roland Resort 2016

Then she had to dress in her freshest and fairest attire of white muslin; the perfect fineness of the day and the solemnity of the occasion warranted, and even exacted, such costume. Her new sash […] was tied by the dexterous fingers of Fanny, who took no little pleasure in arraying her fair young mistress for the occasion; her simple bonnet had been trimmed to correspond with her sash; her pretty but inexpensive scarf of white crape [sic] suited her dress. When ready, she formed a picture, not bright enough to dazzle, but fair enough to interest; not brilliantly striking, but very delicately pleasing; a picture in which sweetness of tint, purity of air, and grace of mien, atoned for the absence of rich colouring and magnificent contour [….]

Shirley, indolent with the heat, and gay with her youth and pleasurable nature, wanted to talk, laugh, and linger; but Caroline, intent on being in time, persevered in dressing her as fast as fingers could fasten strings or insert pins. At length, as she united a final row of hooks and eyes, she found leisure to chide her, saying, she was very naughty to be so unpunctual; that she looked even now the picture of incorrigible carelessness: and so Shirley did-but a very lovely picture of that tiresome quality.


Above: Alessandra Rich Fall 2015


Above: Marchesa Notte Resort 2016


Above: Sophia Kah Spring 2015

She presented quite a contrast to Caroline: there was style in every fold of her dress and every line of her figure: the rick silk suited her better than a simpler costume; the deep-embroidered scarf became her; she wore it negligently, but gracefully; the wreath on her bonnet crowned her well: the attention to fashion, the tasteful appliance of ornament in each portion of her dress, where quite in place with her: all this suited her, like the frank light in her eyes, the rallying smile about her lips, like shaft-straight carriage and lightsome step. Caroline took her hand when she was dressed, hurried her downstairs, out of doors, and thus they sped through the fields, laughing as they went, and looking very much like a snow-white dove and a gem-tinted bird-of-paradise joined in social flight.

– from Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

Excerpt: Laverne Cox on Femme Aesthetics in BUST


Above: Laverne Cox. Photography by Danielle Levitt in BUST June/July 2015

The women [Cox and bell hooks] agree on much, but hooks called into question Cox’s presentation of femininity–how her long blond wigs, dresses, and traditional feminine beauty embody what some feminist women have attempted to reject or avoid. Onstage, Cox responded in part, “If I’m embracing a patriarchal gaze with this presentation, it’s the way that I’ve found something that feels empowering…I’ve never been interested in being invisible and erased.”

Cox, who remains in touch with hooks, tells me “everybody” asks her about that exchange. I ask her if it’s insulting to suggest that her high-femme presentation is, in fact, a capitulation to the patriarchy rather than an empowered choice, and she responds carefully. “What bell hooks would say to that is that we make choices-and this is me being a huge fan of bell hooks-but there’s something almost binary that suggests either you are moving against cis-normative, hetero-normative, imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy, or you’re complicit with it. That kind of binary is really, deeply problematic. I think it’s more complicated. I’ve gone through all sorts of aesthetic phases. I had a shaved head in college,. I wore makeup and I was gender-nonconformist. I also had box braids and a mohawk in college and a little bit after. So I’ve gone through all these different phases aesthetically. I love where I’m at now. I feel like I’ve evolved into being more myself.” But, she adds, “I think at the end of the day, I’m very much working within the system.”

-from “She’s All That” by Sara Benincasa in BUST June/July 2015

Gloss over This: Ashley Benson

ashley benson

“There aren’t a lot of films right now with strong female leads. There should be more–especially after Spring Breakers happened. We are all waiting.”

-Ashley Benson in “Beyond Pretty” by Elio Iannacci in Fashion Summer 2015

The Closet Feminist: Top 5 Pins

With boards like ‘Diversity in Fashion‘ and ‘LGBTQ2S x Fashion‘, The Closet Feminist’s Pinterest has a little something for everyone. We pin every fashion week, with boards divided up by city. We focus on the collections of design houses headed by women exclusively–it’s good to support the work of women.

Here are our top 5 pins currently!


Meet Torrid’s Badass, Outspoken Plus-Size Model


11 Plus-Size Jumpsuits That Are Easily Your Favorite Go-Tos


The Problem With Baby Hairs, ‘Urban’ and the Fashion Industry


This Dress from Ulyana Sergeenko’s Spring 2015 Couture collection


American Apparel Bans In-Office Dating After Dov Charney’s Departure

Covers & Content: July 2015

Read on to find out how the diversity of Canada’s top three fashion magazines stacked up this month.

NOTE: As discussed in our June post for Covers & Content, both Flare and Fashion opted to do a summer issue covering both June and July. The only Canadian fashion magazine to do a July issue was Elle Canada, details below.

elle canda_july2015 cover

The Magazine: Elle Canada

The Cover Star: Anaïs Pouliot

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: There were two fashion editorials this month, and both featured one thin, white model each.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No




The Magazine: Flare

The Cover Star: Eugenie Bouchard

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: There were two fashion editorials this month, both starred one thin, white model each. This means that this issue of Flare was a Whiteout Issue.

It should be noted that the first editorial, “Zen Mastery” was focused on Japanese-inspired fashion, yet starred a blonde-haired, blue-eyed model. Overall, evoked much of the cultural appropriation and racism we last critiqued in their March 2013 issue.

Also interesting–this issue of Flare is a Summer issue, comprising both June and July. Normally, Flare does an issue for both months, so this is a new thing. It is also disappointing, because, like Fashion, this magazine will have a Whiteout Issue on the stands for an extra month.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Nope



The Magazine: Fashion

The Cover Star: Ashley Benson

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: There was one fashion editorial for this issue, starring one thin, white model, making this issue ofFashion a Whiteout Issue. This is especially disappointing because this issue of Fashion is actually Fashion‘s “Summer” issue, comprising both June and July.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No


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