May 2, 2017

This Is How She Does

Katy Perry at the Met Gala 2017

While everyone is talking about the 'red dress', I'm staring amazed at her head. Not one, but two traditional Dutch head ornaments are on Katy Perry's head. And apparently they are not Dutch, but part of the latest Maison Margiela Spring collection*. This is how it happens and it is very appropriate that - I believe we can call her that - the Queen of Cultural Appropriation finally is walking away with an European tradition. **

The Catwalk look by Maison Margiela 

Katy Perry at the Met Gala 2017

There is a lot of talk online and offline about Cultural Appropriation and particularly about what a white person shouldn't wear. For me this is very helpful and I learn a lot about important traditional dress from many different cultures. I learn about how it is traditionally worn, where, why, its history and in the process you can conclude for yourself this is probably not meant for you.
It also inspired me to look into Dutch traditional wear more. Because what is the appropriate fashion for Dutch and why do we feel the need to 'lend' so much from other cultures if we have a interesting traditional wear history ourselves.
First of, we start with the whole history repeats itself. When I first looked into Dutch traditional wear, I noticed we wore a lot of grey and black. Not really the thing I'm known for to wear. There were no patterns, not even checked fabrics. Our colonial history let us to colourful, patterned textiles that entered our tradition wear, mostly in the more coastal areas. We lend, copied, used fabrics from overseas. Silk from China, Checked and printed cotton from India. The wealth that came to our shores by trade allowed the traditional wear to become more elaborate, more over the top. A part of the traditional wear shows this proces really nicely: the 'oorijzer' (translated "Ear iron", is there an official English word for it?).

The Catwalk look by Maison Margiela 

Affiche from 1931 to promote 'Holland' for English tourism
The funny thing is that the traditional wear the girl is showing 
can only be found in the province Zeeland #

Ladies in traditional wear at a book presentation about traditional wear #

What started with a simpel iron band behind the head to hold the lace cap on its place become in three centuries an ornament that was big and shiny. 
During the ModeMuze lecture by Jacco Hooikammer he explained and showed this development. I also was surprised by images of traditional wear from Vlaardingen. I was so happy to discover that in the place I was born, 'Oorijzers' wear part of that dress too.*** After Jacco's mother showed us the Sunday dress for Staphorst including a beautiful big zilver 'oorijzer, I was ready to start rocking this myself!
Even though Katy Perry beat me to it, I still want to do something with this. I think it is an interesting subject to explore further. Both in history as in actual fashion to wear, so I'll get back on this for sure!

Display at Fries Museum of the development of "Ear Irons"

Read & see more:

* The Hair and Makeup at Maison Margiela Haute Couture Spring 2017 Was Pure Art
** 5 Reasons Katy Perry Is Pop Music's Worst Cultural Appropriator 
*** Vlaardings Oorijzer from 1896  on ModeMuze

# Both images of from

Images of Katy Perry at the Met Gala 2017 are from:

Katy Perry's Met Gala 2017 Ensemble Is Jaw-Dropping
Met Gala 2017: avant-garde looks on the red carpet - in pictures
Met Gala brings the weirdness as Katy Perry dons a veil
Katy Perry Goes All Out in a Red Dress and Veil at Met Gala 2017: Photos

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