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Yoko Homo and other New Zealand myths


September 19, 2007/22.33

Hushed into the corner by a designer amongst the hum of Fashion Week, I was asked if I had seen the Michael Pattison show Yoko Homo. I hadn’t, but I wish I had.
   He began to retell a story involving a spat between Mr Pattison and Ms Stacy Gregg. He had actually the story a little askew, as far as I can make out from my web research and, although far less sensationalist, the real story intrigued me much more.
   I never would have guessed that fashion journalist ethics would be such a minefield, but a big ‘Hip, hip, hooray’ for Stacy Gregg who stepped up to become not only a design but a media watchdog, pointing out bias in a FashioNZ blog, the reporter being involved with the PR company for Pattison.
   I am a big fan of Gregg: she does not waste sentences, she is observant and poignant. I respect that she can write whatever she want. I wish I could write whatever I wanted …
   Not prone to superlative, she is exacting in her craft. Compare her decisive writing to the ‘this is sure to be the show to remember from this year,’ from the FashioNZ blog—well hang on, it was only Monday, shows run until Thursday, Friday if you count Karen Walker’s screening of the NY show.
   Gregg’s report, as usual, was much more interesting. For me, though, it posed a very interesting question. It would appear that New Zealanders (if I may make a bold sweeping statement that I have just criticized FashioNZ of doing) are still insecure about our sexuality. Could you theme a whole show on being straight? I shudder to think what it would look like. And with sexuality taking something of a pedestal position on the fashion industry, the potential for some representation that runs a little deeper that pink garments on men is due.
   I have been dying to get my hands on that feature where I explore sexuality and dress: so far it’s been elusive. I have had no environmental catalyst to spark it off. Fashion celebrates the gay male, their approach to the female form, as being the ‘in between’ in you like between to polarized ideas.
   But it left me wondering what a “straight as hell” collection would look like. I’m just not sure if the world is ready for it. Maybe it’s just jealousy from being so painfully, boringly straight. The collection got a big yawn from me, but at least it raised a few questions which, as a design-trained writer, I feel a collection should always do. It had me discussing the role of sexuality in clothing amongst the front rows of fashion shows with everyone from buyers to model agents.
   The general consensus, to make another sweeping statement, is that that role will adjust in time, and we will all laugh at the fact it was even worth a mention. Let alone justification of a whole fashion show. The whole perception of sexuality will hopefully become a lot like the static binary system it is currently, to be seen as the fluid spectrum. In short, the invention of sexuality in itself is just way, way overrated.

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Filed by Lucire staff

One thought on ‘Yoko Homo and other New Zealand myths

  1. New Zealand is perhaps too small for there not to be such behind-the-scenes relationships ’twixt PR and journalism. However, I am sure in future such articles will be tempered on FashioNZ, when there is a relationship between the writer and the subject. Additionally, I am sure the Packer Press itself (I hesitate to say Ms Gregg herself, for no examples come to mind) is guilty of championing client brands in editorial in more glowing terms than they deserve.

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