A Silk Dress Covered in Misogynistic Beauty Ads
The print, which initially reads as newspaper, has a deeper meaning.
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At first glance, the above dress, which I saw in person at a preview recently, reads as a newspaper print — not unlike the ones John Galliano, Dior and Carrie Bradshaw popularized in the early 2000s. But a closer look reveals "headlines" like "Beautiful But Dumb," "Wanted: 1000 Skinny People" and "Nervous Women Are the First to Lose Their Youth and Charm."
In fact, they're not newspaper articles, but real beauty advertisements collaged with historical yellowpages from the twentieth century. The dress is part of Los Angeles-based brand Grover Rad's latest collection, titled "Nip Tuck: The Pursuit of Beauty." I've been thinking about it ever since I saw it.
Designer and founder Lizzie Grover Rad builds each collection around some thought-provoking theme, often providing commentary on a timely social or cultural issue through a combination of fashion and art. Graphic, sometimes controversial prints give new meaning to classic, wearable silhouettes, from silk dresses to mini skirts to T-shirts.
The brand's third and most recent collection is described as "a reflection on the heavy role the patriarchy has played in women’s beauty ideals and the historical, ongoing pressure women feel to keep their youth and to look desirable to attract a mate."
Typically, I'm not one to wear a bold print or even a graphic tee, but I'm drawn to the artistic and almost playful messaging in Grover Rad's designs, and the simple silhouettes are very much in my wheelhouse. Plus, they're natural conversation-starters.
Grover Rad Advert Bias Dress, $950, available here (sizes XS-L)
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