Revisit '80s Style With John K. Snyder III's 'Fashion in Action'
Read “fashion comic” and it’s easy — it’s really easy — to visualise genteel elegance, perhaps (if you want to get nutty) with a side of razzle-dazzle. Dior, Chanel, the '50s-through-'70s girls’ comics with paper dolls and reader-designed costumes... What was once daring and new, liberating for the wearer, has become established, gender-restrictive, rote and retro. Things "for girls," or about us, are easy enough to dismiss without the added impression that comics, as an English-language industry, doesn't think girls want much more than the feminine or the shallow. We imagine "fashion comics" and see good clean fun — easily, we see compliance. Interrogating that reductive response is hard when we look around and see very little to contradict it, or to comfort our non-compliant selves with, as we explore what fashion and gender mean personally, to us. Fashion in Action, currently halfway through a healthy Kickstarter campaign, is something to cling onto: Fashion in Action is kind of grotty.