No sew, no fuss for a summer fashion must!
One of my first tastes of fashion journalism came during an internship at Glamour Magazine in suitably exotic Cape Town, South Africa. It was autumn (there and summer here) 2007; I was reporting on what men (heterosexual ones, natch!) thought of the ubiquitous noughties trend of billowing tunics and tulip skirts. It provided a predictably depressing indictment of how fashion’s more inventive sculptural ventures translate to the male gaze, with ample words to the effect of “what’s she trying to hide under there?” and “it looks like a maternity dress!” Also included in the arsenal of supposed femininity faux pas were turbans, not so much for being unflattering by the narrow standards and norm that govern western beauty ideals but for being a bit, well, weird. Cultural appropriation has always been a challenge in fashion, not to mention a touchy subject. What makes pastiche patronising and what sells the dream of exoticism intended by the cultural references? Sure, the turban headband fits comfortably within the context of the bohemian hippie vibe of the 70s; it also hints at the mystique of orientalism while distilling it to accessible high street level with knot and wave detailing.
And so we arrive at my take on the trend. It was a maddening irony that the item that was the quickest to make proved the slowest to publish in video form for two reasons: the editing programme I used was slow and its usage more awkward than trying to circumnavigate airport security with a genital piercing; and while the initial plan was to publish it on Instagram, that appeared to come with a myriad of requirements that I had to teach myself. For this, I could include a tutorial within a tutorial, of sorts but, spoiler: it only accepts MP4 videos! Knowing that is half the battle – or seven eighths if we’re talking in terms of time! The conspiracy theorist in me (along with a fair few of my more objective deduction faculties) wonders if the omission of this simple explanation as to why one’s phone isn’t ‘seeing’ the video when it comes to uploading it is Instagram’s way of saying “dear PC users and anyone else too miserly or impecunious to afford a Mac, sucks to be you, trololol!” Rantings aside, this beginners-level tutorial came out a little too frenetic in Instagram form, despite my best efforts.
I made a video which I hope describes the process a little more clearly of how you can turn a second-hand scarf – or, you know, a new one – into a turban headband without even needing to thread a sewing machine.