psych March 03 2014, 0 Comments

A fascinating 1938 Vogue magazine article psychoanalyzing fashion. (Magazine and photos from my own personal collection).

 

 

"Everything we put on our backs, it seems, is a dead give-away to the psychoanalysts. (Fortunately for our peace of mind, psychiatrists make up only a small percentage of the population). Anyhow, when we asked two noted psychiatrists to analyse current fashions- they explained everything. Our simplest vanities have ominous Significance. Here's the diagnosis- illustrated by Bernard Sanders, an expert on psychotic drawings. But there's one ray of light- these psychiatrists, after all, were only men. 

 

~High-soled shoes, as deglamorouized by the psychiatrists, are practically a badge of the inner frustration of poor, abused womankind. 

 

~Junk jewellery is supposed to bare a woman's anxiety for recognition, her need for significance, her fundamental struggle to outbalance men. 

 

~Crazy hats seem to be a rather sinister sort of displaced exhibitionism…if not a defense against some insecurity, such as having none too pretty a face. 

 

 

~Bangle bracelets. One or two bracelets, you'll be relieved to know, are considered normal enough, but piling them on in quantities is likely to show an eagerness to be enlaved, a regression to savagery, possibly even a bit of heinous masochism. 

 

~Painted toe-nails, finger-nails and lips probably are a sign of women's crying need for power. And the reason men resent such intense polishes (now it all comes out!) is that they unconsciously fear and feminine assumption of power. 

 

~Peasant dirndls- though they may make you feel like a fresh-faced, forthright extrovert- may express a sublimation of the normal creative, reproductive needs; a desire to accent the mother-woman-domestic role. 

 

~Fancy head-dresses are considered just more of the same stimulant for the ego that crazy hats are. If you like either, or both, you are apt to be seeking compensation for some inadequacy or deficiency. Unless, of course, you happen to take all of this with your tongue in cheek.