Recent posts

How Fashion Should Feel

One thing that always frustrates me when I hear about fashion shows is that they never let you touch the clothes – sure, they look good on stage, but how would they feel pressed against my body, or better yet, against someone else’s?  Is that leather jacket one I would love to run my hand over when holding my lover?  How does my partner’s ass feel through that satiny dress?  Do the buttons undo easily, or will they need to be torn off? Continue Reading →

Corsets Part 2: A Brief History Of The Corset

Corsets have been around for centuries though their shape and function have changed considerably over the years. The earliest corsets were made of iron or leather and likely served medical purposes as well as aesthetic ones. However, by the 18th century, they were mainly used for aesthetic reasons. 1700s

The earliest proper corsets were made of linen and often stiffened with whalebone. They had shoulder straps and were meant to lift and support the bust. Continue Reading →

Pussy Purse Cat Carrier Travel Bag

Last weekend, we attended a wedding in Washington DC. On the way home, we flew out of National airport and passed by this woman, who was kind enough to pose for a photo (“Put in on Facebook”, she said). She explained to me that her cat carrier bag is called a “pussy purse” and she purchased it for her cat at a pet store. I tried to find such a purse online but was unable to using search terms such as pussy purse, travel bag for cats, carrier bag for cats and things of that nature. Has anyone else seen these? Continue Reading →

Chinese Foot Binding: A Glimpse Inside The Kinsey Institute’s Collections

If you’ve never been to The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, you should go. The Institute houses many thousands of pieces of art, artifacts and photographs. This week, the Institute’s curator, Catherine Johnson-Roehr, kindly allowed me to interview her about Chinese foot binding practices. She showed me several pairs of shoes worn by women who had their feet bound as well as a Chinese painting that depicts women with small bound feet. Watch the video to see and learn for yourself. Continue Reading →

How To Take My Clothes Off

When Debby proposed a fashion week for MSP, I immediately thought back to the magazines tucked away in my parent’s garage, and a particular article in one of my favorite magazines.  You see, back in the early 00′s (the naughts if you’re nasty),, the online community for thoughtful hedonists, had the gall to try and start a print magazine.  These artfully done issues had sexy stories and pictures, which made for a wonderfully erotic read.  However, their insistence on running sex-positive and feminist images and stories made it look woefully out of place next to the other porn mags, so the print version of the website was stopped after a scant six issues. Continue Reading →

Sexuality, Dress, and Women’s Life Cycles in India

One of the things I do as a folklorist is study body art, or the conscious modification or supplementation to the body. Body art topics range from the more sensational–tattoos, corsetry, piercings–to the mundane: clothing (everyday and special occasion), hair styles, facial hair, and jewelry. Studying the body art of a given time period, culture, or subculture can teach us about the values of a group of people, such as what they find appealing or sexy and why. Body art can also give clues as to how a person identifies in their life cycle: for example, in Western cultures, wearing a wedding or engagement ring can signify that a person is no longer single. Other cultures, however, have different–and sometimes more nuanced–systems for encoding meaning into clothing choices. Continue Reading →

Corsets Part 1: The Parts Of A Corset

Corsets are among my favorite items of clothing. They were originally designed to be undergarments that shaped women’s bodies for the fashions of the times. Now, they are mostly considered an attractive form of outerwear. I think they’re usually absolutely gorgeous but also complicated as far as clothing goes. Here’s a brief overview of the different structural parts of a corset. Continue Reading →

Acne Plays with Gender in Their Recent Collection

Swedish fashion label Acne (which stands for “Ambition to Create Novel Expressions”) has teamed up with Madrid-based transgender fashion magazine Candy to release a line of crepe silk and denim button down shirts designed to play with proportion and size, queering the line between men’s and women’s shirts. In a interview with, Acne founder described his collaboration with Candy’s publisher and editor in chief, Luis Venegas, as a perfect match:

“I’m in this business to have fun and to enjoy myself, and I feel that Luis is too. This collection touches on ideas I have always played with when designing for Acne, the tension between male and female and what happens when you shift things around a bit.” Continue Reading →