This is my last week of study and I am studying diligently for an exam. Aside from refining what I know about sex and gender is Australian history, I'm also becoming a masterful procrastinator. Being burnt out from study undermines my resistance to procrastinating and I find myself doing the most boring tasks, and thoroughly enjoying them, simply because they aren't study.
So far what I've revised is all about being critical of historians and what they say, because of issues with perspective and lens. This has skewed understanding of things like Australian Indigenous history because the historians documenting these narratives were looking at it from a Euro-centric perspective. I've been looking at how the voices of Indigenous women have often been swamped by the voices of white women. I've been looking at identifying who has the power in a particular discourse, what we know about their power and identity by what they project, and what power the people those discourses or histories talk about hold. This is really interesting when looking at colonial exploration and masculinity, and the way indigenous people and alternative cultures around the world were depicted as the 'Other' and often shown in ways that projected suppressed white european male sexual fantasies. Yep. Heavy stuff. I've got a fair bit to go, and I'm quite nervous about the exam.
In between listening to lecture recordings and taking notes, I took a little time to go and take some photos with my beautiful sister. I was excited to do photos today because I tried something different with my hair by drying it a different way. I've got naturally curly hair, it's also quite fine and this causes issues with having it dry naturally. I normally fight the wave in it when I blow dry it, but today I decided to try and embrace it and help the wave form. I was really surprised to find it looks quite elegant when I do this and it takes very little effort. I can see myself having this as my staple hair style from now on.
Today's dress is another one that I designed. I chose the material and had it made by Clare Schreenan at Clasch Design. It's the third thing I've had made by her and was inspired by a few different designs I've seen around. I chose a microfibre material for the depth of its colour, but it is problematic because it readily creases and looks quite scruffy very quickly. It was really fun designing a dress with all the elements I love in a dress and all the things that suit my figure. I love this sleeve style, but I often find that if I buy these off the shelf that they are usually too tight for me. This is because I've got arms shaped more like Marilyn Monroe than the Duchess of Cambridge: an elegant outward curve from the shoulder as opposed to an elegant inward curve.
This colour is one that I have recently discovered looks divine with my colouring so I'm trying to get more of it into my wardrobe. I wander past this spot regularly and when I noticed all the exquisite yellows from the trees, I knew it would be perfect to contrast with the colours of this dress.
In this unit of my studies there is a topic on the body, fashion and sexuality. The lecturer has shared a quote that I couldn't resist passing on.
'Garments do not merely cover the body. They inscribe upon it signs of ownership and gender, the wearer's occupation, age, financial position, ethnicity and power...material evidence of current pre-occupations with appearance that speak of constantly changing relationships between the body and the performing self.' - Margaret Maynard.
These are the sorts of ideas that get me excited as a student, because clothing is such a big part of my identity. As my lecturer would say, it helps me 'unpack that' and look deeper into what it means for me. I'd say that this dress and my design of it, my use of Pinterest to style, my blogging of this moment, the styling of the dress in the photos, what I'm saying about it, my whole blog... all it of is part of a me 'gender performing'. I'd love to look into that more, but I'm not doing social studies, I'm doing history.
Dress: designed and custom made through Clasch Design
Shoes: Frolic by Foot Wedge from ModCloth
Photos: The Goldfields Girl
Location: Wendouree Lake
If you want to see all the dresses that influenced the design process of this dress, check out my Pinterest board here. You might find something you like that you can buy from an online store!