Two For Fashion is inviting to write for the fashion parade. About marriage. What a theme…
I´d like to remind of the roots of marriage.
In the ancient Athens, men had a static place in the Polis (ancient greek city state) and Oikos (household), while women were mobile elements. Oikos can be seen as an economic unit made of the physical building and the family, as a place that ensures the law and reproduction of the father. Marriage was an institution answering the purpose to subdue a woman`s rampant sexuality. Denying women`s ability to control themselves, they were viewed as dangerous and vulnerable moving outside the house. In the greek state women were given from the father`s stove to the husband`s. Commenting on the ritual, it is to say, that women had to veil their faces (loosing any personality), got transported on a vehicular from one household to the other without touching the ground ( they weren`t belonging to a stove and therefore dangerous). After beeing carried into the husband`s house they had to touch the stove, while their wrists were holded tight by the husband. Could be both a sign of affection and of control and estate. As a precondition, controlling the mobility of women was an implied condition of the men`s role. Displacement of women from public space was justified and legitimized by philosophical and biological reasons. It got a material base in the realization of seperating architecture.
Right now, we got to review a long way back. In the knowledge, connubialities were disestablished in the late 1970ies, just 30 years ago, it`s essential to build gender-awareness.
Coming back to the invitation to write about marriage in a fashionable context, I ask myself if it´s got anything to do with a woman`s role today, when fashion designers even nowadays send out their last model on the runway as a bride. Furthermore modern couples can as well be made up of two men. Or two women.
Being in need of communication as a human being, it`s essential to use someone`s appearance for serving different codes. But we got the choice. Fashion designers, not reflecting gender roles while reproducing them in traditional ways seem to be fashion victims by themselves. In my mothertongue we differentiate between MODE and FASHION. MODE is made by the reflected ones.