Subjugation: Faey Fashion

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Mark_Reed
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Subjugation: Faey Fashion

Post by Mark_Reed »

I was rereading Subjugation from chapter 1 and I noticed something. The Faey seem to have a culture which is rather different from human culture, yet Faey fashion doesn't reflect it. In fact, Faey fashion (what I've been able to make of it, and I'm not even close to fashionably *competent* let alone an authority on the matter) seems to be remarkably close to human clothing styles. I never noticed on my previous read throughs, but this time I realized that we see Jyslin in either her armor or workout clothes throughout all of chapters 1 and 2. Symone seems to spend most of chapter 2 naked, but one assumes her dress is 'human casual' when she wears things in chapter 3 on. ;)

Neither of these two things seem out of place, because you can assume Symone and Jysline are trying to fit in with the 'natives' on their off hours. When Jysline buys her dress for the date in chapter 3 (also in human style) you can reason it as a further attempt to make Jason feel comfortable. But shouldn't the Faey at the Opera dress in uniquely Faey styles? The men wear robes, with or without jewelery and accented with sashes of different color. The women are vaguely described as wearing dresses. *Takes a moment to look up the exact quote*

Scattered through the lobby were about a hundred Faey, all dressed in elegant formal wear. Women wore gowns of every color imaginable, some plain, some almost guady, and all of them had their hair done up elaborately. Jyslin looked positively plain compared to most of them. Some were dripping with jewels from their fingers and throats and ears, and as he got a closer look, he saw that the Faey seemed to have no concept of the idea of a high neckline. Every single dress exposed cleavage to some degree, and a few of them were so deep that more blue-skinned breast was revealed than concealed. Jyslins gown was rather modest compared to most.

Why are the females, the dominant gender of the race, wearing dresses at all? In a telepathic culture, where the males and females have equal physical strength (one the professors said it in chapter 1), shouldn't the female clothing be more practical?

I've never really paid much attention to clothing before, and I certainly have not taken any classes or courses on the subject, so I'm probably the anti-expert on fashion, if such a title exists. But it seems to me that dresses, skirts, and all the other stuff women wear to look more 'feminine' are cultural. Women seem to perfer robes in the middle east and indian regions, although that might be due to religion. But dresses themselves don't seem like something the 'dominant' gender would wear. The styles for males here in America (along with quite a few other countries, I'm sure) seem to reflect utility. Pants and shirts are in general baggy, or in some manner allowing for freedom of movement. I'm guessing it's some sort of reflection that men are supposed to be the strong or physical sex. While guys certainly don't walk around in nothing but loincloths, showing off their impeccably muscular chests, the male clothing seems to subtly highlight physical features of strength. Female clothing, on the other hand, can be as restricting and confining as the wearer wishes. Certainly not all female clothes are, but there's variety. Women's fashion seems to highlight completely different parts of the body. (Okay okay, get your minds out of the gutter. ;) ) Look at V-neck shirts and dresses with 'plunging necklines.' A 400 pound man may have just as large a pair of breasts as a slim woman, but it's taboo if he wears clothing to show off his 'cleavage.' As a man, he's expected to look 'masculine' rather than 'feminine' (whatever that means).

So anyway, my whole point is that fashion reflects culture. The Faey have a culture that has very little to do with physical prowess. Intelligence and telepathic ability are the quick routes to popularity in Faey high schools (Jyslin, chapter 3, in the limo heading to the opera) and, one assumes, everywhere else. In fact, the dominant genders have been transposed in Faey society. So, given all of that, why wear a dress? I noticed that Jyslin describes the Faey homeworld (aparently, it's just called "Homeworld") as rather hot (chapter 3, dinner at copeland's). Shouldn't the fashion reflect that? Maybe the Faey should just all wear toga's or something. *grin*

Just thought I'd bring it up for discussion. Maybe I just need some educating on what femine and muscline are supposed to be... *shrug*

... oh, and at the opera, why do some of the men choose not to wear jewelery (the primary purpose of which is decoration) and yet *all* of the women wear it? Shouldn't that be the other way around?
Last edited by Mark_Reed on Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Spec8472
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Re: Subjugation: Faey Fashion

Post by Spec8472 »

mark_reed wrote:In fact, Faey fashion [...] seems to be remarkably close to human clothing styles.
Perhaps it is because Human and Faey are fairly much the same shape and size, and share a common interest in beauty.

I did notice that the materials for Jasons new bullet-proof clothing were simply 'human-look-alike' faey materials.

mark_reed wrote:But shouldn't the Faey at the Opera dress in uniquely Faey styles? [...]
Why are the females, the dominant gender of the race, wearing dresses at all?  
[...]
shouldn't the female clothing be more practical?
[...]
But it seems to me that dresses, skirts, and all the other stuff women wear to look more 'feminine' are cultural.



Perhaps it is a beauty thing? From the discussions I've had with several women, and articles I've read written by women, it seems that just about everyone agrees women are much more beautiful than the average man.

From what I've seen in the Subjugation series there seems to be an attitude of "if you've got it - flaunt it" in Faey culture. If a woman is beautiful (Faey or Human) why not wear a dress that shows off an attractive figure. The plunging neckline is probably the same too - all that bare skin is certainly appealing to the eye.
Jewlery, when used correctly, can also add to the appeal

mark_reed wrote:Women seem to perfer robes in the middle east and indian regions, although that might be due to religion.


I believe it is also to do with the environment to a degree.  Keeping the sun off is a good start to keeping cool. Having lots of bare skin showing to the sun is going to make you sweat more, thus dehydrate faster.
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Journeywoman
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Re: Subjugation: Faey Fashion

Post by Journeywoman »

I agree with Spec8472 on this but I'd like to add a few points...
mark_reed wrote: But shouldn't the Faey at the Opera dress in uniquely Faey styles? ... I noticed that Jyslin describes the Faey homeworld (aparently, it's just called "Homeworld") as rather hot (chapter 3, dinner at copeland's). Shouldn't the fashion reflect that?
A question would you wear the height of fashion in say Alaska in say Samoa? Or vise versa? No because you would either overheat (even under the jacket/coat it is more likelier to be made of warmer material/lots of layers) or freeze and cover it. So why would Faey use the same clothes in the different temprature zones? What they would do is alter them to suit the new climate and where better to alter them towards than what the locals wear? I also doubt the Opera's heater would be set to "rather hot" so the Faey have to take into account the temprature.
Also what is to say that Faey fashion on the Homeworld isn't just as much into dresses, the material being thin to suit the climate and allowing more skin to show?
mark_reed wrote:But shouldn't the Faey at the Opera dress in uniquely Faey styles? [...]
Why are the females, the dominant gender of the race, wearing dresses at all?  
[...]
shouldn't the female clothing be more practical?  
[...]
But it seems to me that dresses, skirts, and all the other stuff women wear to look more 'feminine' are cultural.
An extention on Spec's point about "If you've got it, Flaunt it"
Have you ever considered some women dress up to feel good? You can look beautiful anytime but if you dress up for a special event and do hair, makeup, special dress, jewlery etc you look you feel like a million bucks (or credits ;) ).
It may also have a side effect of driving the wild (do correct me if I'm wrong) or perhaps showing other husbands a bit of what they missed out on.
mark_reed wrote: Women seem to perfer robes in the middle east and indian regions, although that might be due to religion.
An interesting fact about the headscarves for women in Islam. Some Islamic aristocrat (I think it might have been a prince) chose to cover his women so no other men could see her beauty. Over time all aristocrats took up the practice and eventually the commoners followed their leaders craze.
Abandon the search for truth; settle for good fantasy!
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