By Molly Grogan, Style Editor
The Croft Magazine // Molly explores the It-girl of kitsch fashion, Julia Fox, and how she finds liberation in all things 'ugly'.
You might know Julia ‘Uncuh Gehms’ Fox from her iconic acting features. You might also know her for her no-bullshit takes on female oppression and the pitfalls of society via her Tik Toks. But for fashion folk, she’s been on the radar for a while, especially since her relationship with rapper and fashion designer Kanye West put her bold, avant-garde outfits at the forefront of internet dialogues about high fashion, theatricality and the power of provocativeness. She is, in the words of Vogue, the moment. An It-girl of kitsch and postmodern fashion.
Fox’s ensembles tend to play around with proportions and performativity, proving that fashion doesn’t have to be functional. Skin shows where women have been told it’s unflattering to show skin. Dangerously low-cutting miniskirts and trousers tease a sexuality before their bizarre measures ensure it turns to shock. More masculine materials, denim, leather (a nod to her previous career as a dominatrix, which she says has had a great deal of influence on her style – hence her love of leather and vinyl) are manipulated, almost as if by force – against all odds – to hug and define and augment the contours of the female body.
They scantily clad hers in a completely unsexual, ungratuitous way, chiefly because we know she has had complete control over their manipulation. Her eyes are painted with a black kohl fog that reaches up to her eyebrows, creating a menacing but powerful glare, much – perhaps coincidentally – like a fox.
But her outfit choices work to do more than just provoke – they’re ultimately comments, performance art pieces, on the male gaze upon the female body, which has been since time began internalized, and used against us in dictating our style choices. The little black dress, once a symbol of a subtle, modest kind of sophisticated sexuality, and which gained particular popularity in the early twentieth century, is made grotesque by Fox - repulsive to male eyes.
She demands to be looked at. For eyes – the gaze – to be on her. Not for pleasure, but to challenge and undo our preconceptions of feminine fashion. Considering that Fox had been an artist prior to her conversion to acting, showcasing her work in various New York galleries, it is no surprise how expressive, poetic and radical her looks are.
And in one of her more famous Tik Toks she says, “just so you guys know, ageing is fully in. Dirty girl, ugly, not wearing clothes that fit your body type. And if I see one more product with the label ‘anti-ageing’ on the front, I’m suing. Getting old is sexy. Because being pretty and young and in your twenties is the trenches.” She goes on. She wants to see bellies over the tops of jeans, girls being able to wear whatever they want regardless of their shape or status – and without the judgment that we’ve been conditioned to tune into.
It’s time that women embraced the innate capacity for ugliness we’ve been taught to suppress and hide. There’s a power that resides there, and Julia Fox demonstrates the liberation in finding it.
Featured image: Emily Fromant
What do you define as kitsch fashion?