Debunking The Southern Style Stereotype

I know most fashion blogs are buzzing with news and trends from New York Fashion Week. In fact, I'm sure there a great deal of overkill going on and you might be slightly burned out on the subject. So let's talk about something that still seems to baffle some fashionistas and even some designers; Southern style.

It's not about this:  

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Or this: 

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It's certainly not this:  

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and not even this (regardless of the fact that television and movies haven't gotten the memo yet):  

Image courtesy of Worn on TV. All other images courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Worn on TV. All other images courtesy of Google

Honestly, you would think in the year 2013 and the climate of a globally connected information this post wouldn't be necessary. But I was absolutely astounded by last week's Project Runway episode and it's foray into designing for "the Modern Southern Woman".  In case you've DVR'd the show and haven't had a chance to watch it yet I won't give away the details, but suffice it to say they treated the Deep South as if it were some foreign country - no; more like an alien planet. Did I mention that two of the designers live or have family in the South?   

Here's the truth; there is a fairly liberal amount of dismissiveness when it comes to this region by other parts of the country. This isn't limited to fashion sense, but that's all I'm going to deal with in this conversation. Just as it isn't fair to assume that all Mid-westerners wear overalls or all Jerseyites velour track suits, the fashion attributed to the South is as antediluvian in nature as hoop skirted Belles or rhinestone cowboys. They may exist somewhere in some ridiculous, farcical context, but they are not the norm.

Women in the South who care about their appearance do what women in every other region do. They dress as climate, mood, and means dictate.  

I stopped Robin at the Greek Festival held by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and asked if I could take her picture.    

I stopped Robin at the Greek Festival held by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and asked if I could take her picture.  

 

This lovely posed for a pic at Fanny's Vintage Sale, an outdoor sale featuring many of Nashville's favorite vintage dealers.

This lovely posed for a pic at Fanny's Vintage Sale, an outdoor sale featuring many of Nashville's favorite vintage dealers.

Are you starting to get the picture? This isn't some third world country stuck in a bygone era or launched into orbit. We're every bit as fashionable as our Northern or Western counterparts.

I think it's clear I need to focus a little more on the local scene, both sartorial and editorial. 

Linking up this week with Verizon Voices Fashionista Style Hop