That dress x

So this dress has been causing controversy again, although not quite the same way as it’s ancestor did.
When Liz Hurley stepped out in her Versace dress in 1994 for the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral she was an overnight sensation, though not for her acting skills – she wasn’t in the film, her then boyfriend Hugh Grant was – she made the headlines for being an object of desire.
But it wasn’t the picture of Jennifer in her dress that made my eyebrows raise.  It was this one, standing with four men.
Jennifer Lawrence has defended herself on Facebook writing:

‘Wow. I don’t really know where to get started on this “Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold” controversy. This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for 5 minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.
This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. Over- reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It’s creating silly distractions from real issues. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS MY CHOICE TOO!’

To Jennifer I say, many of us don’t realise the level of sexism we have internalised. We are conditioned by it, educated in it and live out our lives in it.  You wore this dress because of an insidious undercurrent of rules that dictates female Hollywood stars should wear such dresses, full stop, regardless of the expense, the quality, the label, the fashion statement, the weather, or even what the men are wearing.  You were expected to dress like this, you knew this and unquestioningly fulfilled that obligation.  Where the ongoing problem lies is that you don’t see your behaviour as influenced and that’s where the sadness lies, because every time our daughters see a women, particularly a women proud to hold herself up as a female icon, refuse to acknowledge such an event or puts her well being second, or does something that reinforces the idea that being object of desire/cleaning/childcare is a woman’s primary role, we let them down.  In the words of Charles Boudelaire: 

The loveliest trick of the devil is to persuade you he doesn’t exist.

Open your eyes. The truth is, there should have been five human beings standing there, not four men and a beautifully packaged piece of tempting meat.

Laters, Kate x


  1. abbiosbiston

    The first thing that struck me about the picture is that she looks like she is dressed for a ball and the men look like they’re going down the pub.if they were in tuxedos, I’d kind of get her point but I find that she is that glammed up when they are so casual, bizarre. It’s obvious she feels she must be a sex object at all time but the men do not feel that way.

    The second thing that stood out was Max Riemelt… because… well…

  2. sheenv

    Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. If she would have worn a full-length bulky overcoat I’m sure there would have been an equal amount of criticism from the same folks that were criticizing her dress.

    • Maison Bentley Style

      I disagree. The problem was the difference between the men wearing what they wanted and Jennifer being presented as a piece of meat, lusciously packaged. Where the true equality lies is when everybody sings from the same hymn sheet ie they all wear day wear or they all wear evening wear. This happens to be a wonderful visual example of double standards. Thank you Hollywood! xxx