The Year in Fashion

by Ms. Thang


Hello, faithful followers of fashion! As 1995 draws to a close, it is
time for me, your resident fashion consultant, to give you the 411 on
this year's trends and prepare you for what's to come in '96.
	Although Chanel and Mizrahi ruled the runways last winter
season, our hallowed halls saw fit to display The Gap Winter
Special. Faster than you could say "Daddy I want a new car!" all the
white kids were rushing out and getting their 2-for-1 reversible
sweaters. Now, as I watched all those dizzy white children run up
their parents' MasterCard bills at J. Crew, I noticed several of them
stop by B. Dalton to pick up The Bell Curve. Let's just say that
Calvin Klein's biography had more scraps of truth in it than this
not-so-cleverly-disguised piece of racist diatribe. Personally, Miss
Thing is getting sick of this
racism-masquerading-as-rational-discourse trend.
	Spring Term's Registration Day rolled around and our fashion
staff found themselves busy not only coordinating everybody's
first-day-of-school outfit.but also attending the grand opening of The
Bio Cafe. While we found the atmosphere to be tres-chic , the food was
somewhat lacking. Despite the unappetizing cuisine, many a power lunch
has been conducted there - think Russian Tearoom meets Wendy's... the
future of your country being decided over a turkey sandwich. DoD
funding for chemical warfare with a small order fries please! Talk
about lunchroom drama...
	It was also right around this time of the year that The Tech
debuted their Institutional Wisdom Watch. One word came to mind:
Newsweek.
	In February, the release of The Brady Bunch Movie and
Harvard's defunding of ROTC brought bellbottoms back into the
spotlight. And although we find these faux-Village People outfits
utterly charming, the same cannot be said of the "don't ask, don't
tell" policy. What's next? "No refund, no returns"? Seriously though,
we think the Navy is a little bit unreasonable in making their men
wear white bellbottoms with big blue ribbons and then expecting them
to be straight.
	As the snow thawed and The Coop released its Spring Athletics
collection (a must for a for all followers of Coutre Varsity fashion),
BGLAD (Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Days) came to MIT. Now,
while fraternity men have always accesorized with condiments (a
mustard stain placed just-so on a somewhat dirty t-shirt can do
wonders for that macho/brute look), Miss Thing thinks things went a
bit too far when one of her outfits was "augmented" with a cup full of
catchup. Children, I know you want to impress your fashion goddess,
but please, a portfolio will do...
	This year's R/O was overflowing with conflama (conflict &
drama). Thursday Night dinners kicked off the fall season with a
bang. A large number of MIT children were there, decked out in their
Sunday best (which looks remarkably like their Monday best, their
Tuesday best, their Wednesday...). Unfortunately this yearÕs mob
was more unruly than the crowds at Filene's Basement during their Red
Dot Sale. Almost trampled by a school of killer frat boys, Miss Thing
was so busy adjusting her wig that she almost missed snagging a few
scrumptious freshmen for dinner.
	Speaking of wigs, world-class entertainer Ida Faber
entertained the R/O Sexual Identity Committee with a yarn more
complicated than Yentl. By the time she was through, I was ready to
believe that our budget cut was part of a CIA conspiracy.
	Killian Kick-Off celeberated one of the biggest fashion
faux-pas in MIT history. All the fraternity and sorority types decided
to wear two t-shirts (one over the other on a hot summer day) so that
the freshmen could recognize them. Uh, as if the pale skin, large
credit line, and GAP overalls weren't a big clue-in. The only truly
refreshing outfit in the Killian Kick-Off sea of conformity was Travis
Merritt's. Original and inventive, Merritt's attire blurred the lines
between clothes and non-clothes. It truly engaged the audience in a
postmodernist, deconstructionist, metatextual reading of the
proairetic codes that govern mainstream constructions of fashion.
	The following few days were a gossip columnist's dream: dirt
on every fraternity and sorority was exchanged over delectable
canapˇs. But it all came to a far too sudden ending, as young
impressionable freshmen gave up their flannel shirts in favor of greek
lettered tees, entered a long period of servitude and were forced to
commit unspeakable acts. Hmm, perhaps I'll start a pledge program for
all my fashion interns.
	October brought us Pret-a-Porter and National Coming Out
Week. I must say I'm extremely disappointed in those poor misguided
souls who tore down the GAMIT drop poster and flame sheets. Can't we
all just get along?
	ROTC came back into the spotlight this November as the
administration set up a committee to review their lack of compliance
with the non-discrimination policy. It seems to us that it wouldn't
have taken as long to form the committee if the recruiting for it had
been done in that little den of sin known as 20B-035. Located right
next to ROTC headquarters this little hole in the wall (so to speak)
has become quite the hangout for our troops.
	The year ends on a sad note as one of MIT's true divas leaves
our catwalk to grace the runway of another university. This is
Assistant Dean Susan Allen's last term with us. Although she will be
missed, we are hopeful that she is going somewhere where her true
fierceness will be acknowledged and appreciated. Work Susan!
	So what lies in store for '96? Black eyeliner, purple lipstick
and red tape.


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