Sewing entertainment program

Rewatching old Project Runway episodes. I think my favourite scene is from S1E6 from the Canadian episodes. The challenge: two looks that show opposites. One team centered their looks around corsets as central piece, and chose “classy vs. trashy” as their motivation. They made a classy evening corset-and-skirt, and – this.


Boots, black tights, short skirt, stays, long semi-transparent shirt, black emo hair and boring Halloween makeup (more on that later).
During the runway defense of their outfits, the responsible designer then babbles about how goth (or rather, her Halloween interpretation of goth, or “punk-goth-rock”, as she called it) as a look is “trashy”, and fortunately, host Iman calls her out on that.

However that stupid, uninformed statement about the goth look annoyed me a bit. It is an entirely forgettable moment on a random TV show, but I have too much time, so I will dissect this scene a bit below.


First, the term they chose: trashy, what does it even signify? Stupid, tasteless, crude, too loud, too insecure and overcompensating.  And when we think about what is considered a “trashy” look for women, what comes to mind first? Vagina-flashing too-tight mini dresses, lots of ugly bling, tasteless make-up, ugly sunglasses at night, maybe also redneck trailer-park trashy. Not necessarily associated with goth, it seems.
To at least try and achieve that sort of style, the designers should have shown much much muuuch more skin.

Then – for both outfits the designers made stays (which create a conical body form) instead of going for the contemporary, familiar hour-glass corset form. While I can understand their choice in terms of time management (stays are much easier to fit than hour-glass corsets), I cannot for the life of me recall any outfit aside from historical-inspired ones that features stays. And those normally are the opposite of trashy.

And even if the designers made hour-glass shapes, I have a hard time seeing a corset styled in a “trash” way. One of the characteristics of trashy is a mindset of “I don’t care”, and you definitely don’t wear a bloody corset to accompany that mindset.

And then: the styling.


Sleek hair, black eye make-up and ooooh, bad-ass daring black lipstick!  Much too tidy for what they were going for.

Designer guys, listen: the goth subculture simply is not the best representation for trashy. People from this subculture usually prefer complex music over three-minute-mainstream singalongs. They love art and literature. They are multidimensional.

That, and: please either know your fashion subcultures, or stay away from them lest you embarass yourself.

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