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Cartier thinks bombs are glamorous and while it is not hard to understand the motives of advertising, fashion as an expression of cultural values becomes a point of contention especially when it is overtly promoting and glorifying violence and war.  War photographers and media professionals are always flirting with the boundaries that separate portrayal and glamorization. 

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Even if a designer is merely inspired by a tragedy or disaster, what is the true impact of their work?  Most seem to halt at the point of sale rather than further promoting change or a way to rectify the situation.  What positive change does a luxury designer gas-mask promote?  The illicit affair between fear and fashion reflect our penchant for hostility and being on constant guard with artillery to the point where it becomes a decorative practice shows that we are in an endless state of defense.

While we think it is offensive to build a mosque near Ground Zero because it is too closely reminiscent of 9/11 we are happy to promote war weaponry that mimics and glamorizes terrorism.  There is a huge inconsistency in our values regarding politics and the economy.  While fronting a war against terrorism with sensationalist media and conservative pundits exacerbating the scars of division after 9/11, the entertainment industry flourishes from the dramatized exploitation of the sensitive issue. 

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Whether or not it is supposed to be subversive, these symbols are saturated with meaning and the sensibilities that are carried through the economy of fashion should be scrutinized.  Celebrities like Rihanna sport these sorts of looks as if their fashion sense is exclusive from the social and political realities we live in and while trend hunters follow suit without the intent of propagating violence the cultural effect it has on our visual landscape is far from palliative, take a closer look at the artillery inspired aesthetic and examine the potential it holds in recalibrating our sensibilities socially, politically and culturally.

Check out the slideshow of terror-inspired fashion in the following pages.

-EvelynKim|Follow Me@evelynjkim

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