The late, great Alexander McQueen once said, "It's a new era in fashion - there are no rules." It's a statement worthy of consideration, if only because it still begets the question: What is fashion?
That is one of the many questions surrounding a controversial French lingerie company that specializes in, get this, "loungerie" for infants, children and adolescents. Um, quoi?
￼Critics have recently come down on the company, Jours Après Lunes, arguing the line sexualizes girls at too early an age, while others are concerned about the possibility that men of a certain sexual desire (See: Pedo Bear) may enjoy the models and their "loungerie" a little too much.
Started by stylist Sophie Morin, Jours Après Lunes features three lines: Bebe (Baby), Fille (Girl), Addo/Femme (Female).
The Bebe line isn't particularly racy, as it's nothing more than fancy (probably over-priced) onesies for infants, but the other two lines certainly warrant the raising of an eyebrow or two.
Photographs of the line's models shows girls under the age of 10 in frilly, lacey bras and panties, sporting beehive do's and oversized '60s inspired sunglasses. In one photo a little girl showing midriff while modeling her panties, arms crossed behind her head.
One of the sexier writers over at ABC News spoke with Paul Miller, associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University in Phoenix, who said this of Jours Après Lunes:
"This kind of marketing does sexualize young girls, it does serve as a model that inspires very young girls to think that minimizing what they wear and revealing as much of their body as possible is appropriate, and 'fashionable' and 'cool,' and that this is the way that they should think of themselves."
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Miller added, "The cultural message goes beyond 'lingerie' but to girls' self-image, body image, and what it takes to build a 'good' image of one's self."
I can see an argument against the critics, saying it's just girls playing dress-up and having fun, and I guess if you're a parent and can afford pricey fancy clothes for your daughter then good for you.
But there's something to be said about a young girl maintaining a wide-eyed disposition for as long as she can, not having to concern herself with "big girl" frills and pressures.
McQueen may have thought this new fashion era is one devoid of rules, but one has to wonder what he'd say about Jours Après Lunes. It's true that Paris is one of the four fashion capitals of the world, but maybe someone should tell the French that they need to let children be children, and not rush them (See: "It's Tough to Be a Baby" by Jordy).