PRINT March 1995


Claire McCardell

FROM TIME TO TIME, the extraordinarily well-dressed young man and his companion attended films together, less for entertainment than as corroboration or refusal of their respective internal realities or turns of mind. At the recent retrospective of Andy Warhol’s films at New York’s Film Forum, the two men sat through films that depicted (among other things) various people in various states of undress. What clothes the “actors” wore said as much about their epoch as did the words they used—gender was being bent in a confused way, particularly in Chelsea Girls, Warhol’s messy tour de force. In it, nearly everyone wears hip-huggers and button-down Oxfords or T-shirts. Femaleness is not defined through clothes; what defines femaleness in Chelsea Girls is the inability of the women to relax.

One afternoon, the extraordinarily well-dressed young man said to his companion (who privately did not

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