Fresh from watching all three swedish versions of the millennium series, I was excited to discover that H&M teamed up with Trish Summerville (The movie's costume designer) to create a capsule collection around the character of Lisbeth Salander.
The Collection dropped December 14 at H&M stores worldwide but it has been getting some pretty intense internet backlash both pre and post launch. I, for one, am struggling to understand these venomous bloggers who claim that the collection "Glamorizes Rape." Now I freely admit that I haven't read David Fincher's books but the movies are gripping and wonderful (I haven't seen the most recent US adaptation). There are certainly some parts that are difficult to watch, you really start to empathize with Lisbeth through the abuse she goes through in the films. However, the last word I would use to describe her is "victim."
Terrible things happen to her that influence her personal style, she covers her body with clothing that she feels powerful in. Her style is about empowering herself and allowing her to fight for herself and others.
|Dragon Tattoo Collection Photo by H&M|
So how is creating a collection of clothing around such a powerful female character such a bad thing? The main source of this idea is blogger Natalie Kerneef and can be read here
. I am making as very general summery, but her opposition to the collection seems to be that they are "putting a glossy finish on rape" and how survivors choose to dress. The thought seems to be that the average person can't possible identify with Lisbeth because they haven't been raped.
Now where I have trouble with this line of thought is the idea that people are defined by a single action or event. The character of Lisabeth is indeed the victim of many horrible things including physical and mental abuse, but she pushes herself past it to take back her power and save others in the process. That is the main point of the series and her character, not simply showing that rape is a horrible thing. She is, as head designer Anna Norling says, "the very essence of an independent woman." Everything that happens to her as a character is to personify her strength as a heroin.
This collection was about using a character that the public now identifies with to create clothing that can possibly make women feel empowered if they were it. The idea that rape is the only reason people seek armor is rather ridiculous to me.
|Photo by H&M|
I put on armor everyday, it lets me embody more strength then I actually have inside me and allows me to do the things I need to do. I fight my battles, and I fight them hard.