Contrasts: Male and Female Fashion

Emperor Ferdinand's attempt to protect the crown jewels.

Emperor Ferdinand’s attempt to protect the crown jewels.

I love the Metropolitan Museum of Art for many reasons, but I particularly love how they curate human dress in both the general museum and in the Costume Institute.

The photo above was taken in the museum, a fascinating commentary on the age-old male obsession with penis size. Apparently Emperor Ferdinand had only a 4-incher but made up for it with circumference. The striking feature is the pee-hole. Because penis size fluctuates with temperature, blood flow and stimulation, I find it hard to believe that the pee-hole worked as advertised. I suppose the urine simply accumulated around his shaft and soaked his pubes, leading to a nasty case of diaper rash. I intend to research ifΒ there is any evidence to indicate that the royal armor-maker was executed for this daring and dysfunctional design.

In contrast, we have elegance encapsulated in this piece from the current exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, which in part explores how Chinese fashion trends influenced Western fashion design. If you want to explain to someone what the word “striking” means, show them this piece.

New York-Boston May 2015 - 29 of 68


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