Shirts are see-through and short, jackets are spangly and short, and mini-dresses - the staple for all those Christmas parties we're doubtless going to be invited to - are sequinned. And yes, extremely short.
Fashion loves barely-there hemlines. They fulfil almost none of the basic functions of clothing and only look entirely good on skinny teenagers. But there's a downside to short skirts, too.
This season's key hemlines are, according to almost a third of the population, an invitation to rape.
Some 34 per cent of respondents to a recent Amnesty survey believed that if a woman is attacked while wearing "revealing" clothing, she is at very least "partially responsible."
So in a world where rape is often the fault of the victim, in a world where only 6 per cent of reported rapes end in conviction and prominent celebrities can step forward to say that a man who drugged and anally and vaginally penetrated a 13-year-old did not commit "rape-rape," what's a fashion-forward feminist to do?
When we discuss rape, we almost never discuss the men who rape - as if rape were not a real crime but a force of nature, a facet of male biology that can only be avoided, not punished or eradicated.
Our dialectic of rape and consent is embedded in the weasel words and outright denial of patriarchal apologists.
If a woman is raped, she invariably "asked for it," despite the fact that provocation has been shown to be a factor in under 5 per cent of rapes, as compared with 22 per cent of murders.
If a woman reports her rapist, British tabloids would have us believe that she is part of an epidemic of women making false rape charges, despite the fact that no more false charges are filed for rape than for any other crime.
And if she happened, at the time, to be drunk, to be behaving in - heaven forbid - a sexually forthright manner or to be wearing a gorgeously on-trend sequinned micro-mini dress as pioneered by Balmain at London Fashion Week, well, what on Earth did she expect?
In this patriarchal consumer culture, the messages that women receive about sex and shopping are intertwined.
The media we absorb instruct us that in order to be beautiful and admirable we should to buy whatever's in fashion and wear it with just the right note of quiet, demure sexiness.
Our sexuality and our consumption, still women's most bankable talents, should be both conspicious and submissive.
And yet when for whatever reason we choose to play along, we are immediately told that it's our fault if we're not taken seriously, that we are fair game to be mocked and dehumanised and underpaid and underpromoted and objectified and harassed and assaulted and raped...[read the rest of this article at Morning Star online.]