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"No one is focusing on the semiotics of fashion in a disaster," said Valerie Steele, curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. But Times writer Guy Trebay was doing just that in today's article about the dress of CNN correspondents in Haiti. Steele goes on to say "But there's an important function, when people are desperate for some kind of infrastructure, in someone wearing a white coat or some kind of quasi-uniform." Soldiers, doctors, aid workers and responders wear uniforms to tell people what they are, but the CNN journalists in the area followed the lead of Anderson Cooper and arrived in snug T-shirts. Jason Carroll looked to Trebay "like a guy who had dropped to the ground and done 20 quick pushups before going on air" in a T-shirt "so snugly revealing it called into question whether a disaster zone is the right place to flaunt one’s gym physique." CNN declined to comment. [NYT]