Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sunday 'Style'

I've got a terminal, proverbial, weaponed arthropod in my sunny day, head attire so I'm going to have a rant about it here. My beef is with this thing called 'fashion'. Witness the cover of Sunday Style, from the Herald Scum August 11, 2013:

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This cover photo really bugged me. I'm indifferent to Maggie Gyllenhaal. It's as if the photographer, stylist and editor got together to try and publish a polished but totally unflattering image. Maggie is an average to prettish lass. This image makes her look pasty, boyishly weedy, curiously thin lipped and evil in A Clockwork Orange way. How does this invite the - predominantly female - readership to want to know more about her? Did they think she looked intriguing? [shrug] Is the undone pussybow blouse and lack of pants/skirt* teamed with fishnets an homage to her role in The Secretary? Why the upturned pudding bowl hair? Why anything really...

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A senior fashion editor from Vogue Australia wrote the 'Trend I love...' column in the same issue citing this image as one to emulate. The fact that it looks awful on the model may put one off  from the 'bold athletic aesthetic' and 'some of the most striking pieces'. Is it actually bold to ignore the fact that a 'denim suit' is a term used in the fashion vernacular with derision? There's a good reason why the ones in the know usually recommend you mix your denim washes to avoid that look. It's too matchy-matchy and you tend to look like you're wearing overalls (oops too late!). No mention is made of that here.

The ill fitting, unflattering outfit 'heralds a new direction for one of fashion's ubiquitous garments'. Everyone who knows anything about style, knows that pleated pants are to be treated with caution or you will risk looking like you have stuffed a spare tyre down your pants. This look is repeated in various ensembles from the Balmain Resort Collection 2014**. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I prefer waistlines to appear smaller - not the same size - than hips and shoulders on women, possibly because that is the natural way of things. I think the jacket is well cut but the wash and buttons make it look cheap and bedazzled. Don't get me started on the dropped crotch thing.

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It is for these reasons that this lift out should be called 'Fashion' or 'Now' or 'Trend' or something like that. 'Style' is not subject to the whims of what is considered fashionable. What is stylish isn't always fashionable but what is fashionable can be stylish. Being fashionable is highly overated. Being stylish is what everyone should aim for, young or old. It doesn't mean boring, and it doesn't mean old. It means understanding what shapes, fabrics and colours work for you. You wear things that speak to you, that make you feel happy, comfortable, elegant, strong, at your best in yourself. It takes years to figure this out, and I consider it a work in progress rather than a destination. While it can be useful to observe what is new in fashion for inspiration but don't be disheartened if it feels like it's aimed at someoneelse. It probably is!

*Lack of pants/skirt may be to highlight that thigh gap that is considered something to aspire to, particularly in certain circles.

**After looking through the whole collection I can safely say I don't like a single thing there. I am not the target demographic. Whatever.

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