Friday, September 20, 2013

It's Fashion Friday!: TrashIn' the Fashion Magazines

Won't be picking this up again.

       I haven’t been travelling much, and as that’s when I usually pick up print fashion magazines, I haven’t been nose down in very many such publications. I recently, on a whim, decided to pick up Allure – the September issue. I can’t recall a time when I’ve wanted so badly to chuck a magazine in the trash. Forgive me while I paraphrase because I wouldn’t actually buy the issue. When I reached the page where it said in title headings both “How to shop at chain stores” and “How to style cheap clothes” or maybe it was “How to wear cheap clothes” – we’re emphasizing the word CHEAP here, I started to throw up in my mouth. And then the quote immediately following the line about “CHEAP” clothes was by some stylists saying something along the lines of “Everyone’s buying cheap clothes for basics these days, it’s just what people are doing,” (Again, I am paraphrasing – but that was the general idea), I wrinkled my whole face in absolute disgust and revulsion.
            If you’ve never read Allure before, it is a magazine that largely focuses on makeup, skincare products, and the like. It is a very girly magazine. They generally include a smallish fashion section. Who reads this magazine? You would guess from the content of the magazine that their market is everywoman/manygaymen in Anytown, USA. After reading that page, I would guess that no one would want to read this magazine. What an elitist soliloquy of swill. Did they forget that most people can not afford to purchase high end designer couture? There is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing your clothes at the mall, TJ Maxx, the Salvation Army, or K-Mart: whatever you can afford as long as you are not leaving the house WITHOUT PANTS! To label everything that is not designer as “cheap,” I find unbelievably offensive. When I hear the word cheap, I don’t think inexpensive, I think made like shit. And to counter, I would like to point out that an awful lot of what the fashion mags would consider “designer,” is, in fact, made like shit. To be quite honest, unless the tag on my clothing says “Made in Italy” or any other European country where I know the person who made it was paid an acceptable living wage, the garment was most likely “made like shit.” EVEN THEN, I have a pair of ValentinoRED ballet flats, made in Italy, cost more than I feel comfortable sharing with you, and they are TERRIBLE. The bow on one shoe came unfixed after 6 or 7 wears, I had to have it fixed at the cobbler, and now the other one’s come off. I’ve mentioned before, Alice + Olivia, Vince, Joie, Kate Spade, low end Marc Jacobs, much Louis Vuitton, need I go on, is all made in CHINA. The only thing differentiating it from something you buy at Zara is the name on the tag, well, and the ridiculous amount of money you paid for it.
            While I’m at it, I would also like to broach the subject of these “Lust or Must” and “Splurge or Steal” sections most of these magazines have. They have no problem identifying Lust and Splurge items. Defining “Must” and “Steal” however, seems to have confounded the editors at fashion magazines like Elle and Marie Claire. My idea of a must is going to the Gap outlet and finding a t-shirt on the clearance rack for $3. Granted, I realize that when trying to mimic the styling of an expensive outfit on a budget, $3 will not get you anywhere. Unfortunate for the aforementioned editing teams, I do have the sense to know that anything that costs more than $100 is NOT a must, unless you are buying a car. $100 for a brand new car? That is a must. I can’t recall the last time I saw one of these price comparison editorials that didn’t have at least a couple (mmm, more than half would probably be more accurate) of “steals” that cost a few hundred. Adding insult to injury, the proposed “steals” are usually not even a close second to the original - multiple hundred dollar ugly knockoffs. The only steal going on is the retailer putting your dollars in their till. 
            I’m not sure what these magazines are trying to tell us.  Are we not good enough to be their readers? Are we style-devoid buffoons who need a bunch of dimwits to tell us how to wear our “cheap” clothes? I, for one, am sick of the media – ANY AND ALL OF THEM – trying to tell me that my thoughts and suppositions are wrong, lying to me, and acting like they are the high court for the world’s celebrities. Perhaps I expect too much from a section of society that acts like overpaid busybodies. It seems you can’t expect much from anyone in the public eye these days.

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