Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vanity, Yes. Fair? Not So Much...

A friend subscribed me to Vanity Fair a few years ago, and I got it but I didn't "get it." A strange contrast of hard-hitting political exposés, celebrity fawning, and supposedly high fashion. I still don't understand how they all fit together. It's like a meal of lentil stew, steak tartare, and HoHos.

But at the Cancerama last week, I was thumbing through a copy of VF and decided it should come home with me so I could finish an article. I get the political stuff, I sort of get the celebrity stuff, but I still don't get fashion. I'm lucky if my socks match; I just don't have much personal style, but I have a great admiration for those
who do. The people whose style I admire, though, don't follow trends but set them. Still, from a sociological view, it's interesting to note what the designers are trying to shove down the throats of the wealthy-and-insecure.

According to the ads in Vanity Fair, I deduced that this season, anorexia is still hot, hot, hot. Lucky girls: you haven't starved yourselves for nothing! The other two big trends, which seem to be hand-in-glove, are Necklaces Bigger than Your Thigh, and Enough Eyeliner to Sink the Titanic.

The picture of the couple was from a Burberry ad; this and another page feature these excruciatingly mincy wincy adrogenous girly boys I find painfully unsexy. Who exactly is their target market? And the Girl in the Glasses -- yes, it was actually an ad for eyewear, but they must have worked all day to make this beautiful woman seem so unappealing. From the strange hairnet to the liver-colored lips, it's just painful to look at.

There was actually a series of ads (Dillard's) featuring really gorgeous fashions -- fashions an actual human might wear -- modeled by an attractive woman in the mandatory "limbs akimbo" poses. But what troubled me was not just her "Fresh From My Lobotomy" Stepford Wife expression, it was that her mouth was always in a strange "eu" sort of shape.

Oh, there was so much more: Madonna as a $5 hooker in an ad for Louis Vuitton; a Rockand Republic ad in which the model has her hand down her pants; the scowling Guess jeans girl wearing four pounds of lipstick and snarling like she's going to Bite! Off! His! Head!

At the other end, Banana Republic had a beautiful girl, singer/songwriter Ayo, modeling cute clothes and smiling a gorgeous smile. DKNY for men, now Donna knows a pretty man when she sees one, and is letting us imagine that he's hetero. I'm saving some goodies for later: foot bondage, Hammer pants and rat hair.


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