Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fashion Can Be Truly Beautiful... and Hateful

Dress by Mark Jacobs

The last time I was in NYC I picked up a "W" magazine and was blown away by some of the fresh, smart and creative looks I saw.
Dress by Akris
Dress by Alexander Wang

The prices, of course, are astronomical, but I enjoy looking the same way I enjoy viewing great paintings at a museum that I don't expect to have hanging on my walls in the near future.  And how about these shoes? 
Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere
Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci
Aldo Shoes
"W" magazine even has organic cosmetics reviews to throw a bone to people like me.  But then there is the scandalously awful side of fashion that encourages people to think they have to spend a boatload, or brandish labels or do masochistic things to their bodies to look alright.  No plus-sized models, older people or even many brown-skinned ones held up as beautiful either.  In 2013!  I have since seen "W" cover stories with titles like "What to Inject Where."  ?!  I was particularly hit upside the head by the blasé article titled "Aid to the Pore."  I came across this the same night my son was writing a paper for his English class about  the moral theorist Peter Singer, who posits that anyone living on more than $30,000 is taking from the mouths of the poor.  (All education is subversive, but some of Simon's teachers-- Montgomery County public schools-- are particularly so.  Rock on, Mr. Horn.)  I am a material woman, aesthete, and student of fashion, but I am turned off by the status-conscious, self-annihilating aspects of so much of what I see.  Perhaps the ugly side of fashion is unavoidable.  Clothing is so much about signaling to other homo sapiens, and what some people want to signal with their clothes is their power, wealth or sexual charm.  What do I want to signal?  I am working it out every day.  Stop whining and pick up an issue of BustMagazine, Katy.  Ciao, bellas!

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