27 October 2007

Vogue: Out of Vogue

I should admit as I commence this screed that I've been going through a serious crisis of faith. As a fashion blogger, it's gauche to acknowledge flagging fidelity to Fashion. (I capitalize it because I'm talking about the institution and business of Fashion.) Here is my confession nonetheless:

Lately, reading fashion magazines makes me feel dirty. There is something wholly inauthentic and hypocritical about them. Fashion is expression - not giving a damn, as Gore Vidal so wisely said; but Fashion (with a capital F) is dictated expression (which is hardly expression at all). Magazines are mostly advertisements and pages and pages of nepotism in high gloss.

I've read magazines for many years and have even been a subscriber in the past. My beef with magazines arose and then sat stagnant at a liminal phase for sometime, but now I've officially crossed the threshold and am throwing down my gauntlet.

Magazines underrepresent people of color in a world where people of color are already woefully underrepresented. One might argue that magazine content is just a product of racial inequality, and I'd partially agree, but I think magazine content also perpetuates inequality. The spring runways were another embarrassing reminder of just how WASPy the fashion world insists upon being. (Jezebel did a nice article on the subject, calling out magazines by name. Click here to see the offenders.)

Second, and much less importantly, I don't even necessarily like the fashion that's being dictated to me. See the "Need It Now" section from the latest Vogue, for example, to see what Anna Wintour thinks we all need to be wearing: J.Lo circa 2002 Blahnik Timbs. Really? Anna Wintour - methinks you've got your head lodged firmly where the sun does not shine. No one wants 2002 back already, so don't try to make it happen. I didn't even want Jenny From The Block back then because, honestly, I was completely fooled by the rocks that she got. (Thanks to Jezebel for the scan.)

So I'm boycotting magazines for now. I'm boycotting them till I see some sort of noticeable increase in quality. In the mean time, I'll be watching old movies for fashion inspiration.


Leah said...

I find a lot of magazines slightly stale, if that's the right word. I think it boils down to the dictation element you pointed out. For me, fashion is self-expression in the form of what you wear and in some ways magazines stifle this.

moi said...

Stale is a great word.

Anonymous said...

what do you think about nylon magazine?

eurobrat said...

I'm 100% with you. Haven't bought a magazine for months and don't miss them at all. Gauntletless, I shall eat smoked fish and watch old movies until the state of dictated fashion improves.

(Smouldering new photo by the way)

Ailsa said...

The smoked fish will be there soon, I promise! Don't be mad if there are teeth marks in it.

Lady Smaggle said...

I completely agree. However if your beef is with Vogue and Ms Wintour perhaps you should try some Aussie independent mags? The only ones I read are Russh, Oyster and Frankie. I hear Borders carries them over your side of the world. Obviously they have some crap in them but it's a lot less stagnant that Conde Nasty...
Oh and do you mind if I link to your article on my blog? www.smagglestyle.com?
Please let me know if you do!
Lady Smaggle

moi said...

Lady Smaggle -

I'll be sure to look for those magazines. Thanks for the tip.

Oh, and feel free to link!


Sister Wolf said...

Oh god, I just saw those awful boots last night, and I couldn't believe I was reading Vogue. Anna Wintour needs to move on, and so does Andre Leon Talley.

I don't mind a dictatorial voice, I just want it to come from someone with good Style. If Corrine Roitfeld tells me what to wear, at least I'll listen.


editor said...

the last good magazine i read was paper last month, their fashion issue. gorgeous fashion spread and fun articles about individuality, etc.
as for the rest of the fashion mags, they all disappoint, every time.