Yes. Cue Lady Dedlock from Charles Dickens’ “Bleak House” (2005 BBC adaptation with Gillian Anderson). I too am bored to death…with fashion, fashion magazines, celebrity covers and their vapid profiles, and this year’s September fashion issues. Perhaps the internet and fashion on demand has runined the impact and significance of September issues. Even the runways at fashion week are running on fumes — too many, too late before the next season arrives.
I received my Vanity Fair (VF) “Style” special in the mail mid August. Technically VF is not a fashion magazine. It’s my celebrity rag mag. When I saw the photo of Diana on the cover, I knew this season’s September issues were off to a real snore. Even Diana looks bored. Bored, bored, bored. In the words of this post by Dodai Stewart on Jezebel:
Is there a clamoring for another Princess Diana cover? Is it all all possible that VF readers are as nostalgic and death-obsessed as the editors? Should VF rebrand itself as Dead Icons Monthly?
I’ve decided not to renew my subscription to Vanity Fair.
New York magazine arrived next with a naked model on the cover. Actually, it’s filmmaker and acgress Lake Bell who is temporarilly inked by her husband, tattoo artist Scott Campbell, well known in Hollywood circles. The New York cover echoes Vanity Fair‘s hey day when Demi Moore posed pregnant and nude for the VF cover in 1991; and painted Demi in 1992 where you saw the impression of nipples through the paint. New York strategically placed type over the potentially offending body parts. I do intend to renew my subscription to New York magazine, not for the fashion but for the articles for real (not the old Playboy readers disclaimer). Without being a super star celebrity, Bell’s made her mark with the cover brains and all — read the article. New York magazine’s fashion issues are always interesting but not for everyone. And since Pulitzer Prize winning fashion journalist Robin Givhan is on their team (and at Fashion Week right now, and still writes special pieces for the Washington Post), I’ll be doing double duty with New York magazine by adding their website to my reading list.
I’m not sure if my “W” was plucked from my mailbox or if they decided to drop my subscription, but I haven’t seen it. It hasn’t occurred to me to track it down.
Flipped through the September issue of Vogue at the newsstand. People say you can’t judge a book by its cover. Where Jezebel may be bored with dead icons, I’ve become bored with living celebrity covers. Last year’s photo-shopped Lady Gaga had more umph and controversy! I’m not sure that Jennifer Lawrence takes herself seriously for this “Do you think I’m sexy?” cover look. Plus, any September issue outside a bridal magazine that hypes a wedding as a cover story has already dropped the ball IMO.
The September Vogue fashion pages doesn’t look half as interesting as Jennifer’s layout for an October 2012 issue of W magazine. For some reason I still have that W. The W fashion spread had the right amount of edge, fantasy, fetish (which W seems to like to trot out) and fabulous. I put Vogue back on the shelf. Lawrence has a new “Hunger Games” movie coming out. As the saying goes, “nothing spoils like success.” Pre-Oscar Lawrence seemed a lot more comfortable in her clothes than the super star. Do stylists rehearse walking up and down stairs, down narrow aisles, and a few dance moves with their clients in their Dior gowns. Or in the words of Andrew Leon Talley in his Vogue 2013 Oscar night Fashion report:
Jennifer Lawrence, sumptuous and quite beautiful in Dior Haute Couture, had a grandiose bell-shaped dress with an extra bit of train to push around. Though she looked supercool, breaking down the high-pitch volume of the couture-crafted skirt by opting for very little bling, it just wasn’t as exciting as her Dior Golden Globe silk organza with a tiny gold belt. (When I interviewed Lawrence at the Globes earlier this year, she told me she did not know what the word haute couture meant. As she fell going to the stage to receive her Best Actress Oscar, which she so deserved, it is clear that her skirt was too much to manuever. Many talents, no matter how great, need crash courses in how to handle the grand dress.)
Andre is still a contributing editor at Vogue but is also editor-at-large of the Russian magazine Numero Russia.
Okay. I’ve said too much about this topic.
My winner this month actually goes to Bazaar. Have they read my rants over the years about the lack of diversity in their fashion pages? This September, Bazzar delivers something. This is more of a nod than a solid win. Sarah Jessica-Parker (love her, but I’m still yawning) is the September issue’s cover model. I’m just grateful they didn’t go with Miley Cyrus featured as a celebrity model in this issue, but her name isn’t on the cover. ‘nuf said right there. Bazaar is sticking to their commitment to make sure no one ages out of fashion with recommendations for every decade of adult life without a walker. This month’s first fashion feature is “Singular Beauties: An Homage to the Diversity of Women.” The lack of diversity plus the lack of anything really interesting fashion-wise has kept me from moving many a Bazaar issue from the shelf to the check out. I’ve shelled out $16 + for Italian Vogue where there’s something fascinating about fashion even when there’s something lacking in other areas. But Bazaar decided to throw “diversity” a bone. For that I’ll give Bazaar a pat on the head.
I will download Elle on my iPad from my local library via an magazine app called Zinio. Zinio also has Vogue (not American) from other countries. Very cool. And no heavy lifting of September issues. I’m sure online publishing is weighing heavy on the impact and influcence of September issues.
With the exception of Glamour and Kerry Washington (the fashion “it girl” of color of the moement), and the magazines for a target audience like Essence (Viola Davis is on the cover), no other woman of color appears on the big 5 September issues (Vogue, W, Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire). Robin Givhan is keeping an eye on the runways during fashion week. And former model and agency owner Bethann Hardison has written to the fashion council’s of New York, Paris, London, and Milan with lists of designers to be put on notice. The models are losing covers and layouts to celebrities, so imagine if you’re not getting the runway gigs either.
Robin writes (New York magazine)
I think if you look back at history you realize that those sorts of changes that are rooted in morality have not happened out of the goodness of people’s hearts. They have been forced into making those changes through political efforts, through legislation, through economic pressure. So while I just said that I think Bethann’s campaign has legitimacy because she speaks as a voice from within the industry, I don’t know that sweeping, significant change will happen until pressure comes from outside the industry, from places that start taking the fashion industry seriously as a place that has an incredible amount of power and influence on the culture at large.
Lately, the cultural impact of fashion is far more interesting to me than fashion itself. And perhaps the missing women of the globe on the runways and in the magazines have pro-longed my boredom.