On a completely different subject to my last post (or you can choose different from/than if you’re a grammar nazi), I really wonder sometimes about the fashion world. Today I saw an ad for Dolce & Gabbana, one of a sort of on-going series of ads, where pallid young men hang around in the background, looking for all the world like a pack of starving ghouls or vampires. At front centre was a weird-looking woman clutching what I suppose is a super-expensive, gotta-have handbag while the guys at the back look as if they’d like to do nothing other than jump the model for sink their fangs in her throat and get a good dose of fresh blood.
It beats me why anyone would come up with such an uninspiring, dreary, deeply depressing and weird advertisement so I decided to visit D&G to see what they offer, as I’m not a great fashion maven and I really had no idea whether they just sell handbags or perhaps coffins for soon-to-expire, starving werewolf types.
I looked at the make-up which features a kohl pencil offering: “the attitude and glamour of a fresh, and irreverent, youthful spirit” with “bold and dramatic new shades for eyes”. It’s just a kohl pencil, for god’s sake, and the dramatic new shades:true black, white, chocolate (brown), peacock and dahlia (although what dahlia is is beyond me, a sort of murky, pale brown). Now that is really innovatory – black, brown, blue, white and a crap-looking colour. Talk about using a brand name to push a bland, everyday product. I’ve also discovered that D&G have a “playful sense of fun” because they’re offering small, gold charms tagged on the end of four Lipliners and four Eyeliners. I kid you not, bopping up the price of lipliners and eyelines by tagging on charms to run-of-the mill colours (but the products are spelt with capitals so they become more important). I guess using capitals for lipliners and eyeliners supposedly makes them more serious, but I’d bet the only serious things about these make-up objects is their price.
D&G, I’ve also found, sell clothing for, wait for it, not “Men” and “Women” like normal fashion houses, aka, cheap ones within my range, they sell to “Man” and “Woman” (and to save you looking, Dior goes one better with “Woman” and “Homme”, which is really discriminatory because we gals don’t get to become “Femme”). I guess this is supposed to sound seriously upmarket, but I found it seriously weird instead, and even weirder when I looked at some of the clothes on offer – boring, boring, boring and hugely over-priced. Plus, get this, some of the dresses are described as being “wallpaper” print. I mean, what self-respecting fashionista wants to go swanning around in a print which has been pinched from a wallpaper design?
Then I had a look at the “runway” fashion section and mwaa-haaa-haaa – what a load of old cobblers! And the prices – why on earth would you fork out for crap looking clothes just because they’ve got a so-called big name attached to them?
I’ve probably been working up a head of steam over the fashion crapistas because it’s been the fashion season in New York, Paris and London, where the same blonde, thin, Stepford Wives celebrities sit in the front row and look suitably awed and impressed, although why anyone is impressed with the miserable-looking thin, Stepford Wives-looking models on the runway is also beyond me. They always look as if they’d cheerfully rip your head off given half a chance or dish out a knuckle sandwich but perhaps it because they’re tottering along wearing absolutely stupid, lousy-looking clothes which only get mentioned because it’s like the emperor with no clothes. None of the fashionistas ooh-ing and aah-ing about the offerings of the big fashion houses has the guts to say that, while there are indeed some great-looking designs, the great majority of clothes churned out by these emperors with no clothes designers look like recycled op/charity/thrift shop offerings. And when I look at what the poor male models are forced to wear when they trip the light fantastic on the runway, I feel real sympathy for them but also a sense of awe that they can strut down the runway without falling around laughing their heads off.
It beats me why people behave like sheeple over clothes. Duchess Kate swans out in a dress and it’s sold out within minutes. Never mind whether it’s your style or whether it suits you, if a celebrity wears it, it’s a sell-out. Whatever happened to wearing something that is unique to you and different to what everyone else is wearing?
Mary Qant did fantastic fashion which was stylish and unique and she changed the world of fashion. Until she burst upon the scene in Carnaby Street, clothes for young people were clones of boring, unadvanturous, so-called “adult” wear, but she turned fashion on its head, particularly when she invented the mini-skirt. It was considered outrageous, dangerous, obscene but it took off like a rocket. As an aside, one guy I went out with said men loved mini-skirts because when women sat down on buses or trains, their knickers were clearly visible. Not politically correct today but very daring in the ‘sixties.
These days the fact that cheap clothing can be churned out ad nauseam seems to have led to a sort of blandified look which is modified each year by those immortal words: “and the fashion look/colour for this season is…..” and then you get told you’re supposed to wear baggy trousers ending at your ankle which look appalling, a particular colour which may or may not suit you, dresses above/below the knee or at your ankles, take your choice, and particular types of fabric. One fashionista tried to sound desperately enthusiastic about gingham but, honestly, how can anyone make gingham in any shape or form fashionable?
I really enjoy looking at the photos of people on the blog, Advanced Style, where you really see men and women who’ve worked what suits them, they wear their clothes with panache, some are elegant, some are over the top, some are interesting – but they’re all created by the individual wearing them and they look great. Admittedly some of them obviously have a lot of money but when has a lot of money ever guaranteed good taste?
Here’s a link to the Advanced Style blog:
Another great site for people looking unique, maybe a bit odd but pretty terrific all the same, is Humans of New York at this link on Facebook:
I love this page because it provides a cross-section of people living in New York, many inspirational, some sad, many with fantastic views which show how great and varied individual people are.
Don’t follow fashion – create your own fashion. Sort out what colours suit you. Decide whether you look good in suits or dresses or trousers and tops or whatever combination you feel makes you look good. Because sorting out what is good for you makes you unique and helps your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. And when you are wearing your own creations, you inspire others to be individual, creative and able to look the world in the eye with panache and verve.