Monday, June 23, 2008
Vogue Mag: about as out of touch as a story featuring the cast of ‘Hair’ could be
As inaccurate as this may be, I often find myself imagining the editors and art directors of Vogue having meetings very much like the one seen in The Devil Wears Prada; nerve-wracking affairs where ideas are presented tentatively by the trembling editors, and discarded mercilessly by La Wintour. I like this vision because in the world of fashion, as in any realm, one must have ideals to aspire to. Like it or not, Vogue magazine still represents some of these ideals.
After a look at the Gareth Pugh/Agyness Deyn/ ‘Hair’ editorial in July’s issue, however, this fantasy took a considerable tumble. Seriously, who ok-ed this thing? ‘Minimalists’ Deyn and Pugh are dressed like trustfund beatniks straight out of central casting, and placed in the middle of sun-dappled Central Park. The rest of the story has their quiet afternoon disrupted by the cast of ‘Hair’, who are just as predictably attired in suede fringe, tattered denim, and love beads. Near the end of the story, we are to believe that Aggy has forged a tentative friendship with the hippies, as she sports a makeup flower over one eye.
Absurdity has a huge place in fashion. It is the dash of paprika that Diana Vreeland described as being essential to an interesting look. However, this editorial is more like an attempt at absurdity that ended up a boring, lazy, cliché. But it’s not fair to criticize without being constructive, so I’ve come up with some suggestions for a less vanilla editorial:
1. Being minimalist does not mean one is a lifeless statue with an unchanging facial expression. Could Ag and Gareth maybe… react to the situation? Personally, I keep seeing them shooting the hippies with laser beams (futuristic!).
2. I know the cast is wearing their costumes, but could they please have some different clothes? This is Vogue, after all. A little Dries and Marni, some Cavalli, anything! The 60s hippie look is, in a word, tired. As is the phrase/era/regurgitation of ‘the summer of love’.
3. Defy convention. Avoid the obvious. Bathe the cast and dress them in the most absurd Thom Browne available. The setting: urban power office with an insane and fabulous decorator.
4. Putting models in straight-from-the-runway looks is neither fashion forward nor interesting. Mix and mingle for a creative tingle! Besides, we will be seeing these ensembles for the next six months- let’s at least try to maintain some of the mystery.