Not a sight expected in your regular chick flick
*Enid Blyton fans should remember this
Diane Pernet, Haider Ackermann Autumn-Winter 2009-10
Margaret Howell, Spring-Summer 1982
S: Er, it's a posthumously produced work.
Reporter: Yes, but can I get an interview with the author?
S: *has a hunch, decides to follow up on it*
S: Are you with the Times of India?
**casually used to the point of seeming instinctive- I've hardly ever seen TC with a fashion magazine....
I loved her cartoons (the ones she put up on daulmonster until it became invite-only) and poetry, and the fact that she was so opinionated and unafraid to speak her mind- whether it was to tell off racist show casting policies at Undercover, to weigh in on the question of which was better-Murakami for Louis Vuitton or James Jean for Prada, to talk about Korea, or even to tell off people who called her pictures for i-D pornographic and criticised her for dyeing her hair blonde......she will be missed. My heart goes out to her family and friends- it's always horrible to be the ones left behind.
Pics from I Like To Fork Myself (Daul's blog) and Kingdom of Style.
Screencap from Roswell , episode #1.0 (Pilot)
*admittedly, Season 2 went a bit haywire with all the alien stuff- I couldn't bring myself to like it as much, until the end. But it was still Roswell, and I still loved it for that.
picture credits: nymag.com (Ann D.) and crashdown.com (for the screencap)
*Just to clarify, I think she's lovely. Just maybe a little young and doesn't seem sophisticated enough for a Chanel ad yet.
And if anyone wonders at the teeny-tiny size on the pictures, the email containing them all but ordered all manner of copyright acknowledgements (which I'm happy to give), and the squitty resolution. Fair enough, I guess.
Which is why I was more than a little surprised to find this post on Jezebel- longtime anti-AA stanceholders, if I remember correctly- with the enlightening caption 'American Apparel Now Sponsoring Bloggers And Porn Stars'. Turns out the 'porn stars' bit of the title referred to some ads run by AA in December, featuring three girls who actually were porn stars, in a rather more advanced state of undress/non-dress than the average American Apparel ad. And I'm not even going into the whole objectification-of-women argument in that particular part of the post, so I'll just (finally) cut to the chase and bang on about why that post irritates me so much.
Simply put, the answer is that it's bloody patronising. Please do tell me if you could read the following lines any other way:
"Chictopia, a fashion social networking site whose genius idea is that users can upload pictures of their outfits for other users to comment on so everyone can feel comfortably supported in her precious online fashion-maven status"
"Chictopia is one of those places where the internet telescopes and distends to the extent that being on Chictopia for other people to comment on and rate becomes prima facie evidence of supposed fashion expertise, which supposed fashion expertise becomes a reason to be on Chictopia for other people to comment on and rate. "
"The entire vain and mindless feedback loop was aptly (though unwittingly) summed up by Mashable, which noted newly minted American Apparel model, Chictopia girl Karla "is a beautiful stylista actively pursuing her passion via Chictopia and creative expression on her own blog." Actively pursuing, people!" "And just as blogging and uploading self-taken pics of your original hipster creations is an ersatz kind of fashion activity.."
"It's unethical to paint this experience as some kind of entrée into fashion modeling. It's just another chance to get your kit off for Dov Charney, only now to even do that, you're expected to be an internet Somebody who can write a gushy post about it."
I suppose the writer really intended to call out American Apparel for exploiting women in its ads (and I can see her point there), but the wording of everything I've placed in italics is just IMO horrible, snobbish and when taken in conjunction with the title, misleading to boot- the post was illustrated with two sets of NSFW photographs of the AA ads featuring porn stars, with no images of the Chictopia shoot- so anyone reading the post could probably assume all the images were like that, if they wanted to. And outfit photo sharing is nothing new- TFS, MyStyleDiary, Modepass and a whole range of sites including personal fashion blogs have long been places for people to do exactly that.
But what really surprised me was the snarking about the Chictopia participants themselves- none of whom were directly quoted (even if someone else's gushy post about Karla was used as evidence that Karla needs to be snarked about, too). That, and the bitchiness about Internet outfit-sharers. Apparently our vain, mindless feedback-loop-stuck wannabe hipster fashion-maven selves (wow, we wear a lot of hats don't we? though I must admit, I'm no outfit sharer) haven't any business engaging in 'ersatz fashion activity', and somehow active pursuit of one's interests via a blog isn't really active pursuit, or any kind of creative expression, at all. By the time I got to the middle of the post (which is where the last line quoted came from), I was wondering just why the writer sounded so bitter- and then I scrolled up and discovered that it was Tatiana, The Anonymous Model, Jezebel's (it's self-explanatory, really) anonymous contributor who is in fact a real-life fashion model.
To be honest, it makes a whole pile of sense that someone who is a professional model would feel annoyed that a bunch of regular girls with nothing more than their cameras and computers, are doing something that resembles her job (posing and making clothes look good) and doing it well enough for a large clothing company to sit up and take notice. Sure, maybe no one's getting a modelling career out of this, as Tatiana pointed out, but it's well and truly possible that no one even assumed that this was going to lead to anything of the sort. And IMO it's rather blindingly obvious that the 'ersatz fashion activity' Tatiana seems to hold in such contempt is intended to stand- at least, so the article seems to imply in direct contrast to Tatiana's own- more legitimate, by inference, given her professional status- 'genuine' fashion activity, the kind girls with cameras don't (and shouldn't, is the feeling coming off this) get to engage in.
I'm all for questioning suspect professional ethics and the objectification of women, and sexual harassment in the workplace is not cool AT ALL. But frankly, Tatiana's post on Jezebel seems to direct more bile at Chictopia and at the bloggers from there who participated in the campaign, than at the murky workings of American Apparel- and I don't buy the bullshit that any of it was somehow cool, or feminist in any way. I've enjoyed many of Tatiana's behind-the-scenes accounts of what it's like to be a model and a girl working in fashion, but this time, really, shame on her, and shame on Jezebel.
picture from Chictopia
That pretty much sums it all up, really- it's odd that a simple attachment to a garment has so much potential to look austere (I keep thinking of monks) and relaxed at the same time. And I suspect this dichotomy is what keeps my fascination with hoods going (that and the fact that they saved my ears from freezing off through five successive North Indian winters), and it's unlikely to stop any time soon. Spring might be not too far away, but large chunks of the Northern hemisphere are still cold, and sometimes hats are just too much of a pain to take on and off.
And now, in pictures: