I may have just bought the last issues of Elle and Vogue I’ll ever buy. That’s what I’m telling myself right now because for the first time in 28 years of being an avid fashion magazine fan I am completely alienated by nearly everything I’m seeing in them right now. It is difficult to explain to those who’ve been alienated by fashion magazines for a long time. They nod their heads and cite the skinny models, the unreal clothes, and the ridiculous prices and know that obviously I’ve finally realized that they’re making me feel bad about myself. Why would I suddenly feel disgusted with the prices of fashion? I have never been a consumer of high fashion, I have never been able to afford it. There’s never been a question of desiring Fendi or Valentino. Not because Fendi is designed for people with more money than style and not because Valentino has been making women boring for as long as he’s been designing. I simply haven’t ever wished I could buy couture or even high end ready to wear. For me it’s all about inspiration. The fashion magazines are where ideas take shape. It’s where the mundane and practical need to clothe ourselves becomes art. I enjoy the art of fashion design. I wouldn’t spend $3,000 on a pair of pants even if I was in the top 1%. I would look at the style of the $3,000 pair of pants and would either find a less expensive version or I would make my own.
What’s alienated me is the return of ostentatious displays of wealth during such bleak economic times, not only in our country, but across the world. I haven’t seen so much blatantly luxury-focused style in years. Fur. It’s everywhere. I know there’s plenty of faux fur out there but the big designers are using the real stuff. I remember all the fur ads from the 80’s and it was awful then, but at least there was enough interesting and inspired fashion going on outside of fur that I could choose to ignore it. You can’t ignore fur right now. What’s more, it’s truly deeply hideous looking. The fur vests represent for me the worst in ugly fashion.
No, wait, that’s a lie. The purses are the worst- at least you can convince yourself that you need that fur vest to keep your implants warm through those brutal Malibu winters but fur purses are ridiculous and wasteful in every possible way. I loathe the fur industry. You may have guessed this. It’s evil. Most fur is not a by-product of the food we eat. No one eats mink cutlets. I most definitely think it matters that if people kill animals they use as much of the animal as is possible. Any less effort is insulting. I have no objection to people using the skins of animals they eat to cover their feet and to protect their skin from the elements. I myself wear leather. In fact, I have thought a lot about this this week after flipping through the magazines. Why do I feel it’s okay to wear leather but not fur? That is a good question. I actually don’t feel easy about wearing leather. I have tried to wear non-leather shoes but I have big shoe issues and leather breathes the best and lasts the longest compared to the synthetic alternatives. So I keep coming back to it. Synthetics make my feet fungal. Nice, huh? I don’t have any leather purses but for the first time in my life I have a messenger bag with a leather bottom. I love this bag. I love it because I put my bags through hell and the leather bottom is tough and can take abuse.
The only way my conscience can accept the wearing of leather is that people eat a lot of cows and leather is a byproduct of that appetite. Even so, I find it disturbing when people outfit themselves head to toe in leather. Unless you’re a motorcyclist there’s no need to cover your whole body in the skin of another animal. I think it boils down to respect. I think it’s respectful to make fur coats and wear them if you live in the north pole and hunt (and eat what you hunt) and you’re damn cold. The animal you ate is already dead and you’re freezing your ass off. Throwing away a good material for warmth in such an instance would be wasteful. But women on 5th Avenue and in the 6th Arrondissement can survive the winter wearing wool.
Even putting aside my feelings about the fur industry and the people who support it, if you’re going to spend a bucket of money to wear it – why would you want to look like you skinned a goat all by yourself? Check out that goat fur coat by Valentino in the left hand corner of the vest and coat montage. That baby costs $6,300! I expect better design from the fashion industry. What I’m realizing is that the good design is no longer happening in the major design houses. The designs that are worth looking at are indy designers. The ones who barely get article space in the big mags, the ones who can’t afford Vogue ad campaigns. So I’m going to look out for indy fashion magazines. There’s not much out there but the small designers, the up and coming ones, the ones that are still hungry and pinning madly just to get a small show together-these are the designers to watch. The dinosaurs are creaky, obsolete, and frankly, much too tied to tradition and money to do anything worth copying.
But if what you want is to dress like a top 1% caveman, this is your season. I’ve found all the key pieces you need. You’re welcome.
P.S. Both my Polyvore skills and my html code insertion skills are new and pretty screwy. Can’t get any spaces in my text here. Just bear with me as I figure it out.