Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. ~Coco Chanel
Taylor Swift is on the cover of the December/January issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
And inside the mag, she wears several pairs of pants. Like so.
I’m not a Taylor Swift fan, but kudos to Beth Fenton (the fashion editor for this shoot).
Swifty is lean and leggy (a trait that’s just about guaranteed when you’re 5’11”). It’s both genius and a no-brainer to put this girl in pants.
Of course, she’s totally living up to
my oft repeated rant the adage that musicians/actresses/reality show stars generally make crap models.
But the pants look good.
Fashion people can be so…serious. Sometimes I want to be like, “It’s just clothes, people. Lighten up.” And after watching “The Look,” something tells me Laura Brown feels the same way.
She’s the features/special projects director for Harper’s Bazaar and host of “The Look,” the mag’s new web series, which is pretty entertaining.
Brown has a good sense of humor, and the interviews are chatty and fun. Exhibit A: this episode featuring Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.”
At first glance, I was eager to read “Robin Givhan Sees Liberation in Katie Couric’s Heels (and Miniskirts).” Couric is a fellow journalist and I admire Givhan’s writing. Once I got into it, though, the Jezebel post −about a photo shoot Couric did for the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar− was irritatingly familiar, another rant about high heels and what they “say” about the women who wear them, blah, blah, blah.
For the shoot, Couric wears booties and Gucci platforms, and Givhan argues that it takes “pure grit” to “walk…in a pair of heels that make those who’d be suffering vertigo blanch.”
"Maybe ‘pure grit’ is a synonym for masochism," the post’s author, Irin Carmon, retorts. "And while I see Givhan’s point that heels impress, allowing you to potentially tower over opponents, they also hint at a sort of inexorable demand on professional women to be all things at once− driven and hardworking, but also, ever so subtly, someone you’d want to fuck. Or that you think men might want to.”
To which I say… Oh, give me a break. You’re reading way too much into a pair of pumps.
Heels make the wearer −every wearer− look longer and leaner, and that’s what makes them appealing to so many women. Suggesting professionals who wear heels to the office do so to appear simultaneously industrious and desirable is insulting to those of us who use our brains, not our sex appeal, to get ahead in the workplace.
"Feminist writers have consistently argued that a woman’s attempt to cultivate her appearance makes her a dupe of fashion, the plaything of men, and thus a collaborator in her own oppression…," says Linda Scott, associate professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, in her book Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism.
In other words, many people believe the term “feminist fashionista” is an oxymoron. I am not one of those people.
I am also not a dupe, a plaything, or a collaborator in my own oppression because I wear what I want to wear. (Choice Feminism, anyone?)
And with that…the only fashion advice I will ever dispense here: Wear what makes you happy. And look appropriate for the occasion at hand. The rest (conveying a particular message, whether people like what you’re wearing, etc.) is just icing on the cake.
Photo: Harper’s Bazaar
*Originally published 2/12/2010
It’s rumored that singer Susan Boyle (of Britain’s Got Talent fame, in case you’ve been living under a rock) has been photographed for the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. A British tabloid even claims she’s being considered for the cover.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few photos of her inside the mag. After all, its editor-in-chief, Glenda Bailey, is a fellow Brit and oodles of magazines would probably like being the first to run “glamour shots” of Boyle. But a cover and/or a multi-page spread…I’m not so sure.
I mean, from a sales standpoint she could be a shrewd cover pick. She’s got fans the world over, and women outside Bazaar’s typical readership might be compelled to buy a copy if they saw her cherubic face smiling back at them. But let’s face it: glossies aren’t exactly proponents of democratizing the fashion industry. Mere mortals like Boyle, aren’t exactly revered by fashion’s “elite.” And, honestly, to some extent…I get that.
When I pick up a fashion magazine, I want to be wowed. I want to be transported to a world where every hair is perfectly in place, lacquered lips shine like patent Louboutins, and startlingly white beaches (rambling country houses, posh, dimly-lit nightclubs, etc.) are populated by beautiful people with impossibly high cheekbones and legs for days.
If I want to see ordinary-looking folks −and unfortunate clothing choices− all I have to do is visit my neighborhood Kroger. I like to think that when I buy Vogue or W or Bazaar, I’m buying a fantasy. Susan Boyle, bless her heart, is not fantasy material.
Photo: Sassi Sam
*Originally published 7/21/2009