cathy horyn, pauper?

Boo f’ing hoo, Cathy Horyn!

This weekend’s NYT magazine has a sob story from Cathy Horyn about how she can’t afford expensive designer clothing, and–can you believe the embarrassment?–she had to buy an Alice and Olivia tunic instead of the YSL tunic. It’s a tragedy, really; I don’t know how she summons the courage to show herself in public.

The Times has recently been writing an awful lot about the middling problems of wealthy people (witness last week’s “I’m sad because my kitchen remodeling project is over!” story), and this is particularly troubling when the class divide is widening so noticeably in our country.

I wonder if Cathy Horyn and her friends know that for every person who can’t afford Balenciaga anymore, there are probably thousands who can’t even afford its “affordable” replacement of Peter Som (whose dresses are around $1,800). I just can’t feel sorry for anybody who complains about not being able to afford luxury goods while, uh, there’s a war going on. I know fashion in itself can be considered a frivolity, but this story exemplifies not only what’s wrong with fashion (the ridiculous price tags) but also what’s wrong with our materialistic-to-a-fault culture.

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undead chic

I just saw this shirt and thought to myself, “Gee, I didn’t know Boris Karloff was designing clothes. >> From the otherwise super Creatures of Comfort

mummy.jpg

patrick robinson for target pictures

Nitrolicious has ’em, and from what I’m seeing, I’m not super-excited. The line looks breezy and appropriately summery, but… it looks like American Eagle Outfitters. The quality’s probably the same, but with these cheapy-cheap things, you’re paying for design. And this collaboration seems to be missing that latter part. >> Nitrolicious

marxist models of modeling

I’m going to forgive New York magazine’s lazy title tag (The Unbearable Thinness of Being a Model) because the story is a compelling read.

Writer Emily Nussbaum jumps into the skinny-model debate, and for much of the story, it’s more of the same (Natalia Vodianova’s panel speech, models dying, etc.). Her approach gets more compelling, though, when she touches on the class issues involved for many of the Eastern European models:

“And [the pressure to be thin] goes double for the new breed of models, many of whom come, like Vodianova, from the poorest regions of Eastern Europe. For these girls, pressures to stay thin may be a small price to pay for escaping the small towns they came from.”

The teenage girls who come from these poor areas have very few prospects back home. Without adequate education or job opportunities, let’s face it, modeling is their only potential way out of poverty.

Put yourself in the place of one of these girls. You are 15 years old and you have the opportunity to get yourself out of a sorry situation, travel the world and maybe send some money to help your family back home. So if losing ten pounds is the difference between you being booked or not getting a dime, what are you going to do? You’re probably going to do whatever it takes to stay employed.

Outside of the fashion business, people look at these emaciated girls and condemn them for encouraging eating disorders. And yes, there are many women and girls who look at Iekeliene Stange and think, “I need to look like her.” But what they don’t see is that within the industry, these girls aren’t trying to be thin so they can turn some Iowan farmgirl into an anorexic; they’re trying to be thin to keep getting work.

My debut with award-winning actress Michelle Williams

THE SETTING
Immediately after the 3.1 Phillip Lim show ends

THE PLAYERS
The Fashionist
The Fashionist’s photographer
Michelle Williams, pretty actress

—-
THE FASHIONIST: Hi, Michelle.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Oh, hi.
THE FASHIONIST: What did you think of the show?
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: I loved it. It was just so pretty.
THE FASHIONIST: I know. I want everything. I also wanted to say thanks for making Brokeback Mountain, because it really did a lot to help gay and straight people alike.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Oh, thank you!

(THE FASHIONIST’S PHOTOGRAPHER approaches)

THE FASHIONIST: Michelle, this is [T.F.P.]. [T.F.P.], this is Michelle.
THE FASHIONIST’S PHOTOGRAPHER: Hi, Michelle.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Hi.
THE FASHIONIST: We were just talking about Brokeback Mountain.
THE FASHIONIST’S PHOTOGRAPHER: Oh. (clearly not recognizing MW). That was a good movie.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: (looks bummed that her role in this film is not recognized)

FIN!

Sienna Miller does not wear pants

…and yet, she was the toast of last night’s Rag and Bone show. Some celebrities will sneak in at the last minute, presumably because they:

A) do not care about punctuality
B) do not want to deal with dozens of people accosting them

Sienna, however, was in her front-row seat at least 20 minutes before the 6pm showtime, and as we all know, shows don’t start on time; so really, she was about 45 minutes early. So my guess is that homegirl either had major time to kill, or she wanted the attention of photographers. She got it, of course, but seeing it in action made me feel embarrassed for her.

The show? So-so. It had this newsboy-meets-Gangs of New York thing going on, which looked good but wasn’t terribly original. Whereas some other shows that day had wowed me with clever cuts and novel reference points, this one made me think, “Ah! Okay, they’re doing the masculine-tailoring thing.” Which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s also not the most exciting. For men, it didn’t come off as well. Leather jackets, wallet chains and tweed are not necessarily the best combination. “This looks like Eurotrash meets Oliver Twist,” my partner dryly commented. Touche!

Fashion Week: Day pre-one

img_5356.jpgFashion Week doesn’t start until tomorrow (officially) but I got a head start on the festivities today. First up: the Proenza Schouler press/VIP/whatevah sale event at the Opening Ceremony pop-up store. It was as though Conde Nast opened up and dumped its most fabulous into one tiny shop. Fashionista‘s ed was there as well, chatting up the Conde Nasties. Inside: two floors of cheap-chic madness. Opening Ceremony is long and narrow, which meant that everyone had to elbow her way through narrow aisles to grab the goods. Not fun. The most amusing part was that the clothing had a wide range of sizes, but, you know, fashion editors are generally pretty tiny. So if you didn’t grab the S or XS right away, you were in trouble. I left without buying anything, because after waiting 20 minutes to try things on, I didn’t feel like waiting 20 more to buy what I could buy online. Finally, Jack and Lazaro’s skin? Glows like a baby’s.

I dropped by a couple of other events which were, sadly, a collective snorefest. I’m convinced that such events are “see and be seen” things that ultimately make me feel poor because I’m not wearing Balenciaga boots. Instead, I am wearing Marc by Marc Jacobs boots, and somehow I think the other fashion editors know that not only are they last season’s style, they were bought on eBay.

More tomorrow.