A Phantasmic Journey

Day dresses for summer 1919 from Vogue magazine

Day dresses for summer 1919 from Vogue magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is my weekly column, expanding on something I mentioned in my blog recently about the September issue of Vogue:

  Fashionista? Not I. (Or me.) But I could not resist the 902 page tome which is the September issue of Vogue magazine. I was ready to parody the magazine. To make fun of its raison d’etre. But as I turned the pages, I found myself fascinated and maybe a bit overwhelmed. But then I got comfortable with it. Comfortable with the fact that the list of contents of the magazine did not start until page 108. And all the pages before that were beautifully, artistically, and dramatically shot advertisements.

  Admittedly the magazine is mostly ads. At least 700 pages of it (I did not count but it is my best guesstimate.)  But, oh……. the ads. Sometimes I was confused as to what exactly the focus of some of the ads was but for the most part they were focused on clothes, clothes, and more glorious clothes, with some shoes and purses thrown in for good measure. I have to admit though, there were a few of the ads that made it almost impossible to know for certain what was being shilled. 

 Many of the clothes were not something you and I would generally wear.  This statement is an obvious one — anyone who has ever picked up a Vogue magazine knows that they are not going to see clothes that one would generally wear to a PTA meeting or your kid’s soccer meet. Contrary to the rest of the magazine there was one ad from Kmart. Yes, Kmart. In Vogue magazine. And it said: “Money Can’t Buy Style”. This ad is the very antithesis of the rest of the magazine. Guess Kmart’s ad money is as good as Chanel’s or Ralph Laren’s.

  Several things struck me as I read the magazine and I thought I would share them with you. They are random, but interesting:

1.  First, in an ad about Cointreau, (you can’t wear high fashion without a fashionable drink I guess) this little blurb caught my attention. Called the “Art of Parisian Entertaining” it read as follows: “The kiss of a refreshing cocktail, the unconventional charge of Parisian energy, how the evening becomes draped in the extraordinary. This is quintessentially Cointreau, the perfect spirit for every at-home soiree.” So now I know what to serve at my next soiree when I want to drape my evening in the extraordinary.

2. Even though the feature articles do not come even a close second (or third) in importance to the ads and fashions, the writing is wonderfully lush. Here is an example of some posh writing that described a store I will probably never set foot in: “Despite the evocative setting and the rare, highly curated things within it, the atmosphere is unintimidating.” (I somehow doubt this—it is probably one of those places where if you have to ask the price of their wares, then you cannot afford it.)

hat making--another batch.

(Photo credit: Marie the Bee)

3. Off the wall statements: Lily Collins, for no apparent reason said this about hats: “I’ve always been fascinated by hats because they can change the shape of your face. I have men’s hats I’ve found at flea markets, page-boy hats, top hats, wide-brimmed ones for the beach that you can pull over one eye. Quite a collection!” Now anywhere else Lily might sound a bit pretentious and shallow, but hey, it is a fashion magazine, not the Journal of Great Scientific Discoveries and All Things Physics.

  So, what did I learn from my foray into fashion?

1. I need to buy some straight-legged jeans.

2. I need to save my pennies to buy a Vera Wang (love her stuff). If I succeed in saving my pennies, I will then have to figure out where to wear one of her creations. I am assuming that I would be overdressed at the Dairy Freeze or Mickey D’s, but maybe I can make a fashion statement in the aisles of one of our local grocery stores.

3. I can pretend to be beyond the lure of pretty clothes, shoes, purses and jewellery—but I am not.

4. Some of the fashions that were shown were facsimiles of clothes and shoes I wore in another life ~ about ———- years ago. (Not going to admit how many).

  I am now left with a mag the size of a small house. Maybe I should rent it out as a helicopter landing pad. If you are interested call 555-5304.

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44 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for the advice on the jeans – and the cocktails! 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed this post. It made me giggle :). I’m not sure where Inwoukd wear any of those fancy creations either, but I think you and I could have a ton of fun showing up at Mickey D’s dressed like that. We could speak real posh like too LOL!

    • Oops! Forgive my typos :).

    • let us go to the casino dressed to the nine’s and affect a French accent–my kids made such fun of me when I would try to read their dictee words to them–served me right putting them in French immersion!

      • The casino!! That’s perfect :). Everyone will think we are rich women just throwing away some of our cash for fun!

      • does that mean I have to play the dollar slots and not the nickel?

  3. It’s a reasonable door stop too…And yes, we are most definitely related..xo

    • yeah, but I would trip over it!

      • Hmm…fair point. I’m not exactly known for my grace either…

      • one of my brothers nicknamed me Grace

      • So much kinder than everyone calling me “Klutz” (even if your brother was being sarcastic)..

      • he was kindly sarcastic–I kind of like the name Grace–and you are right–so much better than Klutz

  4. You know Vogue mags are pretty to look at and I always think of that movie, The Devil Wears Prada. This BIG mag dictates fashion and determines what we can wear/buy. I prefer a nice jeans soiree and as much as I like hats and have tried to wear them, I feel like an idiot when I do. Fashion, like anything else I think is about how you feel. If you feel great in something, you usually look great.

    • I am trying to get myself to wear something other than jeans–but I do love them and you can dress them up and down
      I used to wear hats, but when I gave up my contacts to wear glasses–I have not been able to marry the two successfully
      I agree if you feel great in something–you look good

  5. I have a particular weakness for September issues of fashion magazines. They make me happy, giddy even. I’m saving my pennies for a Chanel 2.55 🙂

  6. very timely, we have a wedding to attend in a week and none of my sweatpants are without stains… I am in a panic.

  7. I like the free fragrance samples. My guest bath is always in vogue.

  8. Should you not mind the third tier of Vera Wang fashion (and I do not), Kohl’s carries clothes designed by her. I like to buy a fashion magazine once a year or so. They are a lot of fun.

    • unfortunately I do not live in the States–but not far from Detroit–so should I get over there to go shopping (something I have done in the past) I will check this out–thank you

  9. Apparently I need to start calling our parties soirees and serve Cointreau.

    You know, if I were ever to squeeze myself into skinny jeans, I’d just look like an ice cream cone..

    Sounds like you enjoyed the magazine. That’s really all that matters, in the end.

    • no skinny jeans for me–straight-legged–my days of skinny jeans are gone forever

      ah, but a soiree is so cultured isn’t it?

  10. I’m off to buy my copy. It sounds like a real bumper issue. Do you think they sell Vogue in Florida, where everyone wears shorts, T’s and flip flops? 🙂

  11. I am a very lost cause when it comes to fashion. Just saying hello 🙂

  12. I am not in the least ashamed to say magazines, whether they be vogue or cosmo, hold influence over me – the clothes, the style, its all from another world 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  13. I’ve been in the kind of store where if you have to ask the price…etc.. It’s also the store you see the sales persons.. looking at you and determining you don’t really belong there….. and feeling royally snubbed by them… lol Diane

    • it is all rather amusing if you really look at it–and their problem totally

  14. it’s kind of too heavy to read for long. lol.

    • it is – you have to put it on a table or something–its heaviness reminds me of the agenda and contents of a few council meetings (lol)

  15. You’ve neatly captured exactly why I hate Vogue and other magazines of that ilk.

    • I am not surprised and I understand–but I cannot see you in 4 inch heels and a Prada anything anyway–you are definitely a man with a style all your own, and you are not to be dictated to

      • I once sprained my ankle falling off a pair of platform sole boots, but that was back in the 70s

      • I used to wear platform shoes in the 70’s and sprained my ankle a lot

      • The price we paid

      • we were young and stupid then–I have no excuse now!

      • Now i’m old and stupid…

      • ha ha ha – I will never admit to it!

      • No escaping the truth

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