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.

Quotable

Business card origami (and kirigami)

Business card origami (and kirigami) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The writer experiences everything twice.”  ~ C.D. Bowen

This is the quote that appears on my “business card” which I designed myself for free. As we all know there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and this pithy piece of advice was proven (unfortunately) correct in this instance as well. I had to pay for the shipping, which was reasonable, but on the back of each of my lovely mint coloured cards is an ad for the business that printed the cards. Had I known that this was the cost of “free”, I would have paid for the cards, or at least saved my pennies up until I could afford them sans advertisement.

Perhaps I overlooked the important sentence that stated: “You can have these cards for free, plus shipping, if you agree to have an ad for our business on the back, thus spoiling them.”

Perhaps I was so taken with getting something for “free” that I was not careful enough.

Perhaps I should charge the company for “free” advertising.

Whatever the case, I now have about a zillion of these cards (which are quite lovely by the way–as I designed them myself) that I have to “make do” with. I do this by applying a label on the back and writing in my email address and a little “check out my blog: onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com”. The labels probably cost more than paying full price for the cards. Oh well, live and learn.

Have you ever received something for “free” that was not really free?

Published in: on May 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm  Comments (8)  
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