I Don’t Care…………..

This week’s column:
Kim and Kanye

I don’t care. I don’t care that Kim and Kanye are on the cover of Vogue. Do you? Yet the fact that their picture appears on the magazine is causing a firestorm of interest in the media. Seriously, I think it looks good on Vogue, the fashion magazine that appeals to those who are in danger of drowning in a rain storm. (If you do not get that joke then I will explain it—it appeals to those who seem to perpetually have their noses in the air—not us down to earth folk who peruse the pages out of curiosity, and not as a catalogue).
Sarah Michelle Gellar of soap opera and vampire slayer fame tweeted that she was cancelling her subscription to Vogue and asked “Is anyone else with me?” as if she is the monitor of all things good taste and highbrow. Get over it Sarah. It is not worth your 144 characters to tweet about.
I have to admit though that I do love the take-off of the cover showing Miss Piggy and Kermit on the cover of barely disguised “Vague” magazine—they make a handsome couple, and surely they deserve their 15 minutes of fame. I know I am making light of the situation, but with all the things to be concerned about in the world, Kim and Kanye are not even on my list. Neither is Vogue magazine, though their encyclopaedic September 2013 issue did catch my attention—but upon sifting through the pages, most of the mag was made up of advertisements. Not of course that there is anything wrong with that—we all gotta eat, even fashion gurus, designers, and the copious number of shoe and purse makers who appeared in that issue.
Do not get me wrong. I love magazines—and have been an avid reader of them since I was a little girl—picking up my mom’s magazines and reading them from cover to cover (tips on making chicken dishes though I may have skipped at eight, I find weirdly fascinating now), and when I ran out of her Journals and McCall’s and Woman’s Day, I would read my dad’s Mechanics Illustrated.
In a book written to help you simplify life, I read that one should eliminate magazines from their life as they were just full of ads and the same old, same old. I could not believe that someone could write such blasphemy! Magazines are rife with hints, and life stories, and interesting tidbits that I for one could not live without. Even the ads do not deter me—I can whiz right by them, or pause for a moment and dream of perfect skin and the perfect vacation.
But magazines want your attention. There are a million of them out there, and in order to stand out they have to do something radical or irregular. And Vogue chose to feature a couple they knew would cause a tizzy. Well, good for them. It does not bother me in the least that Kim and Kanye got some more mileage—and anyone it does bother needs to put the important things in life in perspective.
I am not crazy about Kanye—he embarrassed Taylor Swift (in a way that made him look bad) but I think that called more attention to her accomplishments than less. Admittedly, Kim sometimes has the fashion sense of a squirrel and the morals of a rabbit, and the couple will most certainly never win for mentors of the year, but if they want to be on the cover of a fashion magazine—so be it. It is not like they are on the cover of Genius Weekly or Literature for the Literary–then I could see mounting an objection.
Let us turn our attention away from the attention seekers and focus our moral compass on those that deserve it. Here is proof positive that Kanye’s words of wisdom will not stand the test of time:
1. “I am God’s vessel. But my greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.” (pains me too Kanye, pains me too)
2. “I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it.” (I am a total loss for comment here)
3. “I am not a fan of books. (blasphemy, utter blasphemy!)
4. “I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.” (I have never known a book to give an autograph, but maybe I am being a little nit-picky here.)
5. “I am the greatest.” (shades of Mohammad Ali)

Published in: on March 24, 2014 at 9:08 pm  Comments (21)  
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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.

Mind Expanding Without Drugs

English: magazine vogue Español: logo de la re...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want to lose some weight. Not a lot–but fifteen pounds would make me happy.I want to lose some stress (not all of it because there is good stress that motivates you—I do not want to lose this kind of stress).  I read some encouraging words from Gretchen Rubin today and I think her suggestion that we find comfort food for the mind is the answer to my problems.

First it does not involve eating fatty, sugary, salty food—and that is a good thing.

Second, by comforting our mind, we are finding ways to cope. My comfort food for my mind comes first and foremost from reading. Yesterday I bought the huge tome called Vogue magazine. The September issue is 902 pages. I could not resist. I have not purchased a fashion magazine for ages. And ages. In fact if truth be told, I have kind of given up on fashion.

The magazine is the perfect eye candy. Some people take fashion very seriously. I do not. At one time I may have taken it a bit more seriously than I do now, but that was many lives ago. My fashion sense went the way of the Edsel when I had kids. It just was not important anymore. And I didn’t have the time to don a scarf, find the right jewellery, or even match (or unmatch depending on the fashion season) my outfit to my shoes and to my purse.  I am not sure where we stand on the “match” issue anymore, but I am sure once I finish 902 pages of fashion I will be in the know.

Here is Gretchen’s advice about what works for her (and what doesn’t work for her but may for you):

“…. look for ways to pull your mind away from your worries onto positive topics. One great way is to watch a movie – preferably something funny! — or watch a favourite TV show.

My favourite activity is reading, and when I really need “comfort food” for my mind, I read children’s literature (the more stressed out I am, the younger I go; Oz books are a danger sign). I always re-read, too; when I’m upset, I want the comfort of knowing that I’ll love the book and that I won’t be upset by some unexpected plot twist.

I do find that some activities that are usually happiness-inducing don’t work very well when I’m preoccupied with bad thoughts. Listening to music, for example, is an extremely effective way to boost mood, but I find it too easy to start thinking about my worries when I’m listening – others might not have this problem. Similarly, although going for a walk usually cheers me up, it also gives me an excellent opportunity to brood if I’m inclined that way.”

Comfort Food

Comfort Food (Photo credit: tim ellis)

Reading is my number one go-to for comforting my mind. Unfortunately so is eating, but I am trying to deal with that.

What is your favourite comfort food for your mind?

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm  Comments (30)  
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Mirrors Into Windows

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” ~ Sydney J. Harris

One of my August “before school started rituals” when I was a teenager was to buy Seventeen magazine and check out the fashions in order to get ready for another school year. There was a period in my long and sometimes not illustrious academic life when academics took a seat behind other important things—like clothes, boys, and friends. While Sydney Harris is undeniably right when he states that the purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows, if I were totally honest, there was a time (long ago and far away) when I was more interested in mirrors than windows.

Out of curiosity, last fall I picked up the September 2011 issue of Seventeen magazine to see if any of the things that were once important to me stirred memories.  Well, lo and behold—some of the fashions were very similar to those of the early ‘70’s and late ‘60’s (I was a “young” teenager in the late ’60’s—what, am I on truth serum?). Short skirts, plaid dresses, platform shoes, and hints on just how that crazy opposite sex thinks were all provided in the still glossy magazine that used to be my Bible.  Just like the old days. Only in the old days I believed the hints about boys. Today I am wiser.  There is no figuring out boys. I know this as I have been married for 30 years, and have yet to figure out the “boy” I married, or the boys who are my sons.

I often wonder what boys do to gear up for another year at school. I never noticed my sons really “getting ready” for another school year—they just treated it more with resignation that summer was over and it was time to get back to school and sports and computers and friends. Sure they got new clothes, but mostly because their mother bought them. My youngest son who is in college says that all he needs to start his September semester is new jeans and running shoes. Much simpler than my needs for back to school when I was in university!

The walk down memory lane with Seventeen magazine jogged remembrances of the fresh start each September provided—and to this day September is really the start of my new year.  But today, I am more appreciative of turning “mirrors into windows” than I was decades ago.

Published in: on August 10, 2012 at 4:50 am  Comments (44)  
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On Trend for 2012

You can thank me later. Flowers and chocolates are also acceptable rewards. To keep you up to date and on trend, I am providing for you “What is In and What is Out” for 2012. Of course I am not savvy enough or sustainably “with it” enough to come in with what is in and what is out by myself, so I turn to Detroit News Design Writer, Sue Pollack, who either has the audacity or expertise or the audacious expertise to predict what will be trending for 2012, and what is to be left by the wayside.

I do not in any way agree with all her predictions, and saying that people are out of fashion is not something I approve of, but I do love 2012’s new colour of the year: Tangerine Tango. I love orange in all of its flashy glory, from yellow oranges to this year’s tangy “high energy hue” which Pollack says is turning up in everything from “appliances and ottomans to pillows and throw rugs.” She says that it is “the perfect antidote to winter blues and all the recent doom and gloom.” (I think the Mayan prediction that the world is going to end in December is the doom and gloom she is referring to.)

Unfortunately if Tangerine Tango is the new colour, then there must be an old colour—and its demise is not one I will miss. Honeysuckle pink is apparently no longer the reigning queen of colours. Now pink is not at the top of my list of favourite colours, but if it is one of yours, I give you permission to ignore tangerine tango, or unite the two in a burst of colour combination and co-ordination henceforth unknown. Will pink and orange be the new black and white? Not in my world, but if it is in your world, the more power to you.

It just figures when I finally get a pair of Uggs (mine are fake Uggs) they are out. Supposedly L.L. Bean duck boots are in. But are they made of doe coloured suede with a plush lining? I think not. I will save duck boots for the spring thank-you and cuddle into my fake Uggs for the rest of this thus far mild winter.

I have a few bones to pick with Pollack (besides the one that has now labelled me a foot fashion has-been.)  She says Nate Berkus is out and the new program “The Chew” is in. Have you ever watched “The Chew”? The high level of enthusiasm is over the top and sometimes frenetic—I think some of the people featured on that program (Carla) could give you a seizure. I like Nate’s calm, cool, and collected demeanour—by no means would I replace him.

Susan Boyle, Charlie Sheen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are out, replaced by Michael Buble, Ryan Goslisng and William and Kate.

Lost (Michael Bublé song)

Lost (Michael Bublé song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Live With Regis and Kelly” is out and Dr. Oz is in. I would like to know how you get to make these pronouncements.  Has anyone told Susan or Regis that they are out? I can just imagine that call—“Hello, I am calling to inform you that you may as well roll up the rug of your life, as you are no longer “in”. You are out of favour, out of style, and may as well turn in your keys.”

As you have probably gathered, I read these lists out of interest, but not because they are a guide to running your life in 2012. If you like ski masks and small brim fedoras, recessed lighting, frozen Yogurt, country crafts, pop-tarts, Craig Ferguson, clogs, and fast-food drive-thrus, then stay true to you and do not replace them with critter caps and trapper hats with mega earflaps, hanging light fixtures, Greek yogurt, kids’ art projects, steel cut oats, Jimmy Fallon, moccasins, or food trucks.

Myself, I will mix and match my “ins” and “outs” but probably not replace them, with one rather pointed exception. For some reason, bullying was on the 2011 list and has been replaced by acceptance for 2012. I would like to know when “bullying” was ever in. It was not “in” in 2011. I imagine it was put on the list to foster acceptance—but to ever put it on a list as “de rigeur”, even in the past, is just wrong.

These lists are valuable in that they predict the trends, but better than that, they make us think about what we hold near and dear, and what we are willing to let go. I do not mind if honeysuckle pink is no longer “in”, but it may be your favourite colour, and I respect that. I am happy my favourite colour is going to enjoy the spotlight, but when it is out of favour next year, I will not abandon tangerine tango.

Published in: on January 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm  Comments (2)  
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