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.

We are all closet snobs

Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG photographed in Washing...

Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 You enter a different world when you open the pages of Town and Country Magazine. You enter a world where polo, the “the King of games is still the game of Kings”; fine dining is taken for granted ~ nay, expected; diamonds as big as your head are touted; and expensive watches de rigueur. It is a world I would not mind visiting. Heck, it is a world I would not mind living in. (Yes, I know a word like “heck” should probably not be used in the presence of those who water at the trough of Town and Country.)

The Editor’s letter by Jay Fielden sets the tone for the June edition of the magazine when he mentions that he and his wife took their three children to the Breakers in Palm Beach for four days and then on to Disney World for  their vacation. And they did not travel in the soccer mom and dad’s  vehicle of choice—the ubiquitous van, they traversed quite stylishly in a 2013 Mercedes S63 AMG sedan, which he said was “so much fun to drive that I didn’t notice I was going 86 in a 70 mph zone and got a $256 ticket.”

 The advertisements in the magazine are a real treat, but by the last page a bit of nausea sets in from too much sparkle, too much haute couture, too many mansions, and well, just too much.

Okay, now that I have been suitably politically correct for criticizing the rich; and duly outraged by the flashiness, it is time for me to be honest. I love the fashions, I love the name dropping, the purses that cost as much as a car, the diamonds that come in all colours of the rainbow, the antique rugs, the imperial looking models, the stylish cars, some with no price tag because you know if you have to ask…..



Diamonds (Photo credit: Kim Alaniz)

Face it, many of us love excess. And Town and Country is a magazine of excess. We do not need flashy cars, expensive clothes, jewellery, and furniture—but admit it—it would be nice. You know that when you buy a pair of shoes for $20 they may be cute, but they are not going to last. A pair that costs five or ten times that much then become classics that you can call on over the decades.  (I know that you can get shoes for 50 times that much, but we are not all “Sex and the City” girls.)

One of the articles in the June edition of Town and Country that caught my imagination was written by Dwight Garner and called “Table Trouble”. Dwight seems to be a bit of a snob, a likeable one, but a snob nevertheless, and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we are all snobs in one way or another. It can be taken in such a negative terms, as in “she would drown in a rain storm, her nose is so high in the air”. But really is a snob not just someone who has impeccable taste and does not suffer less gladly? Snobs are not necessarily elitists or name droppers or social climbers, or those who disdain others—they are a part of every one of us, if we will be so honest as to admit it.

Anyway, Dwight seems to think that our manners are lacking today. That we talk with our mouths full. We do not know how to brandish a knife and fork properly– in fact he says we are becoming a knifeless society. He notes that the “sales of table knives have plummeted (in Britain) because the fork-only eating of mushy food in the American manner, has become dominant.”

What I gleaned from his article is that we should all read “Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teens” written in 1961 by

English: Description= Cover page of the Book S...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Walter Hovering. He says it is the equivalent to Shrunk and White’s volume on literary style. He calls both “pocket-sized guidebooks for life.” I think I will try to find a copy, all the while remembering to keep my elbows off the table, put my knife and fork together when I have finished my meal, and most importantly, not talk with my mouth full of food. If I am to be a proper snob, I should at least know the etiquette of it.

Bliss is knowing which fork to use–what do you think? And are you a closet snob?