Thursday 3 September 2009

Some thoughts about fashion mags

I recently started reading Elle again after a year in a self-imposed magazine fast. Truth be told, I haven't read Elle regularly since I was a teenager, buying it to rip out the adverts for my walls, and I forgot how enjoyable most of the stuff in it is. I like looking at the fashion, and some of the articles are great - last month's had an excellent one about women and voting patterns.


I have issues. Here is an issue -

Your job is to photograph fashion. Here, you have put a black dress against a black background. It looks artsy and cool. I like the teal scarf, which stands out very well. However, I CANNOT SEE THE SHAPE OF THE DRESS. Having taken a bad photograph of it on my camera, I see now that with the aid of an extremely powerful flash, the outline of the dress is just about visible. But I am not reading this magazine in a lab or a photographic studio. I am only 31 - I am not losing my close-up vision yet. I like to be able to SEE what you are telling me I NEED. If you are a fashion magazine, photographing the fashion should surely come first?

Exhibit 2: this jacket -

It's by Prada. I like it a lot. It reminds me a bit of this jacket (a free knitting pattern from Berocco) -

Except, of course, the Prada one is much nicer and has lovely sleeves. The Berocco could be easily adapted, I think. But unfortunately, I cannot see properly if they are actually that good of a match, because the jacket is obscured by what appears to be a pumpkin-shaped pine cone.

OK, OK, I know it's not within Elle's remit to photograph expensive designer outfits so that I can try and create my own version (although I'd bet you any amount of cash that Prada does not make clothes in my size), but still...I cannot find this jacket on the web ANYWHERE (I spent a whole five minutes looking for it) so this is the only picture I have seen of it. I wouldn't buy it on the strength of a partially obscured picture.

Here is my second issue.

This is a leather body. I refer you to the Fug Girls' rant on leather shorts, and quote their mantra - just because one word is fabric and one is garment, does not mean they go together.

I have watched bodysuits creeping back into the shops with the same sort of sinking feeling I get watching the rust patch on my car fester, and spread. Bodies were not comfortable. They were not especially flattering, especially with the ubiquitous mum-waisted jeans that everyone wore when I was a teen. I can't imagine they'll be more flattering with hipsters - there will be a bit of gapping, I fear.

And leather. LEATHER. Weren't they difficult enough to do up after going to the loo when they were made of stretchy cotton?

Here endeth the rant.

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