Monday, December 27, 2010

The Anti-Anna

One of my favorite women in the world to look at is the former Editor-in-Chief of Paris "Vogue," Carine Roitfeld.  Her sense of style is extraordinary & the visuals she has created for Gucci & "Vogue" are edgy, but remain stylish without looking contrived.  She mixes luxury with fashion, but also makes it real--it never seems forced or manufactured & it's always relevant & not the same old jumping girl in front of a screen.  For those interested, this is one of my favorite articles written about her. 

Carine recently resigned from her post at Paris "Vogue" & I have been saddened that I might not have access to her work as easily.  I emulate her in all regards, as a career woman, as a fashion stylist & even a wife & mother.  I think what really strikes me is that even at age 56, she's not "toned" it down because she is of a certain age or "a mother."  It brings me hope that when I'm 56, I can remain true to myself (whatever that may be).  I could still retain my identity.  My experiences would all add to me & not take away from me.

In Defense of Fashion

In “The Devil Wears Prada,” Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) gets a job working for "Runway" magazine (a thinly veiled parody of American "Vogue").  She starts her adventure as a recent college grad without any prior interest in fashion & later, develops a sense of style.

Along the way though, Andy's co-worker Nigel (played by Stanley Tucci) has to give her a pep talk, in which he says:
“Don't you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century?  Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta.  And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it.”
That line succinctly & accurately explains how I feel about fashion.  Fashion is not merely frivolous--it is commercial, expressive & cultural.  It's functional as well.  Fashion is often trivialized as being superficial & frivolous, but there is an aesthetic & cultural value to it.

It's always been a peeve of mine that at the end of the movie, Andy's boyfriend Nate (played by Adrian Grenier) accuses her of neglecting her relationships "for shoes & shirts & jackets & belts."  If someone is working hard in their job in fashion, is it not as valuable as someone working hard in any other industry?  Yes, it's not rocket science & curing disease, but it has intrinsic value as art & commercially.  Would it be as acceptable for someone working hard at say, 3M, to be chided by their boy/girlfriend in the same way?  It's probably just not as fun to watch.