Monday, 24 January 2011

Comment Love

I had an amazing response to my posts about Vogue Three Strikes Vogue - You're Out! and Anti Fashion Resolutions and this post is a big thank you to everyone who commented.  From reading all your comments it is apparent that there are many other women out there who love clothes and fashion but have the same issues with the type of content I've highlighted recently.  It was very interesting to see how many people had said they had stopped buying or reading Vogue altogether.  These are intelligent, discerning women who put a lot of thought into how they dress and Vogue manages to completely alienate them. 

We don't often have the time to read all the comments on the posts of bloggers we follow but I have had some very interesting and thoughtful ones that I felt were really worth sharing.  These are but a selection of my favourite comments - the ones that got me thinking, nodding my head vigorously at the computer screen or that made me laugh.  Thanks once again everybody for providing such a lively and thought provoking discussion.

Aesthetic Alterations said...

Those quotes--wow--they're offensive. A business woman myself, I'm more than a little pissed off. While this may be merely a midwestern thing, I have to work hard to be taken seriously as a professional woman in this environment, and even more so as I clearly enjoy the sartorial pleasures of life. So what's with a *woman's magazine* undervaluing the challenges, risks, and pressures that inform real-life business pursuits by women?

the Citizen Rosebud said...

I never really thought about how much I roll my eyes at the text of my issue of Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar, but they are perennially out of touch with real life. Although I may quibble with your personally about the stripes (loved them for years, and even as a chubby I wear them) and the black bra under everything, I am not trying to dictate my personal preference de facto. Like the kid who calls out the Emperor, you've nailed it, nude is nude is nude, and Vogue's cluelessness to real life stands out stark naked.

The Elegant Bohemian said...

Interesting post.....I normally just buy In Style and Lucky. Occasionally I'll pick up Elle. I've gotten a Vogue about a year ago; but to be honest, I can't even relate. Stick thin models, over the top editorials, housing priced shoes...c'mon. Who lives in that world and is that even a world that I want to be a part of? Vogue doesn't own "style". Many fashion bloggers I've seen have it in spades and they didn't take a second mortgage on their houses to get it. Vogue, to me, has always seemed too "to the manor borne" for my taste.

Prêt à Porter P said...

"Black Model" tribe. It is so ridiculously stupid, that you can't help but laugh at it. I think any non-white model knows that she's going to have an uphill battle in making it. But once they make it, these girls HAVE STAYING POWER. Unlike those pouty doe-eyed 14 yearold girls that are interchangeable, entirely forgettable, and can't convey any sort of personality in a photo.

tinyjunco said...

...seriously, this kind of tripe shows what happens when advertising dictates content, and when the editors/writers/etc. of a publication inhabit a completely different socio-economic universe than their readers - unawares, yet. that's the beauty of so many style bloggers - they are part of their own audience, and write unconstrained by demands of advertisers and profit.

...the mindset of being fascinated by the rich and well-connected simply because they are rich and well-connected seems to be breaking up, more than a little due to the availability of diverse viewpoints out there on the 'nets. and not a moment too soon!

JTWisdom said...

I get these magazines in the mail but half the time I shake my head because I never see a variety of sizes and shapes of women. It does me no good to see one woman who is curvy or not a size zero and see everyone else in the magazine razor edge thin.

jill815 said...

... had a similar reaction to something I read in the US Vogue for January when Lauren Santo Domingo talked in an article about rich women being "shut out" from buying EXACTLY what they saw on designers' runways. I thought, Are you kidding me? Do you expect me to believe that somebody as wealthy as you is "shut out" from anything you want? I put the magazine down after that article and haven't been able to pick it up since.

Vintage Vixen said...

It's like reading a magazine from the 1950's what with "their families' financial clout", "Their husband's blessing"and sticking black women into a "tribe" no wonder the girls who work for them dress like post war debutantes.
I was reading this month's Easy Living in the opticians today and snorted out loud with their "Fashion On The Cheap" advice of wearing a £16 cocktail ring on each My coats don't cost that much. Bring on the revolution.

Comtesse de ferveur said...

Vogue UK has gone so downhill with Shulman at the helm - it's all syrupy now and like one big Enid Blyton novel for grown-ups, with its picnic blankets, completely outdated notion of the English rose and hapless but wallet-happy husbands. You are so right about the heinous compartmentalisation of non-Caucasian models. 'Tribal' as a trend (and it's one of Vogue's favourite buzzwords) always makes me feel queasy. I thought Vogue was meant to be a bunch of Oxbridge graduates but have they heard of post-colonialism? Oh, and not marrying? I could go on but my blood is boiling when I think of it all!

Penny Dreadful said...

I actually find that line on the dry cleaning really offensive. Really REALLY offensive. I quite like some of these things (orange platforsm for instance, though why they chose a photo where the models toes were sticking over the end is beyond me), but the point is the terrible writing. Every time I read Vogue I feel like screaming, they treat their readers like idiots and the writing is utterly inane.

Gem Fatale said...

I am actually doing my dissertation on why mags are going down and blogs are coming up, and am doing a case study on Vogue, and where it's going wrong! I might have to reference this blog post in my dissertation because you've highlighted A) how totally alienating and unrealistic this magazine is, B) the way fashion blogs are challenging new media by offering a REAL opinion on something, and C) the way these types of blog post can influence readers into seeing through the facade

Mrs Bossa said...

They've overstepped the boundary from laughable and harmless to offensive. I'm particularly appalled by the tribal reference. In my experience they've been bizarrely out of touch, and I'm sick of their frankly nauseating method of interviewing. You've reminded me why I stopped buying Vogue several years ago; there was one article about weight, and how it limited fashion options. "But," - the author specified - "I'm not talking about the size 18s. Let them eat rice cakes and shop at Marks and Spencers. I'm talking about the fun-loving, Helmut Lang-wearing size 14s...". There's no denying fashion is sizeist, but to be so blatant...

Shopgirl said...

I read Polly Vernon's last column for the Observer (I think it was!) about how it is legitimate to enjoy shopping and fashion as a hobby - just as it is to enjoy food or sport. But it is magazines like Vogue that continue to portray fashion-interested women as air-heads who live, first off their daddys and then their husbands. This isn't real!! We fashion-obsessed shopaholics (or is that just me?!!) earn our own money to spend on our outfits and it doesn't run to £550 for an outfit either!

Haute World said...

This is one of the many reasons I've stopped reading both Elle and Vogue (the UK editions at least... and the fact that both Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham are this month's cover models doesn't make me want to pick up another copy either). I've always wondered about their almost colonial mindset but Jill's explanation sheds a lot of light. And I was a little stunned when I finally read the Vogue Paris edition yesterday... I could (almost) handle the nudity of the 75 year old woman, but the children were unnecessary. I wonder if Tom Ford is to blame... said...

Preach it, sister! What I think is just as sad is that despite this being 2011.... traditional western beauty ideals are STILL imposed on all races. 'Ethnic features' are considered a bad thing.

Look at celebrities such as Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. Regardless of their skin tone, their features/bone structures are totally Caucasian like. Therefore they can be considered pretty, and sexy. Whereas a female celebrity who also flaunts her sexuality but is more ethnic looking is branded as a crazy or gross chick.

But for the sake of pretending to be open minded, image based industries such as fashion will occasionally promote a token 'ethnic girl' such as Alek Wek. Who is drop dead gorgeous, but will never be marketed as the bombshell the way Georgia May Jagger is.

And don't even get me started on how these beauty standards are thrust upon the rest of the world! In Togo, heavier women have always been part of their cultural ideal. It's been this way for centuries, and for the most part they've lived the same lifestyle as their ancestors have. But shortly after television was introduced, glorifying slender women and demonizing the larger frame, within one year 11% of women had eating disorders!

And don't even get me started on how women in Asia are getting eyelid surgery to give themselves rounder eyes, like those they see in the ads for imported western products they're constantly bombarded with. As someone who comes from a multi cultural heritage, this sort of thing is very upsetting to me

SabinePsynopsis said...

Since I also just cancelled my subscription I can only say: We are on one wavelength! They are totally out of touch (which is no surprise if all their interns/later employees are daughters of wealthy families). And to think that many of the greatest designers and stylists come from very humble background... It's sad. Alexandra Schulman really looks and sounds like a sensible person. Does she get dictated from the the top bosses?

Tali said...

Very very well said. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and I agree with everything you said!

I hate when they define their models by race. 'Black models' etc.. I don't introduce people by 'this is my asian friend' why do they feel the need to draw the attention to the obvious. We do have eyes to see color after all! I also notice they are selective about their racism. If a model with black skin has long straight hair and a sharp, thin nose she isn't placed under black label. She is placed with all the other models in collages. However if she has natural hair and a wider nose.. she is considered to be 'black'.

The only magazine that disgusts me more is Tatler. The whole thing is dedicated to ass kissing bachelor & bachelorette lists.. (all the people in these lists are related to the editor, of Royal connection, went to Eaton.. all resemble horses.) All the people in these lists end up modelling in the magazine. Not one dress looks attractive as it ends up on some buck toothed 12 year old countess who has no idea how to pose for a photo.. the whole fashion element lost! In that magazine they act as if it's an achievement for a woman to have ANY job. Makes my blood boil!!

Courtney said...

Are they serious? Putting models into "tribes" and then calling one of the tribes "black girls?"

I don't know what race politics are like in Europe, but my American mind is just boggled at this point.

First of all, that's just not right. It's so not right. It's a very well known fact that many fashion magazine fetishize black WOMEN (NOT GIRLS!) as exotic and even compare them to animals. So to say tribe is just ....SO WRONG. What is this? The 1930s. Seriously

Vogue, get it together.

jessica said...

Like I said in my comment to your last Vogue post, I stopped reading Vogue ages ago as overall, I found the content false,dull and devoid of any real personality. It is clearly aimed at a target demographic, which is, the type of people currently working at Vogue right now.

As for the ludacris bargain outfit for 550.... all I can say is (well something rude) Ive recently switched careers which resulted in a rather large switch in pay. i can no longer afford to shop like I used to but I regularly get entire outfits (great outfits!) in Primark.. for 30 bucks... in your face Vogue.

Milly said...

Your argument is not only a strong one but also, as the comments attests to, a universal one. Vogue really do seem to reside in a 1940s post-war valley with their Tatler neighbours. Not only are they out of touch with majority of the 'modern woman', they also have a knack of offending this very same group often. It is laughable that they could see nothing wrong in identifying Black models as a current fad and part of a tribe. Seriously!? In this day & age??

I do not expect every single magazine to represent me but I most definitely do not expect to be excluded either. Reading magazines such as Tatler & Vogue leave me feeling exactly that.

As if the message they are championing is that they are not for people 'like me'.

Adelle (the Fashionista Lab) said...

First, I made the decision not to buy Vogue years ago. I sat in Borders auditioning magazines (as used to be my habit), and in Vogue I read an article written by an older socialite about growing up around people more famous and wealthy than her. I was like... really? Vogue thinks I want to read about rich people talking about being rich? I never gave Vogue a second thought after that. I mean, clearly I'm not the target customer.

And that "black girls" tribe really gets my goat. OOOOOH it gets my goat! Seriously? black girls are in the same category as girls with short haircuts?! As you said, Black girls can have short hair, can smile, etc. And it's also so personally disappointing. Is that all people think when they see me? They don't see my smile, or my personality or my hair or my personal style... just my skin color? I like to think a feature like that wouldn't fly in the U.S., but the modeling industry is wack across the pond as well.

I subscribe to Elle and somehow that all-white model call slipped my notice. But to Elle's credit, they consistently write thoughtful articles that actually apply to real women's lives.

Cloud of Secrets said...

I am laughing in shock at the suggestions (at the items themselves, especially the five-sizes-too-big blue hospital smock Fendi shirt...


  1. This obviously really struck a chord with so many people. Great to see so many well-thought out, intelligent comments.

  2. Thank you, sweetheart, for putting up my comment. Thank you more for generating commentary about Vogue and women's magazines--there should be space in the magazine world for women who don't have 500GBP for an outfit. Indeed, there should be space in the magazine world for STYLE and STYLING. But I guess that would cut out all that needed revenue for FASHION advertising! Three cheers for bloggers!

  3. Very thoughtful comments. So glad people are thinking critically about what they see in magazines.

    To respond to Adelle's comment--I definitely agree about Elle, which I also subscribe to. It's the only fashion magazine I subscribe to that doesn't piss me off. It's consistently thoughtful, entertaining and fashionable. Their journalism isn't what I'd call top-notch or critical, but it's on par for what you'd expect for a fashion magazine. It's writing isn't as good as Vanity Fair but it's better than Marie Claire in leaps and bounds.


  4. You did get awesome comments on both of these blog posts and I enjoyed reading those you highlighted! And I can see why you chose them, I find myself getting mad about it all over again!

  5. What wonderful comments. Your fabulous writing style has generated such thoughtful comments that I really think you should start your own fashion magazine. xxx

  6. What a great post idea to put up the comments, I really enjoyed reading both posts and comments as it is an issue really getting under my skin. Both UK and US Vogue are so out of touch it is unbelievable. Some of the other glossies are a bit better but really none seem to have the perfect balence.

    Can you email me your email? I wanted to ask something but cant click through to email links! Mine is thanks Pearl x

  7. I do not always read all comments of a post, but I did read them with this post because it was so interesting to see what others had to say about this issue. It was really interesting and as you say... Lots of well-thought and spoken thoughts.

  8. I'm with Vintage Vixen. You're talented, chica! xx

  9. Excellent, meaty discussion here. Vogue, take note.

  10. a friend sent me a link to your vogue post. i wanted to add to the support you've received. i haven't bought a vogue issue in years, and i'm the better off for it.

  11. Thanks for including me! I loved reading everyone else's comments and ideas. Thank God for blogs because after a US Vogue like January's I start to wonder if I should let any fashion magazines into my house.

  12. I really am curious to see the Fendi hospital smock on someone, anyone, who chose it as a flattering and enjoyable treasure for their wardrobe!

    I've been meaning to ask: are there any fashion/style mags you think I'd like? Nationality isn't really an object; I'll peruse ebay for back issues of publications not stocked at Barnes & Noble. I'm kind of at a bored loss these days, since Lucky has gone downhill quickly with its changes in management. I still like the celeb-oriented InStyle as a shopping guide for almost-affordable fashion and realistic styling; but I wouldn't call its ideas and photography particularly breathtaking and innovative.

  13. Great idea, great to read through these. Long live the blogosphere!

  14. These were such a great couple of posts. It clearly inspired a lot of people - it sure inspired me to write my own posts too! So, thank you :)

  15. There were some great comments. Thanks for the mention - I personally enjoyed the 'syrupy Enid Blyton' reference...

    I've mentioned it briefly in one of old posts, but I think too many of the fashion mags have the same sanctimonious attitude towards celebrities, which I find incredibly off-putting; even Elle pushes it a bit. They're losing their bite, I feel - I've also noticed an influx of 'feminist-lite' articles which are patronizing at best...

  16. Veshoevius,

    What a great post you wrote. The comments are very thought provoking. You really did an excellent job and I enjoy your writing.

    Thank you for including me in your post!

    I can't wait to see a fashion magazine that caters to every woman no matter what shape or size she may be and makes her feel good inside and out.



Thank you kindly for your comments! Please be aware that comment moderation is on to weed out the spammers and I can only check comments once a day, so please don't worry if you don't see your comment come up at first - it is probably there and will be up later xx


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