The Indumentarian: The Gospel According to Vogue, Part 2

The September 2010 issue arrived at my doorstep last month and it took that long to read the 726 pages of not-very-exciting stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I hail this book the way many people revere the Bible (or Justin Bieber) but there are usually some hits and misses in the pages. The first miss was the cover. Don’t get me wrong; Halle Berry is a beautiful women and I’ve always loved her sense of style, but come on! When did Vogue become People magazine? I miss the good old days when there were bonafide models on the covers and celebrities would seldom show up. I can’t even remember the last time there were models on the cover. Well, there was one this year but, damn, it isn’t enough. Celebrities are meant to be on billboards, at award shows, and various rehabilitation centers. They do not belong on the cover of Vogue. It’s blasphemous and I shouldn’t stand for it. But I still have another two years of my prescription (I mean, subscription) and I know that I will renew it once it’s through.

The first glimpse of actual magazine is at the index on page 76. It’s another 76 pages before another glimpse of the index and then after that, another 40 pages until we get to more content. 14 pages later, the page showcases yet another picture of Blake Lively, who I adore but I’m getting pretty sick of.

Yet another 14 pages later, Anna Wintour’s letter from the editor is cruelly divided into three parts. The first part and second parts are divided between 20 pages and the second and third parts have a less cruel but equally annoying 12 page division. I understand that these ads serve like commercials on television but sometimes it gets a bit frustrating and distracting. By the end of the letter, I can’t remember what she was talking about in the first place.

Onto the masthead which appears on pages 290 and 296. It’s your standard credits; no big deal. On 308 you find the section featuring letters from the readers. These often make me nod my head in concurrence or shake my head from side to side, violently, in an attempt to voodoo witchcraft some right fool from Whatver-the-hell-upon-Avon, Stupid-state. Kari Parks of California had a wonderful observation about the June 2010 pictorial entitled Bare Essentials with Doutzen Kroes that seems to sum up Vogue of recent times. “[If] I wanted oversaturated beach pictures I’ll read Seventeen.” And in response to a topless Kroes holding a copy of David Sedaris’s Naked over her breasts, Kari pleaded “Where is the sly wit I expect?”

On 352 an uncharacteristically thoughtful and provoking political piece on the Gulf Oil Spill reveals there is much to admire about Julia Reed and her personal struggle with this ecological disaster. If Plum Sykes were to write this, she would probably suggest no one where white for another five to eight months. There is an excerpt of Jonatahn Franzen’s novel Freedom: A Novel that should most likely cover the airport literary scene. There is a piece by Elizabeth Rubin entitled “Bye Bye Baby” that chronicles the American family and how it has changed since the beginning of the second gulf wars, resulting from the deployment of the matriarch. It is a touchingly candid and moving piece that merits a read. In the Nostalgia section, they won me over with a Helmut Lang piece that puts emphasis on his rejection of an influence parisienne in favor of New York. Truly, the ’90s are coming back. I remember reading similar pieces on classic fashion houses in the ’80s earlier in the decade, when the closest thing one could get to Facebook was an actual telephonic conversation. In the Flash section, edited by the always amazing André Leon Talley, you’ll never guess who the It Girl of the month is: none other than Blake-fucking-Lively who I think is an amazing dresser but if I see her once again, I will induce vomit. I hate to see someone as style-wise and new as she is, become fashion cliché in the same realm of uninspired fashion reference as Sarah Jessica Parker.

I’m going to warn you that if you are sick of NYC you might not want to get the book this year. It seems to be chockfull of “Fashion’s Night Out” details and everyone is talking about the city and I can’t wait for the next hurricane to wipe them all out. I mean, come on… I’ve never been but I feel like I have. It’s the subject of everything, not save for these days, so don’t give me the 9/11 sympathy card because it has been going on, way long before that. The worst is the fashion story that opens the Point of View section entitled “On the Town” or more appropriately, “models in makeup with a bunch of New York-based randoms.”

As far as shoes go, the studded platform seems to be in as is the thigh high boot which I tend to see as adult fare and not infantilizing women because it is in fact the other way around. This piece of stocking tends to sexualize little girls and that is almost as vomit inducing as the thought of Times Square. There is also a page dedicated to the color green, in military hues. I more than agree and cannot wait to sport the color for the majority of the fall. Lace has also come into trend and I couldn’t be more baffled. It’s going to get cold soon and white lace is so ‘84 and/or ’04-’06. There is also a turban revival that lasted a few years (it has been seen as early as 2007). There is a piece on Marco Zanini who is fronting a new Rochas: feminine and French ’70s, if I am any judge of character. Speaking of revivals there is a fashion story entitled “Sweater Girl” that screams late ’50s early ’60s. Then “Checks and the City” showcases Chanel’s tweed mistakes and a penchant for tartans in reds, greys, beiges, and blacks, which I don’t think is ever out of style (I mean for the fall/winter, at least). In “Pretty Tough” we see the seemingly-fetus-in-fetu pairing of lace and leather. Contrast, sure, but it isn’t a breakthrough and the whole thing is kind of a yawn. There is a piece on Eric Holder that clumsily segways (however, is still interesting) into the cover article on Halle Berry that unfortunately seems to indicate the beginning of the end for Vogue. Stop transforming this hallowed magazine into UsWeekly, Anna Wintour. You really must not give a shit anymore.

Until next week, losers: don’t be a stranger, but do be stranger

P.S.: I still love you, Prof. Wintour.

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