Recommended Reading: the Sartorialist, Style Rookie & Rick Owens

Comments on The Sartorialist generally tend toward the "Love it" and "Beautiful" vein, but Scott Schuman opened up a big ol' can of body issue worms with this post, in which he described the legs of Italian blogger Angelika as "sturdy but beautiful." After some initial outcry, The Sartorialist backtracked a bit, questioning what is "normal" and defending his use of the word "curvy," both of which are good points. However, what irked me about the post from the beginning was the fact that he felt compelled to comment on her body at all. The vast majority of photos on his blog feature super-thin women; does he ever note how they're "dressed for their shape"? No. Why couldn't he just focus on her clothes, as he does for the rest of his subjects? What's even more upsetting to me is the fact that Angelika is thin--yes, she's more shapely than many of The Sartorialist's regulars, but certainly not deserving of such terms as "sturdy," "bigger," and that cringe-inducing euphemism for chubby, "curvy" (a word that used to be a compliment). Schuman is talented and has a great eye, but, man, he seems like a dick.

Tavi, a.k.a. Style Rookie, has also been getting a bit of attention for this post, in which she finally begins to feel a bit jaded by the fashion industry. I'll let her words do the talking:

Fashion Week is weird. It is very high schooly. Someone will take that and decide that it means Fashion Week highschooliness is getting me down hard without realizing how highschooly what they're doing is. I love fashion but it's disappointing when you have to sift through a lot of junk before you get to, like, the clothes, and the whole point of it all. It's more disappointing when the clothes aren't very interesting. Lately I've been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration. I miss following magazines and obsessively checking style.com the way I used to but something is different about it now. A year ago I got to go to Paris to interview John Galliano at Dior, and a couple weeks ago today he said he loved Hitler and got fired. Fashion photographs look more posed and the Rayanne Graffs I meet at school more inspiring. I only really miss being obsessed with fashion the way you miss any aspect of a former self, in a nostalgic way, not necessarily as part of a desire to go back.

Tavi is right: Fashion Week--and the fashion industry in general--is very high-schooly. I survive it just as I did high school, by hanging back and observing more than trying to be one of the popular girls. The difference is I want to be there; high school was just a necessary evil. So it is kind of meta to think of Tavi, a high school freshman, in this kind of parallel situation. I think part of why her blog struck such a nerve with the fashion industry was because of its innocence and optimism--reading about her discovery of fashion was kind of like reliving my own, and it reminded me why I love it so much. But we all have to grow up eventually, don't we?

Finally, people often ask me who is my favorite designer; I generally respond that I don't have one, but if I were forced to wear just one for the rest of my life (and had an unlimited budget), it would be Rick Owens. His clothes are seasonless and trendless; he has a basic vocabulary that he expands on and pushes to new boundaries with each collection. Not to mention, his clothes are just cool. So I highly recommend this profile of him in the UK's Independent; it's truly inspirational.

2 comments

THE DIVINITUS said...

there is no perfect job. always some politics attached.

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