Vogueing Out

A couple of things caught my eye as I cracked open the March 2008 issue of VOGUE yesterday.

vogue ads

1) Is high fashion trying to angle itself with high art? Art has been what I would call “street hip” for a couple of years now, but for me, the deer heads, power lines and raindrops are all blurring together. D&G, Prada and Nordstrom ads (and that’s just in the first 20 pages) showed models posed in completely painted scenes or art studios, taking a more high art direction. The merit of the art itself isn’t the issue and a critical person could say it’s insipid to hijack art to sell clothes, but it seems to me that the message is that art is still elevated above the clothes. Art is absolute, fashion is mutable, both are visual cousins and the weaker, more changeable entity aligning itself with the stronger can only serve to build its brand. If you see fashion as fantasy, these ads could be a prediction of our fantasies to come. While 99% of people probably won’t wear anything from a runway in their lifetime, the culture of fashion can serve as a compass to where larger popular culture might go.

On a side note, it’s always interesting to me how fashion ads rely almost exclusively on photography, and what little effort is made towards incorporating graphic design is often badly handled. I usually don’t care for the photography in Marc Jacobs ads, it is one of the exceptions where the design is well-executed and not overbearing. And I don’t think there should be more graphic design in fashion branding necessarily, when you have outstanding photography, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, it’s just interesting to not to see it used more often, especially with younger designers up against the grand old fashion houses.

more trash than class Teri, evil Teletubby Posh

2) Older celebrities trying to look 19, growing old very un-gracefully. Highly disturbing.

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