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Saturday, October 02, 2004

Poor Taste rules OK

As for the pathetic Milanese who give jobs to AW's operatives in hope of attracting her attention, this is what she thinks of them:

"..."I told Miuccia today, `You're the only reason we all come to Milan,' " Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, said on Sept. 30 from her front-row perch at the Gucci show..."

That's the only reason for AW and her lackeys (who never showed any propensity for independent thinking, which is why she is so certain that "all" NYC fashionable types visiting Milan FW think like her) to attend a fashion week event which showcases an 83 billion dollar business.

btw the NYC media suckup jobs to Miuccia keep omitting that she was - and remains - a hardline communist, in addition to being "..a mercurial, contradictory and shrewd woman in her early 50's, an informed art patron, a doting mother, a tempestuous employer..." etc etc
I guess associating with commies is still bad PR in the USA...

In the latest NYTimes article on her, they of course also neglect to mention that she is "inspired by the banal" or that her fashions are meant to poke fun on middle-class people

Miuccia herself described in this manner her obsession with "taste":
"'I was obsessed by trash, that trashy Seventies feeling. Bad taste - I loved it.'

She also admitted in a interview a couple of years ago that she had to "fight against my bourgeois, good taste"

Before a show, she remarked about her designs: "There's a certain bad taste, but it looks so charming. When we do the fittings, we say, 'How awful--and how charming.'"

btw, this is Miuccia's opinion about one of AW's faves, and the new Chanel No 5 icon:
"..'What all these actresses wear to the Academy Awards now - it's just dresses...They have no personality. You rarely see them think about it. It's as if women are afraid to explore who they are any more. Now how can that be sexy? Watch them. Look at Nicole Kidman. She is beautiful and she is nice. But sexy?' Prada shook her head sadly. 'A zero.'..."

Her past story shows why AW and Co like her so much - from a UK paper article on her (the Londoners don't think communism is a dirty word)

"...Miuccia has been exposed to luxury as a way of life since the day she was born...she says her childhood was dull. Her parents were typically severe and she was severely bored. By the age of 15, she had begun to rebel...she began to dress in an eccentric - even bizarre - manner...she enrolled at the University of Milan and eventually received a doctorate in political science. She joined the Communist protests, however, she would turn up looking a little different from the other revolutionaries: she refused to wear jeans, preferring high heels and vintage dresses, which she found in thrift shops...she always felt that a career in fashion would be demeaning. By the early Seventies, though, Prada needed money, so she went to work where she could find a job - in the family store..."

On her relationship with her husband, and his business plan - "...Bertelli and Prada have been known to argue so violently that employees have had to dodge the things they throw at each other...Once, a few years ago, when a strained business meeting got out of hand - the two disagreed fundamentally about a product - Bertelli erupted, shouting, 'I'll piss on your shitty handbags!'...In the Eighties, when Prada bags and shoes first gained popularity, Bertelli insisted that if small, high-priced boutiques wanted to receive the accessories that sold so well for them, they also had to carry the new line of women's clothing. The strategy prevented many such shops, with their limited display space and tight budgets, from offering the work of competing designers, which was exactly what Bertelli had in mind. Shop owners wanted the shoes and the bags, so they also took the clothes - and Prada elbowed its way on to the shelves of stores throughout Europe and America..."

So what???

Well, bourgeois "good taste" - which Miuccia, AW and their fans often make fun of - is actually "the mechanism by which the consumption of approved objects is encouraged" - the same tactic use to sell Prada products !!!

The typical buyers (the ones who know that Prada makes clothes - 9 out of 10 people only know about Prada bags and shoes) are described here:
"The ordinary, or a cleaned-up tricked-out ordinary, has become the most fashionable thing among a certain fortyish set that likes its status objects ostentatiously utilitarian: Range Rovers, Sub-Zero refrigerators and Viking stoves, Shaker sidechairs, wooden boats, Prada everything..."

When you look at who controls high fashion, what you have is a group of women with similar characteristics - an affluent family background, a tendency to dress "strange" and shop from thrift shops and flea markets, who make fun of ordinary people and their tastes, adore "poor taste", and lie to the same people every day to trick them into buying their magazines or other products

I personally couldn't care less - if they didn't keep manipulating the fashion modelling biz, imposing their "poor taste" on model selections.
The character in London who looks for new Prada/MiuMiu "exclusives" - preferrably ones who can't walk properly and are completely incompetent as models - is the one who supplies the model biz "professionals" with most of their fresh "A-List" wonders.
It's by now obvious to almost everybody that sensual or simply attractive models are locked out of the jobs they would easily get in any open casting - after all, you'll never see these sort of women around AW or Miuccia either, since they could attract attention away from the ladies who tried so hard all their lives to make an impression in their "strange clothes" - since they lacked other means...


At 10/03/2004 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 2 months ago Andre Leon Talley referred to Miuccia as an ex-communist on his Vogue column.. which struck me as weird.. cuz as far as I know she's still a communist. Nothing wrong with that anyway.


At 10/03/2004 3:32 AM, Blogger FV said...

If she was still officially a communist, that wouldn't look good, partying with Dubya's niece and all that

A few years ago, she was in the news when it was revealed that she financed the congress of the French Communist Party, one of a couple of hardline Stalinist parties remaing in Europe at the time - so maybe she is not an "ex" yet

Despite ALT's item and some other references, the NYT could find the space to mention that detail in their 2-page suckup job

At 10/03/2004 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a big Prada party (or show) in the Parisian Communist Party headquarters (place Colonel Fabien) a few seasons ago?
Mag Eis.

At 10/05/2004 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You frequently bash NY bad taste and embrace the Brazilian fashion scene. Don't you think that both weird/uptight/personal fashion (ala NY) and simply beautiful sexy fashion is needed? In my opinion fashion is very interesting because of the interaction/clash between the 'testosterone'-driven appreciation for female curves and beauty (and women's desire to be appreciated) and the female need to 'rebel' and express themself regardless of their desire to please men.

Basically, what I'm saying is that you have FHM, VS and Stuff to appease this pure-testosterone magazine/fashion-market. Why can't you resist to criticize the other end of the fashion spectrum?

Not that I'm complaining that much because you post gorgeous pix of beautiful girls and have an interesting point of view. I'm just curious about what your motivation is.

At 10/05/2004 1:17 PM, Blogger FV said...

Coz the world is not black and white - it's not the "tits & ass" crowd vs the "Mary Poppins plus homosexuals" contingent

Interestingly, it's mostly people who graduated from US high schools who make these divisions

Sensual women who don't have to look like Pam Anderson or have huge Giselian breasts to interest men -and there are also women who want to project their sensuality and show off their body (the sort who buy Versace or Cavalli fashions, for example) who have nothing to do with Maxim or Playboy types

NYC types find the image of women in bikinis offensive -this mentality is even alien to most people who live in Miami or LA, not just foreigners

In sort, the NYC "high fashion" mentality alienates even most Americans, not to mention people who regard the sight of women in sexy bikinis in places like the French/Italian Riviera as something normal - and don't get offended by women showing their bare legs

If you think about it, when a society is suppressing women who want to show some part of their legs or butt, you end up putting a premium on huge breasts - which is of course a US peculiarity, the "T&A" mags in Europe and elsewhere feature naked sexy women with normal breasts - Pam Anderson and Gisele types are considered freaks

At 10/05/2004 1:58 PM, Blogger FV said...

I have absolutely no intention of spending any of my time on "females who need to 'rebel' and express themself regardless of their desire to please men" - but in any case, there are distinctions:

First - they don't rebel against men, they actually rebel against most other women (the Cosmo woman, for example) who choose to present themselves in ways that please (some) men

Which is why they feel the need to dress "strange" and love "poor taste" - it's mainstream womanhood that really opresses them, not males.

of course, the merchandising "high fashion" crowd is only interested in selling "luxury" goods to the nouveau riche segment (the really rich don't buy pret-a porter !!!!)- or whoever can afford the merch, but ideally also to those who feel close to the traditional Anglo/WASP "exclusive club member" mentality
(doesn't apply to Japanese, etc of course - they'll buy regardless)

The rest of the "rebel females" can buy Nylon or skate punk mags and dress cheap and grungy - if they can't afford logoed fur trim with their grungy attire, they are of no interest to AW and Co - their lowball "poor taste" sense is of little use if it can't help increase Conde Nast advertising revenue

At 10/05/2004 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to make it clear: I'm European and I like both ends of the spectrum. I like US Vogue and I like Brazilian Vogue - both do some bad and good stuff. I probably like French, Japanese Vogue and Italian Marie Claire most right now, however.

You are absolutely right in that the waspy women seek to rebel against pleasing women. That is very true - I think that is one of the main aims of feminism really - just female competition and cattiness.

Personally, I like women and men who express themselves - who are driven by the pleasure of expression rather than an will to please or a will to conform. Some women look good in Prada - because they are beautiful and love the stuff rather than try to (neurotically) go through the motions to achieve some intellectual image - some women look good in bikinis because they are beautiful and charming. I like Ana BB as much as I like Gemma - they are just two very different flavours of gorgeous. It's the fashion world's loss that they don't use Ana BB and insist on that Gisele is the only viable sexy Brazilian.

It certainly ain't black or white.


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