After seeing The September Issue, Deense has a few things to say about fashion and the perception of Anna Wintour
I have a secret. Not a particularly juicy one along the lines of an illicit love child, it is simply that I love fashion. To set the record straight, I am not what most would call a fashionista. My style is functional, heavy on the black. Comfort trumps couture, and the size of my paycheque means that there is no Prada living in my closet. That’s not to say that I haven’t scrimped and saved to purchase that bag or a pair of designer shoes. Sadly, like so many, these items then tend to collect dust in my closet, as I find myself afraid to actually wear these rare treasures.
Like millions of women, my interest in fashion is purely aspirational. It was fostered at a young age by the Toronto Star’s weekly fashion pages, magazines like Jane and Seventeen, and Canada’s own weekly half hour tv segment Fashion Television brought to us by Jeanne Beker. An older sister certainly helped, and my taste grew and changed as I would start reading her copies of Glamour and Vogue. To be honest, my size 16 form won’t fit into most designer lines. But I can dream, and I do. Gorgeous shoots, edgy clothes, the excitement of finding runway pictures online. There’s a mix of horror and awe as the pictures are trawled through for both inspiration and admiration.
Fashion has changed drastically over the past two decades. Couture has been written off by more and more to be impractical and unnecessary, with ready to wear collections becoming ever more popular. The cult of celebrity has emerged, its impact on the cult of fashion not to be understated. While once we would dream of wearing gorgeous dresses, we now dream of being movie stars who just happen to wear those gorgeous dresses. Designers are creating collections for brands like target and top shop; affordable and yet still representing their runway vision. Shows like Project Runway and Top Model make us feel that every person could somehow have a chance to be involved in the industry; whether as a model or someone who shows at Bryant Park. Suddenly, more than ever, everyone has an opinion on fashion.
At the forefront of the fashion world is Vogue. The bible for many, it bridges the gap between designer and consumer and has become the voice in fashion for so many. Boasting a circulation of 1.65 million per issue (figures per month 2008) it has long been the magazine to read and to be seen in. Advertising costs are astronomical, but designers and retailers take multi-page spreads without fail. Designers featured in Vogue know that they have done something right. To be shunned by Vogue is never a good thing, and the power that one magazine has on designers might surprise many.