And we love it!
Do you have it in you to stand in front of a total stranger, palms sweating, and ask them for a favour? To stand there while a person who has all the power in the transaction of goods in exchange for money looks at you like you are just the very worst type of person?
Well, according to barter baron Dominic Littlewood, haggling is something that we should all do every single day to make sure that we get the very best deal we can, clutching back power from those greedy fat cats in their ivory towers and golden limousines.
I’ve officially had it. I’ve grown tired of something that I always thought I would hold dear; not bread. Though I am struggling to cut down my wheat intake on Slimming World. No. Instead of sweet, delicious, always there for me bread, I’ve grown tired of leisurewear. I’ve become sick of what started out as an ingenious approach to content and form, and what has become a generally dull and talentless trend for lazy dressers.
I read an article once that said that Yeezy, the fashion range spear headed by one time rapper Kanye West, was the only real true definition of ‘gender neutral fashion.’ And, I’ll be honest, I had to put my iPad down and take a few deep breaths because I was starting to hyperventilate. The only thing any of the Yeezy seasons are the true definition of is that luxury fashion should be abolished and replaced with ranges that are acceptable to all; not just the mega rich and deluded.
Yes, it might be the closest that we ever get to a traditional gender neutral clothing range, but at what cost? If you want to look like one of the final members of the human race, stranded on Jupiter as the Sun collapses into itself and humanity blinks out of existence; not with a fanfare, but with a whimper then by all means go ahead, but I like to look like I’ve not gave up on mankind just yet. (You can find a good look at what gender neutral fashion should be at The Malcontent btw.)
Luxury fashion has always been a little bit bonkers. Just look at the majority of Balmain’s output. Remember Gisele sporting that bra made of feathers in 1999? You couldn’t go down to the shops in that. You couldn’t even go out in it because it’s far too cold. Where luxury fashion falls down is the end use. It’s all well and good creating inventive and ground breaking ways to displays scales, or checks, but what’s the point if no one can actually wear it? Or afford it.
Unfortunately West hasn’t even dipped his toe into luxury fashion, he’s jumped in with two feet firmly splashing around soaking pedestrians who only want to get their copy of Heat and a Mars bar before the gruelling jobs we all go to. With the launch of Yeezy Season 1, West told buyers that they would have to shell out $1750 for a jacket. Admittedly, as we trudge into Season 4, prices have dropped significantly to around the three digit dollar figures, it’s still absolutely crazy to expect people to pay $200 for a t-shirt. And people do pay because anything to do with Kardashian family sells out within seconds, but that’s a story for another time.
But this isn’t really where my issue lies with Yeezy. My issue lies solely with the poor High Street imitations that are being pumped out day after day. Some are appropriate; Topman’s for instance has a sense of authenticity behind it because, as a brand, Topman has long been the boundary breakers of what’s acceptable on the High Street and what hasn’t; put simply, it makes sense to that customer. Even H&M, who have worked with different textures for seasons now, have put their own spin on the athleisure upgrade, and that makes sense because of their European influences and youth-focused customer.
What doesn’t make sense is brands like Next and Burton filling their shops with dull and washed out neutrals in shape distorting hoodies and skinny joggers with shiny tuxedo stripes down the leg. Who are they hoping to convince to buy those? Who’s going to be peacocking around your town centre with sludge coloured trousers, bragging about how they’re from Next? The only person who would do that is your Dad, and that’s because he’s only bought them because he wants them to laze around in, not because he understands the trend that it is hoping to achieve. It’s baffling to the point of irritation.
Because brands like Next and Burton have revealed a range of athleisure, not only does it dilute the luxurious and exclusive appeal, but it also pokes holes in the theory behind it, and in Yeezys case, those holes are in the jumper sleeves because of the post-apocalyptic appeal. Such holes as the simplicity behind it: if you can wear any piece with any piece, it’s basically just a jigsaw that anyone can take part in. And where’s the creativity in that? There’s no effort in it, and the more people are wearing the exact same thing, the duller fashion will become. Especially if brand names are the most popular way of showing off who you are, you don’t want to look everyone else. There’s only so many versions of skinny jogging bottoms, t-shirt, and bomber jacket I can see without wanting to scream into a tweed waistcoat.
“Making things redundant all the time, and making things relevant all the time, in a very superficial way.” — Lucinda Chamber, Fashion Director of Vogue.
Has there ever been a sentence that sums up one business so succinctly? One small sentence that really sheds such a bright light onto one of the biggest scams in recent history and blew apart one of the longest running publications in history. But that’s what we had just a few minutes into Absolutely Fashion, a documentary detailing British Vogue as it barrels towards it’s 100th year, and where it will be going from here on. Instead of having an hour of showing us how important and inspirational the fashion business can be, we had a 60 minute essay looking at how Vogue is failing.
A Fashion Director who doesn’t use Instagram, a Editor In Chief who calls the Internet “the web” like she’s still having to alternate between using a landline or her poor dial up connection, and a Creative Director who’s walked through Condé Nast offices and shown how she’s wrong, made up the cast of sartorial malcontents who showed us what peddling against the tide really looks like.
It’s completely understandable why Shulman et al would worry about every single decision they make, especially when you can download Instagram, or any number of apps and get the same, if not better, content. Content that doesn’t keep thigh gaps relevant, or plus size models hidden away like dirty secrets. Content that is specific to you, and not bogged down with cumbersome adverts about watches that no one could possibly afford, or jeans that are sewn by underpaid workers that blast them with materials that damage their health.
How Vogue has managed to keep this scam going for 100 years is beyond most, but keep it going they have, and have forced their way to be one of the most prestigious publications available. But with that prestige and fame comes an almost 007 approach to what goes on behind closed doors.
Absolutely Fashion showed us a business which is meant to be based on free expression and personal inspiration, but instead keeps things incredibly secretive and insular. Every issue, wrapped up in a Fendi shawl of secrecy, is bundled onto the shelves every month like a brand new pair of Yeezy Boost 350, delighting readers and envious shoppers alike. But is there something more nefarious in their secrecy? Could it be that Vogue is being extra quiet about their plans, even to other versions of Vogue, because if people saw it’s true essence; that of nothingness and self propelling a failing industry, that they might not be as willing to take part in it any more?
Vogue is a stoic and worrisomely reductive publication that doesn’t want to use their power for progressing a different social narrative that wouldn’t have been thought about 100 years ago. The World that Vogue exists in; predominantly male ran, but centred on aspirational white women, shouldn’t exist anymore, and should have evolved since the era of Margaret Thatcher’s power dressing over thirty years ago. Even their best known cover star, Kate Moss, has been on the cover a staggering 36 times; a record that might never be beaten in the publication’s history, shows that Vogue has no intention on showing some of the more exciting and pressing problems that face the fashion industry.
But why is that important? It’s important because fashion is one of the true displays of expression that unites us all. What we wear, and how we dress can unconsciously link us. To have a publication like Vogue reflect an insular and fraudulent community of exclusivity and rich cliques, striding to keep what they have got, and present an unachievable lifestyle that none of us can even hope to get, is inherently dangerous.
Vogue is superficial, exclusive and over it’s 100 years must have printed thousands of pages of lies. Even the inclusion of fashion’s own Darth Vader, Anna Wintour, next week, might do nothing but show how inept Alexandra Shulman actually is, and how the whole fashion press industry needs a major shake up. But seeing as Condé Nast is a multi-billion dollar industry, we won’t be holding our breathes. If you need me, I’ll just be over here wondering how they ever managed to get thigh high boots to be one of the most sought after items this Autumn/Winter.
With the news that Sam Smith is going to sing the theme to the new Bond film, Spectre, I decided it was time to dust off this list of the Ten best Bond themes.
So get comfy, pour yourself a drink and get ready to agree with every single one of our choices.
DA DA D’DAA DAAAA!
Here’s our Top Ten Bond Themes.