Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2004  

Oh this is just so lowering.

It’s no secret I like to read fashion text. A little fashion text - enough for a laugh but not so much I actually have to subscribe to something. On my way to the NYT obits, today, I stumbled over this delicious, tempting headline:

"Old Style Glamour Makes a Comeback"

Ahhh. Can’t wait to see this. How is the 21st century going to interpret Jean Harlow, Marylin Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor? What classic beauty is going to set the bar for aspiring models, fashionistas, teens, twenty and thirty somethings. (Take heart - you can still care about fashion after thirty but you don’t have to aspire.)

Imagine my chagrin when the piece continues with:

"Mr. Bart, the director of IMG Models, tensed like a setter, his attention fixed on the model in front of him. "Suddenly I saw this tall, leggy blonde, Karolina Kurkova, who sashayed down the runway like the sex bombs of the 80's," Mr. Bart recalled. "I said to myself: `Who is that? I haven't seen a girl like that since Claudia Schiffer's boom-boom days.' "

Oh dear. It happened again only this time it was worse than the last - my youth returning as nostalgia! Not even my youth! The 1980's! My No Longer Young But Can Still Fake It 30’s - my last gasp at youth. I remember at the time how many articles were coming out in the world of fashion and style assuring me that women in their 40’s were still hotties. They aren’t, of course. They can be beautiful and fit and strong, but those articles completely missed the target of mid-life achievement: Authority. That, my younglings, is the best thing that will happen to you when you turn 40. People will obey you.

Of course, the editors of fashion magazines don’t want you to have power. They want power over you - power to make you buy all new clothes so they can get paid to publish all new magazines. I’m not offended by the cycle of commerce, though I do think, in the fashion arena, it takes a terrible toll on women’s mental health. But if you can immunize yourself against the onslaught of self doubt, self deception and self hate, you can have a lot of fun with color, texture and shape. Fiber is, after all, the theme of this blog. The fashion industry tries to gain power by selling you hope. Hope is good. Just remember that you have the power to pick your hope. Even if you aren’t yet 40.

Anyway, to think that Claudia Schiffler, the Queen of Butt Jean Ads, is considered a model of glamour makes me laugh. Give me Joan Collins any day! After all, there’s nothing so tragic as aspiring to turn back the clock and she can give me 20 years. I remember the first time the 60’s retroed back into my life - and how appalled I was. Now I am inured to fashion's brief shelf life, even a little bored with it. That first time I visited Mama and she didn’t have a copy of Vogue in the living room was such a disappointment. When did she stop caring!?! Besides, there was nothing to look at, to guide me and start the juices flowing, now that I was within easy driving distance of the stores. But I haven’t bought a copy myself in years. Partly there aren’t enough photos, and those they have are difficult to see; arty shots that present an image, but not of the clothing, only of a mood. Mostly, though, I am not interested in recreating someone else’s mood. I scan the net, peek into the library’s magazines, and let what’s available in the shops be my guide to style. After all, I’ll have to create my own style out of what I can buy.

But if I were shopping (with my lottery winnings) I’d buy from this designer. A bit heavy on the dark neutrals, but I like the lines a lot.

No fiber activity on my part at all yesterday. This week my library board meets and the committees are all busily trying to accomplish what they’d promised they’d do 3 months ago. The budget committee & nominating committee have presentations to make and the 5-year plan has to be voted on. Plus, of course, the full board always meets on Wed and we all know what that means. But the great fun this week will be today, when I help 24 6-10 year olds make gingerbread houses. Yep - ambitious aren’t I. We’ll assemble the houses first, then while they are hardening up, we’ll read some stories about cookies, listen to a little of Humperdink’s Hansel & Gretel, and then finish up the program by attaching candy to the outsides.

Don’t you wish you were 6-10?

posted by Bess | 6:39 AM