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01-07-2009
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[QUOTE]It was Anna who told Andre to go to Paris and make sure he found the resources to put on a show. That's when Andre, John, and "the customer" (whose name i can't remember either) arranged that the show would take place in her appartment./QUOTE]

ah then sorry Mike ... I made mistakes, myself ... ahah ...
- I guess the story I heard was shortened ! -

thanks borjacapella.


.....
now guys is it possible to move on from anna w. etc.
we need to focus on fashion critics !

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01-07-2009
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[quote=BerlinRocks;5881743]
Quote:
It was Anna who told Andre to go to Paris and make sure he found the resources to put on a show. That's when Andre, John, and "the customer" (whose name i can't remember either) arranged that the show would take place in her appartment./QUOTE]

ah then sorry Mike ... I made mistakes, myself ... ahah ...
- I guess the story I heard was shortened ! -

thanks borjacapella.


.....
now guys is it possible to move on from anna w. etc.
we need to focus on fashion critics !
it's okay...i think we can agree that these magazine editors do wield power and that stood as my point all along. whether it's anna w. and carine r. themselves or their underlings, they still exhibit this fundamental principle with regard to the houses we discussed.

i mean, in this month's american vogue (i think) there's an ARTICLE on dundas doing work for pucci. this, in my mind, signals he has quite a long leash at that house....that's their power. while we in these forums all knew dundas, now all of the vogue readership does as well. they are doing their part in crafting another star....

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
i think most of the critics don't really know how to use the internet ... and are still under the 'printed press' mechanics (ie writing a certain amount of words not to bore the reader and because we only allow them this definite space). One should let (allow) more younger people do the 'internet, blog' fashion criticism, these know that internet is a great place of freedom.?
Please allow me to defend print media in this highly relevant topic of fashion critics. The defining difference between bloggers and "traditional journalists" is not speed in publishing articles to hungry readers, but expertise, finesse and the simple ability to write.

Although there are excellent bloggers out there, the vast majority of blogs are more than an arm lengths distance from printed media when it comes to quality. Established journalists have the benefits of sitting on a knowledge bank of experience, not to mention access to researchers digging for information that makes a written piece extraordinary. Therefore we should not disregard traditional media as it's still a pinnacle source for exemplary presentation of news.

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01-07-2009
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^^ realize though that's partially because internet bloggers are much younger. At some point they will get the experience, the knowledge (they do teach how to write properly in colleges around the globe, and how many bloggers are yet underage kids with big hopes!).
If i was in printed media, i'd be doing some serious updating! gaining skills with new technologies, new approaches to journalism, and that sort of thing... aint it important to stay relevant (random nonte: i'm having déjà vu)

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skot4mc View Post
There is no doubt that due to technology the rigid nature of banning critics is becoming less and less effective. Everyone here has as much say as Ms. Horyn, and potentially as much exposure via the internet. But rather than making journalists like Cathy Horyn etc irrelevant, I believe it does the opposite, it makes her training, education and employment position increasingly important as a formal opinion on fashion as opposed to assumedly informal opinions elsewhere.
I think we all do agree upon this point. There is nobody denying her potency and knowledge about fashion. It is her opinions that shed light to so many aspects of this industry, and the creative process and cultural progress attached to it, that we would never think about deeply otherwise.

Quote:
I think the underlying issue is that sometimes fashion gets far too clouded by image and branding, and creative innovation oft gets left behind. A designer that lacks creative innovation will soon become irrelevant, as the entire fashion system only ever moves forward, towards the new.

But that is how modern world of fashion, and design at large btw, moves, renews itself, remains intact and relevant. It is this very quality of fashion that makes it seductive and ever-productive in terms of creativity and let's face it, generating money.

Quote:
People like Anna Wintour have a completely different agenda when approaching fashion than journalists like Cathy Horyn. Wintour addresses fashion from a business perspective, she operates within the realm of Vogue and establishes choices that cater to the magazines researched demographic, it has nothing to do with criticising fashion. Horyn is a critic that analyses fashion in a very broad context (which can include business), and of course it is her job to find the good and the bad; and formulate an evaluation that establishes the subject’s significance within fashion history. She presents a subjective and objective criticism that is free of business bias or certain commercial tendencies.
I, too agree with this statement, but the frsutration people feel over Horyn in this case, is her attitude towards Tisci... she doesn't sound unbiased or objective. Her reviews sound rude and full of insults that is never acceptable, no matter who you are, or whom you are referring to.

Quote:
What is Mr. Armani learning from a positive washed-over review that he didn’t already know 10 years ago? A critical review puts his clothes into current perspective, analyses them against current conditions and allows his brand to stay relevant, this is something a critic can bring to the table, whether it be good or bad, it is beneficial.
I do not think it is his caprice or broken heart. She is way too condescending with her comments time after time. It is hard not to take these things personally when you are the most successful designer in the world. Plus, Armani doesn't exist for Horyn or us: it is a business and he is the boss of his own business, unlike many others. He is not answering to Arnault. He can do whatever he pleases in his own universe, in his own terms.

Who are we to criticize him on how he is running his business?

Quote:
The problem is that fashion has had a constant struggle with being categorised as either business or art. Designers like Armani want the best of both and try ineffectively to dominate each category to form a perfect equilibrium. The business ensures financial growth and power, whilst the “art” provides status and cultural recognition, which in turn works as a marketing tool to support business. It’s an ideal cycle. The critic (in the truest sense, not necessarily Ms. Horyn) is meant to legitimate a change in direction and identify relevance within the context of fashion history, fashion design or most broadly, our culture. They represent the art in fashion. The buyers and editors etc are responsible for exposure and commercial significance. They represent the business of fashion.
This is one point I do not agree with you. Fashion is NOT ART and never was, never will be. Nobody represents the 'art' in fashion, people may talk about it but that is it. It is about creativity, and the business has some artistic tendencies, but if you read Horyn's reviews, she constantly talks about the business, the culture, marketplace, the real relevance of clothes and who is to wear them. That is not art. In fact, there are so few conceptual designers left as it is. Just because some critic makes references to some artists or movements in their reviews, it doesn't mean that they are there to elevate or pan the work of a fashion designer within the larger scope of 'art'.

That is a severe a delusion.

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasha View Post
This is one point I do not agree with you. Fashion is NOT ART and never was, never will be. Nobody represents the 'art' in fashion, people may talk about it but that is it. It is about creativity, and the business has some artistic tendencies, but if you read Horyn's reviews, she constantly talks about the business, the culture, marketplace, the real relevance of clothes and who is to wear them. That is not art. In fact, there are so few conceptual designers left as it is. Just because some critic makes references to some artists or movements in their reviews, it doesn't mean that they are there to elevate or pan the work of a fashion designer within the larger scope of 'art'.

That is a severe a delusion.
This point is arguable. The fashion/art debate has been discussed so many times. And people never find common ground.
The truth is, if you want fashion to be art then it is and if you want it to be a business then it isn't.
"Art" is defined differently by people.

What really annoys me is that people like Anna W. have the power to single-handedly "elect" any new designer as the next big thing and generate a lot of sales for that one particular designer. Marc Jacobs is a prime example.
Im not saying that Anna W. shouldnt have this power but it's like she's the only one with thar power. It creates a very biased field of fashion and we are all subject to her taste in fashion.

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squizree View Post
This point is arguable.
in fact, if i recall correctly, this forum hosted a very very lengthy thread on that very topic.....

http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f60...sign-3955.html

Quote:
What really annoys me is that people like Anna W. have the power to single-handedly "elect" any new designer as the next big thing and generate a lot of sales for that one particular designer. Marc Jacobs is a prime example.
Im not saying that Anna W. shouldnt have this power but it's like she's the only one with thar power. It creates a very biased field of fashion and we are all subject to her taste in fashion.
i don't think she has a monopoly on that power. she just has understood it best in our time. before her, fashion editors also had this power -- i think of the vreelands of the world.

after her, the same will happen. i'm just curious where this will go. in the last century, we witnessed the democratization of fashion. i wonder what we'll see develop as the decades pass by.

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01-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeboy View Post
Please allow me to defend print media in this highly relevant topic of fashion critics. The defining difference between bloggers and "traditional journalists" is not speed in publishing articles to hungry readers, but expertise, finesse and the simple ability to write.

Although there are excellent bloggers out there, the vast majority of blogs are more than an arm lengths distance from printed media when it comes to quality. Established journalists have the benefits of sitting on a knowledge bank of experience, not to mention access to researchers digging for information that makes a written piece extraordinary. Therefore we should not disregard traditional media as it's still a pinnacle source for exemplary presentation of news.
i was not talking about bloggers !
i was talking about the internet as a 'placebo' for traditional newspapers.

in France, we kind of know a daily newspapers crisis ... a lot of journalists now work on the internet.

what I was saying is that internet allows a large space to express yourself - when you write for a daily newspaper you have an amount of words, a format etc. internet doesn't ....
and it seems that traditional journalists don't really know how to use this new medium, yet.

and for instance, Horyn has a blog ... IMO, she could really express herself on more than 1 page ... and develop her arguments, her theories (if she has some etc.)

but my problem is certainly that i do parallel btw arts, theater and cinema critics with fashion critics.

not saying the amount of words is making the quality (sometimes, def. not !) just saying it's a place where you can go further. and some people don't use it this way !

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01-07-2009
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Fashion Roundtable: An Interview with Three Leading Black Fashion Journalists
QUESTION: ENTERING THE FIELD?

Bernadine: Newspapers have not traditionally welcomed women reporters. When I went to The New York Times for a job, I was told, "We have a girl reporter." I went to Women's Wear Daily instead.

Constance: I applied to Women's Wear Daily and Billboard. I had twin interests, fashion and music. I started at Women's Wear in a minority training program. They were having trouble attracting minorities in 1988. Monique Greenwood went through first. She went on to become editor in chief of Essence. The minority program is no longer in place--it was a one year program. At Women's Wear I covered furs.

Vivian: Where was that in the pecking order? Was it a good job?

Constance: The excitement about furs had calmed down by then. It was a pretty good beat. It wasn't as low on the totem pole as hosiery or brides.

Teri: I didn't necessarily want to go into fashion. My first writing job was "Teri's Tips for Fashion Flair" in the Kansas City Junior High School newspaper. The journalism teacher in the ninth grade gave everyone something to do. I liked fashion and loved Susan Haywood in Back Street. That's when I said to myself, "I want to be a reporter." I was the editor of the Yearbook. I wrote obituaries--anything I could get my hands on. I went to Fairchild in l977. Andre Leon Talley was the European editor. There were three black reporters: Audrey Edwards, the supermarket reporter, Andre and me. I made $13,OOO a year.

Constance: When I went into the minority program, I felt I was overqualified, but that was the only way to get in. Before that I had clips from Ms., underground music magazines, an internship at The New York Times and a journalism degree from New York University.

Robin: The Washington Post doesn't have corners where they shove people, they hold fashion up to high standards. My first job was for the Detroit Free Press. I didn't know a solitary soul at The Washington Post and I got a job there.


QUESTION: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

Vivian: Robin, how were you treated at Vogue?

Robin: I was in a unique position. I had written stories that had an impact. I knew Anna (Wintour) from doing stories with her, My surprise was that it was going over the firewall from newspapers to magazines. I was Associate Editor for six months. It became clear to me that at newspapers you have the autonomy to write a story as you see it. That's not the case at a fashion magazine. Anna is the voice of Vogue. she looks at every word there. ALL copy has to be "A-W-Aked" (approved with Anna Wintour's initials}

Constance: When I was with Elle, I was in a heated discussion with Amy Gross. "She said, Constance, fashion editors are not journalists. We are here to edit, to be subjective."

Robin: My great eye-opening moment was at Vogue. The point is that Vogue and other magazines exist to champion the designers. They can decide that they believe in a designer like they do Marc Jacobs. They can do a great spread showing loads of his clothes and accessories to support him.


QUESTION: WHAT DO PEOPLE WANT TO READ ABOUT?

Constance: A fashion news reporter needs to make her copy newsier. All journalists respond to news. A lot of my coverage at The New York Times came down to the question I kept asking myself: am I covering it as news or as entertainment? You need to decide.

Teri: I don't do fashion coverage at all. I don't have a dedicated space and I have to compete with everything else that is going into the paper. If you give people a good story, everyone will read it. A lot of our readers want to read about people, the personalities, how they earn their money.

Robin: The greatest compliment I can get from a reader is, "I'm not interested in fashion but that was interesting."

Teri: I know I have to break news and write provocative articles to get my pieces in. If you're a journalist, follow the money, follow the litigation, that is where the story is.

Robin: The fashion business is parochial, like junior high school. It's hard to cover it as a serious industry. They respond to negative stories as 7th graders would. Only in the past five years has it changed because the businessmen are taking over. Everyone focuses on the shows, the shows, the shows. I would say that the spin-off of the shows generates news coverage for weeks, even months.

Ernest: What has developed is that the public relations firms have a terrific amount of clout in terms of who gets access to the shows and to the designers.

Teri: Look, access or no access, if it's a public company, they have to come to the phone. They're not just talking because it's me calling. I'm from The Wall Street Journal.

Robin: The big question is "Are you profitable? If you're a public company, you can't lie."

Teri: There is lot of information out there, but a lot of fashion reporters don't know how to report.


QUESTION: HOW DO YOU GET THE NEWS?

Teri: Tom Ford tells me what he wants me to know. I go out and talk to his supplier. They tell me what I want to know.

Robin: The White House reporters who get to have three-hour sit-down certainly get a flashier story. But if you don't get that sit-down with designers there is always someone else like the business people. I would rather sit down with Bernard Arnault than with one of the designers.

Teri: I agree. You would do better with Mr.Taki (one of the founders) than with Donna herself. The story would be meaty, with substance.


QUESTION: WHAT ABOUT MORE BLACKS COVERING FASHION?

Bernadine: Robin, were you surprised to get the call from Vogue?

Robin: I think highly of myself, so I wasn't surprised but the lack of autonomy there did surprise me.

Constance: I was at Talk for a year. It tried to be a little different which was part of the problem. Tina (Brown) wanted real reporting, but it was a start-up magazine and it had to woo advertisers. She tried to walk that line and have both.

Marilyn: Is it true that Anna Wintour exerts influence on what you wear when you work at Vogue?

Robin: I have been asked that so many times. I sat down with Anna for breakfast and everybody asked me, "What did you wear?" not "What did you say? or "What did she ask you?" Well, I wore a skirt, motorcycle boots. There was no point in trying to be Vogue. I felt I'm not a fashion personality but a journalist. I'm not a size 4. My assistant had more pairs of shoes than I've ever seen.

Constance: We can do a better job of integrating the industry. It's suspiciously still very white bread. You can go into a fashion gathering and be one of a handful or the only dark-skinned person in the room. And same can't be said of say the music industry. We're getting used to seeing blacks in powerful roles in music. This is not the case in fashion. As a fashion journalist, you're an arbiter. I think there's still a prejudice and a lack of sophistication about seeing a black person as a gatekeeper of style.

Just the fact that you pulled this roundtable together, shows progress. but I fear one step forward, two steps back. I'm disturbed by the number of black fashion journalists dropping out, ( a reflection of the growing number of black journalists declining across the board, according to recent reports). Monique Greenwood, Roy Campbell, Darlene Gillard Jones are three from the fashion family who have moved on to other areas and I question: Why?.


QUESTION: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OFF-BEAT COMMON PRACTICES IN THE FASHION BUSINESS?

Constance: When you're a journalist at a major newspaper, the pressure is huge. The jockeying for gifts, it's unbelievable. You cannot understand it unless you've experienced it.

Bernadine: Geoffrey Beene has been quoted as saying advertisng and money dictate fashion. True?

Robin: I deeply hope it's not true. Fashion exists so there are beautiful things to buy and sell.

Teri: It has always been that way. Dior and Balenciaga, they sold clothes.

Constance: Even if you're a celebrity designer, it doesn't work after the initial puff of celebrity if the clothes, the goods aren't there.

Vivian: How much of a part does the cult of personality play in getting a designer coverage and success with the press?

Robin: This is not so different from any other industry. Someone who has a charming personality is going to get the benefit of the doubt. The person who slams the door, you remember that down the road.

Bernadine: Here's another Geoffrey Beene quote. "Fashion is in a terrible state--an overdose of too much flesh."

Robin: When is fashion not in a troubled state? Okay, there was an aberration in the 1980's when Christian Lacrois did clothes that were incredibly costume-y. They cost a fortune but people were buying them.


QUESTION: WHAT WERE THE GREATEST FASHION MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREERS?

Constance: A defining moment is seeing how truly a fashion show can transport you. I saw the perfect show in the mid-nineties. It was one of Helmut Lang's shows in Paris and I said to myself, "This guy is a genius." that was the first time I saw a collection that was perfect from beginning to end. My greatest praise for a collection is you can wear the clothes.

Teri: My moment was a Mizrahi show because it was so much fun. I have a better one: the Christian Lacroix show in 1987 at the World Financial Center. I worked backstage.

Robin: I was there when Tom Ford did the short djellabas and the ruby loafers. It was an eye opener. There was news on the runway. We were witnessing the revival of a fashion house, the cult of celebrity and a business story all coming together at once. On another plane, I was in the audience in Paris, now working for the Post and in a much better seat than my previous job. A publicist I'd met a few times earlier, and I can't report how mean and nasty she was, came over and introduced herself as if she had never met me before. It was then that I realized it's not personal, it's about the publication you work for. All that anger and frustration I had before evaporated.

Constance: Of course it depends on who does the viewing. I appreciated the glamour of being a top journalist when I took my mom to the shows when I was at Elle. I t was then that I saw things through her eyes. She loved all the goodies and attention. "This man, Karl Lagerfeld, sends flowers," she told me. She was impressed.


-the end
http://www.lookonline.com/blogger.html

just because three fashion journalists talk together ...
and because Robin Givhan is there ...
Robin Givhan, being the Suzy Menkes of Washington Post !

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02-07-2009
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i love how the stories about every word in vogue coming from anna wintour aren't exaggerated at all....

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02-07-2009
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^^
it's funny how you hear everyone say (about movies like the devil wears prada) that "that's not how it really works and blah blah blah but then you see The September Issue trailer and you see she says "no" to grace coddington when she holds up the CdG jacket against her, it's as if she was going to say next "and i've seen all this before..." just like in the movie script or when we hear her with a very low-mirandaish voice asking "anyone coming to this runthrough except for me?"
the "have they died or something?" or "why is no one ready?" moments are just there!!!

only the pursing of the lips really is missing!!

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09-07-2009
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i love how the debate over why vogue's so popular has raged since its early days...

Quote:
From The Times
July 2, 2009
Why Vogue still wields such power
As well as defining generations of women's style, the original style bible continues to court controversy after 90 years
Anna Wintour in her office at Vogue

Anna Wintour in her office at Vogue
Lisa Armstrong

Vogue editor slams designers for tiny sizes! Vogue editor promotes paedophilia! Vogue editor wears same skirt almost twice! Honestly, sometimes you can’t open a paper or check your tweets without discovering what Anna Wintour really thinks of Michelle Obama, or whether French Vogue approves of, say, breathing. For God’s sake, a colleague inquired, genuinely flummoxed by the recent kerfuffle over sample sizes, does it still matter what the editors of Vogue say? Why does anyone care if they write a letter/hold a weekly weigh-in for their staff/ban the colour pistachio/publish an all-black model issue? Isn’t it all about blogs and weeklies nowadays?

Well, yes.

And no. If fashion, as has often been observed, is a religion — and it has the famines, the tablets, the ominous edicts in questionable syntax delivered by someone wearing something floaty and slightly mad — then it needs its Bible, Torah, Koran and Tom Cruise, its Armani-sponsored, Swarovski-studded, pop-up pamplet. Why not one with full-colour illustrations by Mario Testino?

I should state here that I learnt my trade on Vogue (reason enough, some might think, to blame it for everything) and still write for it. So I’m probably biased. But I can also see that in one important aspect — selling fashion — all those weekly fashion-cum-celebrity glossies and expanded newspaper fashion sections that didn’t exist a decade ago shift far more product than any of the upmarket monthlies, including Vogue. It’s not only product. With their familiar cast of characters (Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie) and rotating plot-lines (Jen finds love, Jen loses love, Posh gains weight, Posh loses weight, Angelina finds child, loses Brad, etc) the weeklies have created a compelling reason to buy them.

Nor is the job of flinging out high-minded edicts as plain sailing as it once was, let me tell you. The days when all a fashion editor had to say was “Think pink” or “Knee length, ladies” for the wealthy elite to get themselves to their nearest dressmaker with a pair of shears, the days when Vogue was the uncontested fashion Führer of mini Führers, are long gone. Fashion is now a mass sport, which is both good for the magazine (British Vogue’s circulation, at 220,000 a month — up 5 per cent year on year, with an 8 per cent increase in subscriptions, is higher than ever before). And the masses are nowhere near as meek and pliable as once they were. Vogue can float the idea of the jumpsuit and the rest of the industry will take note, but it can’t guarantee that it will fly.

Additionally, over the past decade, there has been the ascent of a slew of glossy “alternative” fashion magazines, from the French Numéro to Condé Nast’s own Love magazine, launched earlier this year unto the prestigious high ground that was once reserved for Vogue. Yet somehow, just as the nation turns to the BBC in times of crisis, royal divorces and Wimbledon, so planet fashion reaches for Vogue when it needs confirmation that fascinators really are dead.

Fashion craves certainty. It demands clarity. I learnt early on in my career as a fashion journalist that the last thing anyone who is asking about this season’s colours/lengths/trends in breast enhancements wants is a benign, touchy-feely, “these days you can probably wear whatever suits you” response. When it comes to fashion, women don’t want softly, softly condescension. They want fascist dictatorship. It makes shopping so much more linear.

Ultimately, however, even more than its readers, more than the fashion fraternity at large (which loves, by the way, to bitch that Vogue isn’t what it was — it was bitching when I started there 20 years ago and was probably bitching in 1917, a year after the UK launch), it’s the media at large that happily subscribes to the notion of Vogue as omniscient, probably because quoting an über source helps the harried news hack to validate any fashionrelated story that he or she is under the cosh to run.

And there are a lot of fashion-related stories. When I was a Vogue rookie it felt as though we were writing for a tiny elite. We’d wax on about The New Soft and still everyone insisted on wearing The Old Hard.These days fashion has pollinated with celebrity, big business; even, occasionally, politics. Fashion issues are part of mainstream culture. Jimmy Choo designs for H&M and the latest anorexia/Primark furore gets debated on Any Questions.

Which is why, when Alexandra Shulman writes a letter to designers (as first reported in The Times) pointing out that their samples — the clothes that they fit on teeny tiny models to be shot on teeny tiny models — no longer fit the teeny tiny models, the fashion world takes notice. Or more notice than it would if any other editor, however respected, wrote to it. It takes note, too, when Anna Wintour announces that “matchy matchy” is the work of Satan, even though, at the time, it had to ask its assistant what “matchy matchy” meant. It goes into a tailspin of existential accessories doubt if French Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld suggests that handbags might be bourgeois or decides to dispense with skirts and trousers and do a big push on knickers or cigarette holders on every single page of her magazine instead. And if Franca Sozzani, the eternally chic papal envoy in charge of Italian Vogue, ever decided to put a picture of Grant Bovey and Anthea Turner on her cover, the entire fashion world would suddenly embrace flicky feather cuts. Now tell me that’s not power.

French and Italian Vogue have the “edgier” end of the market pretty much sewn up — not bad, considering how long they’ve been around. American and British Vogue, with a bigger readership than either, embrace fashion in a broader sense (as in featuring some clothes that go up to a size 14) and are thus the Condé Nast cash cows. Much of this revenue comes from advertising, with the UK edition selling 956 pages in the year to July; an impressive total, even if it does represent a 32 per cent drop on the previous year.

Collectively, these four editors have been in charge for aeons: 21 years in the cases of Wintour and Sozzani; 17 in Shulman’s. Roitfeld, the risky newcomer, has been in place for eight years. Unlike Bauer Consumer Media (formerly Emap), which spins its editors into new jobs every three or four years, Condé Nast prides itself on the longevity of its appointees. This adds to their aura of inviolability and immutability.

Atheists, agnostics and empiricists will argue that this blind allegiance to an outmoded belief system, unsupported by any kind of science, is precisely what’s wrong with organised religion. Strictly speaking, it’s true: the numbers

don’t stack up. French Vogue’s circulation, at 133,000 a month, is minuscule compared with that of the fortnightly French Elle. American Vogue, at 1.2 million a month, is outsold by the brasher, even breathier and more celebrityencrusted American InStyle (1.7 million). Italian Vogue sells about seven copies, once you discount all the fashion journalists and buyers who get it on expenses.

But faith works according to mysterious laws, chief among which is that it categorically shouldn’t have to withstand close scrutiny, or where’s the faith bit of the equation? It can’t be reduced to something as simplistic as a set of figures of Man’s own devising, otherwise we’d all be running around saying, “Ooh, have you seen what OK! (circulation: 508,000) has to say about The Balmain Shoulder?” Whereas in reality no one gives a stuff what OK! says about anything.

The fashion industry operates on a strict caste system, since without hierarchy the whole process of issuing diktats and watching them trickle down until they reach a level of ubiquity that means that the originators wouldn’t be seen dead in them becomes meaningless. That’s why designers have a list of priority publications to which they will lend their clothes, with Vogue remaining the gold standard approval marker. And it’s why some publications, despite having circulations of more than half a million, find that their phone calls mysteriously go unanswered when it comes to requesting clothes for a shoot (they have the wrong kind of half-million-plus circulations, stupid).

The most obvious display of caste is at the shows when every single journalist and buyer is seated according to his or her standing in the industry — talk about a public stoning — but it’s also evident in daily dealings. The top models and photographers, for instance, only work with Vogue, American Harper’s Bazaar and one or two established niche magazines such as V, Ten or Another Magazine. Although there are periods, as with the recent one, when top (earning) models are so anodyne-looking that only the geekiest of readers would recognise any of them, the prestige that they confer on the magazines they work for has ripple effects in the industry.

Accordingly, the fashion glossies make most of their money from advertising sales.

Kudos comes with access and while access comes with strings attached (picture approval and a tacit understanding that the magazine won’t go in too hard on the interviewee), a skilful writer and the right subject can still yield fruit. British Vogue’s interview with Cheryl Cole earlier this year provided the tabloids with fodder for days, while American Vogue got Jennifer Aniston to say that Angelina Jolie’s predatory moves on Brad Pitt, then Aniston’s husband, had been “very uncool” — a quote that ricocheted round the world.

They may be a slow burn compared with an instant hit about Pixie Geldof’s traumatic encounter with a smudgy mascara, or Sienna’s latest heartbreak, but most readers understand that the weeklies don’t have the same relationship with First Ladies and A-listers that the Vogues do.

There’s a caste system within the Vogue family, too, wouldn’t you know it? A flotilla of more recently launched Vogues — Greek, Indian, Chinese — exert not one iota of influence beyond their native countries but are, to an extent, carried along in the ripples created by the big four. Together, they create a sort of tidal wave of Vogue-iness around the world.

But then fashion’s entire ecosystem is a ripple effect. Vogue probably won’t cause a rush on a specific pair of bondage sandals (its three-month lead means it has often gone to press before some of the high street brands have decided when they’re going to launch their killer pieces), but it still has the power to get the idea of bondage shoes out there in the first place.

And it can rebrand people, too. After it featured Coleen McLoughlin (now Rooney), photographing her in its own image, the world mysteriously stopped baiting her about her tracksuits and began noting her lovely line of Chloé dresses. And lo, a fashion figure, albeit a mainstream one, was born. Yup, that’s right. Entire human beings have been reinvented courtesy of Vogue, and they haven’t even had to come back as a size 0. (Are you listening, Gordon?)

Copyright 2009 Times Newspapers Ltd.

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09-07-2009
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Best line of the article:

Quote:
Italian Vogue sells about seven copies, once you discount all the fashion journalists and buyers who get it on expenses.

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17-07-2009
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^^but it's true, isnt it?
they have great photography and all, great 58pages editorials, special issues for everything... but it's the kind of thing i'd like to see on a wall (or in HQ on my computer screen ), not on the pages of a magazine.
i see it as a very different edition of vogue, and the contrast is even bigger given it's placement in the italian market (where the shows are very product-focused and with heavy overdoses of bags and shoes and bracelets... the total look)

the most relevant thing about the article to me was the obvious fact that it's not all about how much people you reach, but who are these people.
so theres 500000 more people who read inStyle.... but in the end, what matters is who gets the bigger ratio of potential buyers. As the article says, vogue is still fashion bible.
very interesting read! thanks for posting.

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05-10-2010
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I dont know whether i am in the right thread ; But i find it odd how Cathy and even Suzy let their personal feelings towards a designer influence their critism on a collection.You can tell by just reading a review where a designer stands with them .Cathy cleary doesnt like Ricardo Tisci or even Stefano Pilati , at the end she always finds something negative to say.While designers like Stella and John get ''praise'' for a lackluster collection.

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