Adbusters

Damn the Fashionistas!

How do we lessen advertising's grip on culture?

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It would be all too easy to fly into an indignant, leftist rage at the sight of a wan model dressed in luxury shopping bags and splayed out next to garbage cans. But that’s probably the exact reaction W magazine was banking on with its “homeless chic” pictorial. Fashion advertising is increasingly driven by the dialectic between salacious imagery and moral outrage. Something so absurd as the W spread, in which destitution has never looked so glamorous, seems more like a culture jam – an effort to subvert the advertising – than advertising itself. But advertising, like a virus, is always evolving. It has appropriated absurdity in an attempt to render itself immune to subversion. And now people who see the magazine will break into two camps – those who think its reprehensible and those who think its fabulous. Those two sides will argue, keeping W exactly where it wants to be - in the spotlight. So anyone truly concerned with lessening advertising’s grip on culture will have to figure out not how to subvert this kind of ad, but how to jam the dialectic it feeds on. How do we do that? How can we jam the ad industry and the fashionistas?

Sarah Nardi

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108 comments on the article “Damn the Fashionistas!”

Displaying 11 - 20 of 108

Page 2 of 11

Lloyd Pitcher

Again Mr. Swartz, You are an idiot....is being nice painting genitalia on people's property? And what is wrong with buying something nice for yourself once in a while. You didn't feel proud or good about yourself when you bought your first car or bought something nice for yourself after you saved and scrimped?

It's the excesses you should concern yourself with. The mass produced goods that dehumanize and make people feel bad about themselves.

Lloyd Pitcher

Again Mr. Swartz, You are an idiot....is being nice painting genitalia on people's property? And what is wrong with buying something nice for yourself once in a while. You didn't feel proud or good about yourself when you bought your first car or bought something nice for yourself after you saved and scrimped?

It's the excesses you should concern yourself with. The mass produced goods that dehumanize and make people feel bad about themselves.

j

The ultimate coolness - that surpasses superficial glamour of fashionistas - of defying such mass culture should spread out first, I reckon. It bores and annoys me indeed to see people mindlessly follow fashion trends - it's not just about clothes, you know - but I am rather skeptical whether these people will ever be critical of what they are so into.

You see so many people saying: fashion is not just about clothes, it's a way of life. or.. you express who you are through what you wear.. blah.

They believe in it. And it's another case of herd mentality.

Like I said, I am skeptical, and the majority seem to need something to govern them.

j

The ultimate coolness - that surpasses superficial glamour of fashionistas - of defying such mass culture should spread out first, I reckon. It bores and annoys me indeed to see people mindlessly follow fashion trends - it's not just about clothes, you know - but I am rather skeptical whether these people will ever be critical of what they are so into.

You see so many people saying: fashion is not just about clothes, it's a way of life. or.. you express who you are through what you wear.. blah.

They believe in it. And it's another case of herd mentality.

Like I said, I am skeptical, and the majority seem to need something to govern them.

Anonymous

. . . the frog pot is near boiling point.

The state of the common consciousness is such that it can be compared to late stage alcoholism.
Continually intoxicated on it's own self-indulgent pursuit of image and recognition - ever seeking
the attention it thinks it needs - it drowns itself in the liquor of materialism.
The alcoholic inevitably becomes either jailed, institutionalized, and/or dead.
The common consciousness will either become imprisoned by the police state, go tharn or completely self-destruct.

Unless . . . like the alcoholic . . . the common consciousness experiences a 180 degree turnabout in perspective.
Many alcoholics recover completely - living full lives of purpose and joy after learning to abstain from
self-destructive behavior.

Crass materialism and conspicuous consumption is self-destructive. Rejecting materialism is the cure.

degrowth is a fine spiritual concept.

Anonymous

. . . the frog pot is near boiling point.

The state of the common consciousness is such that it can be compared to late stage alcoholism.
Continually intoxicated on it's own self-indulgent pursuit of image and recognition - ever seeking
the attention it thinks it needs - it drowns itself in the liquor of materialism.
The alcoholic inevitably becomes either jailed, institutionalized, and/or dead.
The common consciousness will either become imprisoned by the police state, go tharn or completely self-destruct.

Unless . . . like the alcoholic . . . the common consciousness experiences a 180 degree turnabout in perspective.
Many alcoholics recover completely - living full lives of purpose and joy after learning to abstain from
self-destructive behavior.

Crass materialism and conspicuous consumption is self-destructive. Rejecting materialism is the cure.

degrowth is a fine spiritual concept.

Wasteland America

...

The common consciousness is ever seeking the attention it thinks it needs? Am I reading you right? And the common consciousness will be jailed by the police state, or explode? How does a common consciousness explode? This is as much pseudo science as Freud was.

You know I'm really, really trying to understand what you're saying here. Call me dense as a brick, but when I talk about what type of a sick, messed up place we live in I can't be poetic or detached with something so personal.

But getting back to the topic: how do you jam something that jams itself? If you make fun of them for being this, they'll change until they're something else. Besides, were you actually planning on out grotesque-ing the fashion industry? You have a better shot at out groteque-ing a slaughterhouse.

I'd say distinctively normal clothes. Or awkward people. With glasses. Nerds. With pocket protectors. Someone should photoshop that in there. They're stretching the limits of what fashion could be. I say let's stretch the limits so far that fashion doesn't mean anything anymore. Normalize the ad. Put obese people in it. Make it look like an ordinary photograph from real life.

www.wastelandamerica.com

Wasteland America

...

The common consciousness is ever seeking the attention it thinks it needs? Am I reading you right? And the common consciousness will be jailed by the police state, or explode? How does a common consciousness explode? This is as much pseudo science as Freud was.

You know I'm really, really trying to understand what you're saying here. Call me dense as a brick, but when I talk about what type of a sick, messed up place we live in I can't be poetic or detached with something so personal.

But getting back to the topic: how do you jam something that jams itself? If you make fun of them for being this, they'll change until they're something else. Besides, were you actually planning on out grotesque-ing the fashion industry? You have a better shot at out groteque-ing a slaughterhouse.

I'd say distinctively normal clothes. Or awkward people. With glasses. Nerds. With pocket protectors. Someone should photoshop that in there. They're stretching the limits of what fashion could be. I say let's stretch the limits so far that fashion doesn't mean anything anymore. Normalize the ad. Put obese people in it. Make it look like an ordinary photograph from real life.

www.wastelandamerica.com

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