Adbusters

Damn the Fashionistas!

How do we lessen advertising's grip on culture?

[ssp|path=blogs/slideshow/homeless_chic|width=590|height=388]

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 101 - 108 of 108

Page 11 of 11

Anonymous

I have no problem with high-end designers. It is an art, like wearable sculpture. I want the artisans who make the fine fabrics to have jobs, I want the fine fabrics to continue to be made. I want the fine artist designers to continue their absurd magic. I don't want everything to be junk culture.

The problem is, somewhere back in the late 80s or early 90's fashion became less about style and more about labels. Before that, most women could live with not having the money for the high-priced fashions in magazines. They looked at them for inspiration. But that changed. Suddenly everyone thought THEY really should have that $1000 pair of shoes. At the same time, they started being less creative, looking to labels to tell them what to wear. They stopped sewing, lost personal understanding of design and materials. Fashion became less a personal art form, more about money.

Virtually no one has style anymore. Closets full of clothes, shoes and accessories, but no clue how to put things together. No creative understanding of what makes a look "work." Sad. Maybe economic hardship and environmental conscience will make people more creative again. When you can't afford something new, you look to new ways to make do with what you have. For a lot of women, it will be the first time they actually think about the ingredients of design.....color, texture, proportion. If they find their own style, they will find self-expression in ways that transcend fashion.

Unfortunately I see little evidence of this happening yet. But I remain optimistic.

Anonymous

I have no problem with high-end designers. It is an art, like wearable sculpture. I want the artisans who make the fine fabrics to have jobs, I want the fine fabrics to continue to be made. I want the fine artist designers to continue their absurd magic. I don't want everything to be junk culture.

The problem is, somewhere back in the late 80s or early 90's fashion became less about style and more about labels. Before that, most women could live with not having the money for the high-priced fashions in magazines. They looked at them for inspiration. But that changed. Suddenly everyone thought THEY really should have that $1000 pair of shoes. At the same time, they started being less creative, looking to labels to tell them what to wear. They stopped sewing, lost personal understanding of design and materials. Fashion became less a personal art form, more about money.

Virtually no one has style anymore. Closets full of clothes, shoes and accessories, but no clue how to put things together. No creative understanding of what makes a look "work." Sad. Maybe economic hardship and environmental conscience will make people more creative again. When you can't afford something new, you look to new ways to make do with what you have. For a lot of women, it will be the first time they actually think about the ingredients of design.....color, texture, proportion. If they find their own style, they will find self-expression in ways that transcend fashion.

Unfortunately I see little evidence of this happening yet. But I remain optimistic.

ubsystems

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ubsystems

I really like the post and the blog as well.
Also visit my website : http://www.universalbettingsystems.co.uk

Lyrianstarr

I think it would be funny to do an article and shoot where an old wrinkly lady poses sexily in designer clothes on a ghetto alley set. Honestly the shoot in no way produced the sort of grotesque and heart-wrenching images captured by journalists on the subject of homelessness or poverty. Like someone said above a couple of crumpled bags....its laughable! I think it is absolutely outrageous unethical behavior; to be so facetious about such an important humanitarian issue. PIGS!

At the same time, as an artist, the act in itself- of the model looking beautiful and the photographer chasing the light- is still art in all its glory.

With that said I stand firm in my position that the publication has a social responsibility here that it did not excercise. Very distasteful indeed.

On a seperate note.. industrialized fashion, all the glam and so on, in my opinion, revovles around and includes its own company. The ungreatfully wealthy, the attention addicts, etc. will suffer their own undoing at their own hands. The less fortunate 'poor' middle class or lower class who engage this sort of fanciful longing to 'Be like the Stars!' are likewise ungreatful and misdirected most oftenly due to the lifestage of adolescence, out of which some fatefully never evolve!

Lyrianstarr

I think it would be funny to do an article and shoot where an old wrinkly lady poses sexily in designer clothes on a ghetto alley set. Honestly the shoot in no way produced the sort of grotesque and heart-wrenching images captured by journalists on the subject of homelessness or poverty. Like someone said above a couple of crumpled bags....its laughable! I think it is absolutely outrageous unethical behavior; to be so facetious about such an important humanitarian issue. PIGS!

At the same time, as an artist, the act in itself- of the model looking beautiful and the photographer chasing the light- is still art in all its glory.

With that said I stand firm in my position that the publication has a social responsibility here that it did not excercise. Very distasteful indeed.

On a seperate note.. industrialized fashion, all the glam and so on, in my opinion, revovles around and includes its own company. The ungreatfully wealthy, the attention addicts, etc. will suffer their own undoing at their own hands. The less fortunate 'poor' middle class or lower class who engage this sort of fanciful longing to 'Be like the Stars!' are likewise ungreatful and misdirected most oftenly due to the lifestage of adolescence, out of which some fatefully never evolve!

ArtistBeingHuman

Anonymous claimed:
"It is literally impossible to avoid purchasing mass produced items (ie not $500 +) that have had no part of their production in a sweatshop."

This is completely untrue. There are many independent designers and seamstresses who are creating and marketing their own products on independent artisan sites all over the internet. You can find these folks carving out an existence for themselves with a DIY ethic in every major city in the USA.

Evidently, the wardrobe anonymous is donning is completely sweatshop manufactured... perhaps assuming that's all there is locks you in. THAT is a fashion victim of the lowest calibur.

Designers who "made it" and are now presenting their work to the wealthiest fashion houses are artists. Usually, their rediculous exaggerations serve to present a kind of foreboding of what people will find interesting in the clothes they choose in the near future. Haute Couture is art that is very influential to our culture, and makes life interesting.

These ads of the pseudo-homeless fashionista are genius in their ironic supposition, imho.

I am generally irreverent to fashion and find my modes of expression elsewhere most of the time...though I am capable of dressing "UP"....:p It's all rather silly...But then, because I am not swayed by advertising and such influence, my "style" has been branded "reminiscence of homelessness" by my closer friends... (this type of honesty only comes from your true friends!) I don't take offense because they know I don't give a shit...
What a hoot that perhaps when it comes to style, this will be my year!

hahaha
If the economy keeps tanking, perhaps these fools will resort to wearing the shopping bags.
It's a strong statement. I like it.
Face it, culture Jamming is becoming trendy... and it will be commercialized and commodified just like everything else.
Wildly embroidered bell bottoms anyone?

ArtistBeingHuman

Anonymous claimed:
"It is literally impossible to avoid purchasing mass produced items (ie not $500 +) that have had no part of their production in a sweatshop."

This is completely untrue. There are many independent designers and seamstresses who are creating and marketing their own products on independent artisan sites all over the internet. You can find these folks carving out an existence for themselves with a DIY ethic in every major city in the USA.

Evidently, the wardrobe anonymous is donning is completely sweatshop manufactured... perhaps assuming that's all there is locks you in. THAT is a fashion victim of the lowest calibur.

Designers who "made it" and are now presenting their work to the wealthiest fashion houses are artists. Usually, their rediculous exaggerations serve to present a kind of foreboding of what people will find interesting in the clothes they choose in the near future. Haute Couture is art that is very influential to our culture, and makes life interesting.

These ads of the pseudo-homeless fashionista are genius in their ironic supposition, imho.

I am generally irreverent to fashion and find my modes of expression elsewhere most of the time...though I am capable of dressing "UP"....:p It's all rather silly...But then, because I am not swayed by advertising and such influence, my "style" has been branded "reminiscence of homelessness" by my closer friends... (this type of honesty only comes from your true friends!) I don't take offense because they know I don't give a shit...
What a hoot that perhaps when it comes to style, this will be my year!

hahaha
If the economy keeps tanking, perhaps these fools will resort to wearing the shopping bags.
It's a strong statement. I like it.
Face it, culture Jamming is becoming trendy... and it will be commercialized and commodified just like everything else.
Wildly embroidered bell bottoms anyone?

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