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

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

108 comments on the article “Damn the Fashionistas!”

Displaying 71 - 80 of 108

Page 8 of 11

Happy Consumer

"a lot of serious, pseudo-academic talk"

Dear Sarah,
I don't mean to offend you with that line. Maybe there is real academic talk on this site.

I enjoyed the article and I'm glad anyone is discussing it. Ignoring the ad campaign is a quiet and unstylish form of subversion - nothing to make an article out of. And if we Adbusters readers like to think of ourselves as occupying any sort of moral high-ground for being keen to such manipulation at work, then we must seek an active route.

Magazine sales are dwindling. The staff at W Magazine probably have trouble sleeping at night. I imagine they've had pay-cuts or have been asked to take time off. Maybe.

Perhaps you'll find even more intense examples of what you're on about in the next few months as things get even more desperate.

Perhaps life will imitate these images, for those employed in these frivolous industries. Could irony subvert? Or is that Jean Baudrillard's hyper-reality? (Now I'm doing the pseudo-academic talk.)

Happy Consumer

Happy Consumer

"a lot of serious, pseudo-academic talk"

Dear Sarah,
I don't mean to offend you with that line. Maybe there is real academic talk on this site.

I enjoyed the article and I'm glad anyone is discussing it. Ignoring the ad campaign is a quiet and unstylish form of subversion - nothing to make an article out of. And if we Adbusters readers like to think of ourselves as occupying any sort of moral high-ground for being keen to such manipulation at work, then we must seek an active route.

Magazine sales are dwindling. The staff at W Magazine probably have trouble sleeping at night. I imagine they've had pay-cuts or have been asked to take time off. Maybe.

Perhaps you'll find even more intense examples of what you're on about in the next few months as things get even more desperate.

Perhaps life will imitate these images, for those employed in these frivolous industries. Could irony subvert? Or is that Jean Baudrillard's hyper-reality? (Now I'm doing the pseudo-academic talk.)

Happy Consumer

Galway Spaniard

I remember when beers in lower New York (Bowery) were 15cents and fashion was not a big issue, then the hippies came along, and then something else came along. And then we children of the lower middle class became expendable. We had to make do with cheap clothing- now you all wear name brands. You are all a bunch of gullible suckers. We got drafted, etc , but at least we didn't put our self worth into what clothed us. You may have gone to fancy schools and still do but you lack common sense and street sense.

Galway Spaniard

I remember when beers in lower New York (Bowery) were 15cents and fashion was not a big issue, then the hippies came along, and then something else came along. And then we children of the lower middle class became expendable. We had to make do with cheap clothing- now you all wear name brands. You are all a bunch of gullible suckers. We got drafted, etc , but at least we didn't put our self worth into what clothed us. You may have gone to fancy schools and still do but you lack common sense and street sense.

Guy who hates "...

It's so pahetic. Ad Buster wants to be a shoe company. They have picked reconizable fashions for their shoes and are positioning themselves as a sort of "unshoe", much like 7UP was the "un-cola". For you guys out there who claim to be against the "machine" this sort of hipocritical, sneaky marketing gimmick should really piss you off. If you want a brandless shoe, go to walmart and by one for five bucks instead of paying an assinine premium on crappy looking shoes that let everyone know your a pretentious douchebag. By the way, when did shoes become tools for activists?

Guy who hates "...

It's so pahetic. Ad Buster wants to be a shoe company. They have picked reconizable fashions for their shoes and are positioning themselves as a sort of "unshoe", much like 7UP was the "un-cola". For you guys out there who claim to be against the "machine" this sort of hipocritical, sneaky marketing gimmick should really piss you off. If you want a brandless shoe, go to walmart and by one for five bucks instead of paying an assinine premium on crappy looking shoes that let everyone know your a pretentious douchebag. By the way, when did shoes become tools for activists?

computerrepairguy

Fashion is great as long as you don't become a victim of it. I personally think it's great to express yourself through your clothes but don't confuse your identity with them. At the end of the day, you are who you are becayse of your mind and soul.

Best,
Austin

computerrepairguy

Fashion is great as long as you don't become a victim of it. I personally think it's great to express yourself through your clothes but don't confuse your identity with them. At the end of the day, you are who you are becayse of your mind and soul.

Best,
Austin

Anonymous

When you see bullshit like this, it's clearly meant to be laughed at, not just reviled!

They make it absurd to avoid criticism. But doesn't absurdity belong to the domain of laughter? Laughter DESTROYS reverence! Let's use it to our advantage, as Adbusters has done in the past!! Laugh at our enemies, turn their ideas into a joke and spread that meme-virus.

While I don't like much of Ayn Rand's philosophy, she put it best:

"Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It’s simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell them that a sense of humor is an unlimited virtue. Don't let anything remain sacred in a man’s soul – and his soul won’t be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you’ve killed the hero in man."

Anonymous

When you see bullshit like this, it's clearly meant to be laughed at, not just reviled!

They make it absurd to avoid criticism. But doesn't absurdity belong to the domain of laughter? Laughter DESTROYS reverence! Let's use it to our advantage, as Adbusters has done in the past!! Laugh at our enemies, turn their ideas into a joke and spread that meme-virus.

While I don't like much of Ayn Rand's philosophy, she put it best:

"Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It’s simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell them that a sense of humor is an unlimited virtue. Don't let anything remain sacred in a man’s soul – and his soul won’t be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you’ve killed the hero in man."

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.