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 81 - 90 of 108

Page 9 of 11

Guy who hates "...

Well unless we make our clothes ourselves (waste of time, lame, counterproductive) then originality comes directly from scarcity. A very easy way to achive scarcity is by pricing clothes at diffeent rates so that some of it is not available to anyone and everyone. Once again it seems like it is the disenfranchised who hate high fashion because to them it is unaffordable (which signals their inherent desire for it). A millionaire has no problem spending $600 on a designer shirt because relative ot his wealth it is miniscule. For the rest of us, some search through vintage shops, or other places with low volume and some idea of scarcity to their products. Style and appeal or not clothes. Clothes are clothes. You have your own style and appeal and then buy clothes accordingly. If you cant afford a $600 shirt then dotn shop and holts. Go somewhere else. Damn Hippies.

Guy who is "not...

Its not that people feel disaffected because they can't buy such expensive clothing, its the very act of buying designer clothes at ridiculous prices that makes it so reprehensible. Who tells us that it is fashionable to wear $2,000 Jimmy Choos or to have the newest Prada bag? Why are we so inundated and unconsciously consumed by a mass media blitzkrieg that places vanity above the substantial. By buying such clothing en masse are we not implicitly contributing to some quaint notion that we can gain a deeper self-satisfaction through our "expressive" outfits? It puzzles me that there are some that believe we can gain that ever elusive inward self-gratification through exterior and ultimately vain means. Lets be honest, clothes are clothes are clothes. While it would seem intuitive that originality comes from scarcity the "originality" that is portrayed in advertisements is hardly that at all but a concealed attempt to monopolize the word itself. Originality transcends the confines of our infantile society so as to make us securely independent.

very dissapoint...

Lame. Clothes do more than just cover your junk. They illustrate status (a man in an armani suit has a better chance than a man in a track suit at winning an inteview), they increase attractiveness to the opposite sex, and they allow groups of people to identify themselves to one another. People pay money for different types of clothes based on the intangible or tangible benefit they get from owning them. Normally advertising and the fashion industry lags behind the fashion of the people. We dictate the markets and whats cool to purchase at any given time, not ad companies. You have it all backwards. On top of all that, people who go out and buy a Prada Bag feel good about their purchase even if they dont necessarily know why. It is not them who find it ridiculous. It is you. Your last bit about transcending the confines of our infantile society is paranoid and nonsecnical. I always find it amusing how you guys on this site seem to get off on turning everything into some sort of conspiracy. You paint such a weak picture of our fellow man.

joanna.t

Actually no, we don't dictate the markets, the markets do and society ripples in effect, which encourages/emboldens the market. The fashion industries actually plan "what is in" each season. "people who go out and buy a Prada Bag feel good about their purchase even if they dont necessarily know why" - they know exactly why- they are happy they can have a bag with a PRADA label on it, and feel the richness and supremacy of the fashion house held in their society.

Guy who hates "...

Nobody wears the clothes at fashion shows. It's a circus. This is a very lame topic. Get over it everyone.

Guy who hates "...

Nobody wears the clothes at fashion shows. It's a circus. This is a very lame topic. Get over it everyone.

Anonymous

Adbusters itself is a media machine selling a certain ideal through design. I don't see the reason or even the logical argument that fashion is somehow this wildly amoral approach to selling a product but a stylized magazine is on some higher plane. Get rid of all your graphics, pop up ads and the need to take any "moral high ground" and then we'll talk. I was an avid fan of adbusters until the hypocritical theories started to bleed through. Lots of finger pointing and slapping each other on the back for smoking organic cigarettes. No really, you ARE the working man's champion against that evil fashion industry... really. Culture jam? Hardly.

Anonymous

Adbusters itself is a media machine selling a certain ideal through design. I don't see the reason or even the logical argument that fashion is somehow this wildly amoral approach to selling a product but a stylized magazine is on some higher plane. Get rid of all your graphics, pop up ads and the need to take any "moral high ground" and then we'll talk. I was an avid fan of adbusters until the hypocritical theories started to bleed through. Lots of finger pointing and slapping each other on the back for smoking organic cigarettes. No really, you ARE the working man's champion against that evil fashion industry... really. Culture jam? Hardly.

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