Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Color and Size

So, I also subscribe to Teen Vogue (I know, right? I'm totally crazy) and I got my November 2009 issue in the mail today. I am very happy with the cover. It's beautiful, stylish, wholesome. The red lips and sleek ponytails are in great taste.
Recently, I've noticed that I actually crave women of color on my magazine covers. I'm white, and I don't know if certain publishers think white women only want to see other white women on magazine covers, but that is not the case with me and with many other white women that I know. I love seeing black, Asian and Hispanic women on magazine covers. I'm glad Teen Vogue is acknowledging that non-white teens read their magazine, and that the powers that be have chosen to represent them. Enough with the insipid Lauren Conrads. I am, quite frankly, getting bored with seeing the same cookie-cutter and rather bland blue-eyed blondes staring blankly at me from the covers of pretty much every single major magazine. I'm willing to bet many others are bored as well.
Adult Vogue has been pretty good lately about featuring women of color on its covers what with Beyonce and Michelle Obama landing the coveted spot this past year. But they still have a long way to go. Most of the fashion editorials feature white models, and it's been a while since a black model has been on the adult Vogue cover.

Before I praise Teen Vogue too much though, I have to say that Chanel and Jourdan are a bit too skinny for my taste. I mean, they're really really ridiculously skinny. Just take a look at that first picture of them walking arm-in-arm. Their legs are basically stilts! Let's be honest, they do not look healthy. Although the color issue has not been completely resolved, I think a lot of attention needs to be paid to how skinny these models look.
Although, at this point it's like beating a dead horse. We can talk about it all day, but nothing is ever going to be done about it. Even with the recent deaths of two models from complications arising from eating disorders, the fashion industry barely batted a faux eyelash. Yes, I'm sure some of these girls are truly blessed and are naturally (and infuriatingly) skinny. But most of them? No way. Seriously, Chanel and Jourdan could both put on at least 20 pounds, easy, and still look great. Get on it, Vogue. I'm watching, and blogging.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vogue Doesn't Care About Women

This is the conclusion I must come to after seeing a two-page ad for Davidoff cigarettes in the September 2009 issue of Vogue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought cigarette ads were outlawed on billboards and in magazines. Has this rule changed? Maybe, but in any case, I think it's incredibly irresponsible of Vogue to feature cigarette ads and, thereby, to continue glamorizing this deplorable habit.

Vogue is always telling women how to look their best and feel their best and be their best. The importance of taking care of one's body, exercising to stay healthy, following the macrobiotic diet a la Vogue darlings Madonna and Gwyneth, and other such be-good-to-yourself messages are touted in every single tree-destroying issue to the point of redundancy. Over the years, I've seen numerous editorials about cancer research, articles written by cancer survivors, etc., and now seeing this ad is like a slap in the face, and just downright hypocritical. They do know that cigarettes cause cancer, right?

Smoking is not sexy or cool or fashionable. It's disgusting. It ceased to be "en vogue" years ago. Yes, many models, editors and designers smoke. Many of them also do hard drugs. It doesn't make it OK to feature ads glorifying the act. Vogue prides itself on having good taste in fashion, beauty and art among other things. Well, the decision to run this ad was in very poor taste.

I know that ad sales are a magazine's bread and butter, but I think Vogue should've passed on this one. I'm pretty sure they could've afforded to do so.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vogue Hates Poor People

The much-lauded and massive (5 lbs; yes, I weighed it) September issue, in which Vogue gives us yet another yawn-worthy cover and over 300 pages of ads featuring overpriced crap no one in this economy (or in her right mind) can afford, landed with a thud on my doorstep yesterday. Once again we learn that Vogue is turning a blind-eye to the state of the economy right
now, although it's also doing a great job of pretending to care.

Case in point: Since this year's June issue, Vogue has included a regular feature called "100 Under $500" which, if you ask me, is a very sad joke funny only to the moneyed folk who appear in the magazine's society pages every month. The feature touts such "must-haves" as a hand-painted notecard set for $140 and a Louis Vuitton keychain for $250. Who the hell is going to spend that much money on a keychain and cards? These are things, I think we can all agree, that nobody actually needs. Randomly, a La Roux CD is thrown in for $24 - the cheapest thing on the list, and yet, still ridiculously overpriced for a CD.

Other items of note:

A fabric-covered caddy for $220 (and I have no idea what that is or what it's for)

A terracotta pot for $250 (seriously, it's just a pot)

A $495 scarf (which will be well over $500 after sales tax is calculated)

A $495 lipstick case (just a case, no lipstick)

Adding insult to the people battling foreclosure and debt, Vogue has the audacity to call these items, including a $450 pillow, "smart buys." Huh?

To be fair, I could never afford anything in Vogue, but I read the magazine because I love fashion and I enjoyed looking at the beautiful clothes, people and places. But in these economic times, the pages of the magazine have become a stinging slap in the face. How does that song go? "Money, money, money, must be funny in a rich man's world." Funny, indeed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Christy Turlington in Vogue

Yay! Finally, a decent cover. My favorite model graces this month's (August 2009) cover of the magazine that is getting worse with every issue. Last month, it was Ms. It's Not Hard For Me To Fall In Love (coughwithmarriedmencough) Sienna Miller. A boring and horrible cover that I didn't even post. Hopefully, I'll remember to put it up tomorrow if anyone even cares.

This month Vogue presents its annual Age Issue, an attempt at pigeonholing women into their particular age category because we all know that that number is what defines us right? Right. Thanks Vogue. I am morphing into a confident, secure and intelligent woman with your ever helpful guidance.

Just like the Body Issue, the Age Issue is a disgrace. I mean, come on, do we really need to define women based on how old they are? Isn't it enough that Hollywood makes us all feel over the hill at thirty, anyway? Now the fashion magazines are joining the party, belittling women by making them feel too old and thereby irrelevant. And if you think this Age Issue is a celebration of women at any age, you're mistaken. As soon as the issue hits stands and mailboxes, women all over the country are frantically flipping to their age category, hoping a beautiful, young-looking woman was chosen to represent them. Then, they can feel "okay" about themselves. Sad.
Honestly, if I see another cover line that states "Fabulous at Forty" or something similar, I will stick my head in an oven. When did 40 become so old that we have to heap praise upon anyone who reaches that age and manages to look remotely human? I didn't realize that we were all supposed to drop dead at 39. Just stamp an expiration date on our foreheads and get it over with.

On a happy note, if you're over 35 and don't want to commit suicide, you've won. Congratulations.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Green, Literally.

The June 2009 issue of Vogue with a smiling and radiant Cameron Diaz on the cover leaves very little to the imagination. It has nothing to do with Cameron's clothing (she's bundled up in a white cotton shirt and pants by Stella McCartney), it has everything to do with the overwhelmingly green font color. You see, this is the GREEN issue in case you couldn't realize that just by looking at it. Btw, could there be anything more ironic than a Vogue Green issue? Especially, when the EIC and her minions have no qualms about wearing fur and flying in private jets. But I digress.

Anyway, about 60% of the cover lines are in a bright Kelly green font just to drive home how much Vogue cares about the environment because you would never guess that if you solely judged them on their actions.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Vogue Jumps on the India Bandwagon In an Attempt to Stay Relevant

In the May issue of Vogue, the editors once again prove that they don't have an ounce of originality left. Thanks to the success of Slumdog Millionaire, people are suddenly remembering that there's a country called India with a unique and rich culture (and aren't you surprised that greedy Hollywood and Madison Ave are all of a sudden so eager to capitalize on it?).

Not to be outdone, La Wintour and her army of Botoxed minions put together a fashion editorial complete with Indian model Lakshmi Menan, young Indian children dancing around in colorful costumes, and a title that reads "India Are We." Let me get this straight: Vogue is "India" now? Of course, it is; now that it's profitable and popular to be associated with anything remotely Indian - God, Vogue makes me sick.
I haven't read an article in Vogue in months because, quite frankly, they're completely irrelevant; but now even the pictures offend me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vogue's May 2009 Cover: Gorgeous!

I was happy as a clam to find the May issue of Vogue in my mailbox today. It seems Vogue has temporarily returned to its senses and finally put supermodels on the cover. This particular one features one of my all-time favorites: Liya Kebede.
Liya's one of those faces that is so preternaturally beautiful that you never tire of looking at it. I'm really glad she's on the front cover this time and not relegated to one of the other two pages of the fold-out. You may have noticed the phenomenon of putting black and other models of color inside the folded sheet so that their faces are essentially invisible on the newsstand.
To be fair the fold-out pages in this issue are beautiful, too. Moreover, the editorial articles inside feature a look into the lives of these great beauties, and I must say I'm truly grateful to La Wintour for sparing me yet another mundane celebrity interview.
Hooray for models, and keep 'em coming!
Unfortch, it's only a matter of time before Vogue goes back to sucking again...Let's give it about a month.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vogue's Shape Issue: A Lesson in Fail

Once a year, American Vogue presents a charade known as the "Shape Issue." It chronicles different women of various shapes - short, thin, tall, pregnant (I didn't really think that was a shape but whatever), & curvy. They do this by featuring a famous woman (singer, model, actress) and talking about her particular shape, somehow making her body sound like some disease that the person has courageously learned to live with. For example, "Best friends Olivia Thirlby and Zoe Kravitz are New York girls with an answer for everything - especialy, Sally Singer learns, how to be small yet staggeringly stylish." In case you were wondering, Olivia and Zoe are "short" and they have to somehow figure out how to be stylish and look good in clothes because this is clearly impossible for people who aren't 6 feet tall and 120 pounds, right? "Olivia and Zoe are tiny, and the most wackily charming New York double act since Madonna and Rosanna Arquette," Singer writes. I'm sorry, but I don't get it. This is like saying, "they may be tiny, but they're still human - amazing!"

Cue to me rolling my eyes. Oh LORD, Vogue often makes me laugh my ass off. But why am I surprised? This is the same magazine that convinced Laura and Kate Mulleavy to lose weight and actually have the experience chronicled in its pages for all eternity.

There's also a feature on Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, "two spirited sisters who treat being thin like a birthright," but I'll get to those two sad saps later.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cool! Beyonce on Vogue Cover

Did Anna Wintour somehow stumble on my previous post about the twisted logic behind her magazine's illustrious cover choices? Probably not. But check out how cool this is: Beyonce Knowles on the cover of Vogue, FINALLY!!!

I must confess she looks gorgeous and stylish. Yes, the fashion bible's covers are still pretty safe and boring, but I have to admit that the last two covers have made me happy. For the first time in a long time, I don't see pale anorexic triplets looking at me with empty eyes from the cover.
As much as I like this cover, I can already tell that the inside pages are going to be as out-of-touch and irrelevant as ever. But I'll have to reserve that judgment for when I actually get this issue in the mail. Here's hoping I can bring myself to actually remove it from the plastic cover.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ummm...I don't know what to do with this...

As you can see from this photo, I still haven't ripped the cover off of my March Vogue. Isn't it sad? I have NO desire to read it at all!!!

It's kind of unbelievable, but after, like, 12 years of being obsessed with Vogue, I suddenly just don't care.

You know how some people get divorced after like 20 years of marriage and everyone is totally shocked by it? This is exactly like that.

OMG I just had a brilliant thought! I will keep this issue in mint condition, still in its plastic cover and then sell it on eBay in about 15 years...I'm sure it'll be worth something by then. Hooray!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Sad Truth

So, I finally received my March Vogue in the mail a few days ago. It's still covered in the plastic wrap and waiting to be opened. It's been about 3 days and I just have absolutely no desire to remove the plastic and actually read the magazine. I remember the days when I couldn't wait to rip off the plastic cover and furiously thumb through the pages. Those days have been gone for a while now. It just goes to show that Vogue really really sucks. I mean, I'm a longtime subscriber and I can't bring myself to actually read this issue! Maybe it's because I already know what's going to be in it without even turning one page: rich socialites lounging by their infinity pools, overpriced designer duds that no one can afford (especially in this economy), ass-kissing advertorials, overexposed celebrities waxing poetic about how much they've "grown" since their last project, yachts and Tuscan villas, more rich pricks and anorexic models jumping up and down. I'm not sure when I'll actually read this issue; maybe I should just recycle it now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is EPIC! Michelle Obama on the cover of Vogue

WOW! I am speechless. I can barely contain my excitement so please understand there may be a few typos in this post. 


Let's get the superficial stuff out of the way first: She looks gorgeous, natural, approachable and classy. The cover lines are not overdone and don't overwhelm the photo, which is how it should always be. I hate when magazine editors bombard the cover with a hundred inane quotes.

Now, the more profound meaning behind this cover: I hope that this means that Vogue or, more accurately, La Wintour will start to embrace diversity in the pages of her magazine. In order for Vogue to FINALLY get back in touch with the world of fashion and the world at large, it needs to realize that white, anorexic blondes aren't the only people on the planet. I think this is a step in the right direction.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Twisted Logic Behind Vogue's Covers: Keira Knightley, 4; Halle Berry, 1

OK, so this really irritates me and, quite frankly, just pisses me off to the nth degree. It seems like every time the postman/woman drops off the latest gigantic issue of Vogue, Keira Knightley is on the cover...again. In the past 4 years, Keira's been on the cover of American Vogue 4 times. That's once a year for those of you not mathematically inclined (don't worry, I'm one of you). Is Keira Knightley the last remaining actress on Earth and La Wintour has no choice but to regurgitate her as often as possible? I don't get it. Yeah, she's been in some great movies and she was nominated for an Oscar, but Vogue makes you think she's the second coming of Christ or something!

This whole thing drives me crazy when I think about the fact that Halle Berry (one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of our era AND an Oscar winner) has only been on the cover of Vogue once. Yes, just one time in December 2002 - 6 YEARS AGO!!! I mean, am I the only one who thinks there's something really wrong with this? Halle's been appearing in movies consistently since 2002; she's still an A-lister; she's constantly in the media. Seriously, what gives? I think we both know the reason, but I just don't have the heart to state it right now.

Though she may be beautiful, I am truly sick of seeing Keira Knightley's face on the cover of American Vogue and every other magazine.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Italian Vogue is Badass

Though I cannot read Italian, I love Italian Vogue for its devotion to innovation and conceptualism, its tantalizing photo spreads and gorgeous covers. Italian Vogue isn't afraid to push the envelope, if you'll forgive me for using such a cliched phrase. Like an Italian mafioso, it's truly badass.
Just a few months ago, Italian Vogue had an "all-black" issue featuring only black models on its covers and inside photo spreads. People said it wouldn't sell; it sold out. Would American Vogue ever make such a bold move? Even with the first black president in office and February being black history month? No, of course not. American Vogue is too scared of making these types of statements for some reason. It would be truly refreshing to see something bold and new and fresh from the stale and boring magazine. And it doesn't have to come in the form of an "all-black" issue.

It could be something as simple as an innovative, creative, captivating and lush cover like the one above, also from Italian Vogue. OK, obviously the cover isn't everything, but in a way it is the most important thing because it's what you look at before you decide to actually look inside. If you really pay attention to these types of things, you'll notice that oftentimes the cover will determine whether you turn even one page of the magazine or none at all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Twisted Logic Behind Vogue's Covers: Jennifer Hudson vs. Beyonce

I think it was about a year ago when Jennifer Hudson graced the cover of Vogue. The appearance made headlines because it's very rare for an African-American woman to be featured on Vogue's cover, especially one that wasn't emaciated beyond recognition (as most of Vogue's cover models tend to be). Jennifer Hudson was a welcome change from the usual banality of white models and actresses that look like they all came from the same gene pool. I was very happy to see J-Hud on the cover of the most prestigious fashion magazine in all the land, but it was also an appearance that made me wonder: How come Beyonce, one of the most popular and successful singers and actresses in the country, has never been on the cover of Vogue?

What's wrong with Beyonce? She's super famous, gorgeous, successful, talented and she loves fashion. She's arguably more famous than Hudson plus they were both in the same movie, Dreamgirls, together. Ok, so Beyonce didn't win an Oscar for her performance, but it's not like Vogue only puts Oscar winners on its covers. Plus, she has like a million Grammys. I can't help but think that it's because Beyonce is black, and Vogue is not about to put more than one black actress, singer or athlete (LeBron James graced a cover with Gisele a few months ago) on the cover in one year. Honestly, even that doesn't make sense to me. It's illogical decisions like this that really ruin the joy of Vogue for me. It just seems to me that Beyonce is deserving of a Vogue cover and the whole situation leaves me scratching my head. I wish I could corner La Wintour in a malfunctioning elevator and just ask her point-blank: Why Jennifer Hudson and not Beyonce?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Awesome Cover Courtesy of Russian Vogue

No wonder Russian Vogue has a circulation of 3 million. If you're at all familiar with the Russian culture, you know that they're suckers for luxury: diamonds, fur, exotic cars and exotic women. So this cover appeals to their luxurious tastes, but on its own it is a cover that dreams are made of. The gorgeous juxtaposition of the snow white fur with Naomi's creamy dark complexion is just pure genius. It's stunning and inspiring and makes you want to embrace the good life. For a second, you imagine yourself on the slopes at St. Moritz sipping hot cocoa infused with Bailey's Irish Cream and toasting your toes by the warm hearth. If only American Vogue's covers could inspire such fantasies even just for a moment.

Friday, January 23, 2009

THIS is what I'm talking about: Russian Vogue Brings It!

Victoria Beckham graces the cover of the February issue of Russian Vogue, and to quote Tyra Banks, "Girl looks fierce!" I actually hate using that word, but in this case, it totally fits. The cover is sexy, powerful, mysterious and dramatic. I love the red nails, the eyes so covered by the hat's shadow that you can barely see them. It's the kind of cover that really draws you in and you find yourself weirdly mesmerized for some reason.

Obviously, there's no way a Russian-themed cover that evokes communism would go well with Middle America so naturally La Wintour would never be OK with this. But I'm not asking her to regurgitate other awesome covers; I'm asking her to make her own awesome covers!!! I want American Vogue to produce covers that are mesmerizing, captivating, provocative but not overtly sexual, and timeless. There's so much excitement and energy in this country right now and it's a shame that Vogue can't reflect these sentiments in their pages. For a magazine that is often called the fashion bible, there's just nothing remotely holy or biblical about it anymore.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Twisted Logic Behind Vogue's Covers: America Ferrera, bad; Blake Lively, good

So, La Wintour's decision to put Gossip Girl and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star Blake Lively on the February cover of Vogue was met with a lot of criticism. Partly, because much of the public didn't think the blonde starlet deserved such a prestigious cover, which is usually reserved for A-listers and the occasional socialite (remember Melania Knauss before she became Mrs. Trump?). Vogue defended their decision by stating (and I'm paraphrasing) that Ms. Lively was on a popular TV show famous for its fashion. Now, I love Blake and the show so I didn't really think much of this whole brouhaha over the cover choice. But then I got to thinking: Hey, how come other super-popular TV stars haven't been honored with a Vogue cover? Namely, America Ferrera.

Coincidentally, America and Blake have very similar pedigrees. Both were in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, both star in popular TV shows (in America's case, it's Ugly Betty, a tongue-in-cheek look at the craziness that is the fashion world), and both are super gorgeous, young and famous. It should also be mentioned that Gossip Girl averages about 2.5 - 3 million viewers a week, whereas Ugly Betty averages between 8 and 11 million. In case you're wondering what this means, it means more people watch Ugly Betty and ergo, it's the more popular show.
So, why on God's green earth did La Wintour choose to put Blake on the cover and not America? Hmmm, could it be that it's because America is......gasp! Latina? While, Blake is as white and all-American as apple pie. I don't know, but it was a thought that crossed my mind ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Screw you, Plum Sykes

Ah, Plum, the little protege that could. This 30-something Vogue contributor hails from Britain and has been under La Wintour's wing for over a decade. In addition to writing some of the most mindless articles this side of the Atlantic, Plummy has also penned two literary masterpieces, Bergdorf Blondes and The Debutante Divorcee. Both riveting works about the trials and tribulations of New York socialites. That Pulitzer's within reach, Plum-Plum, I promise.

One of Plum's saddest contributions to society was an article written a few years ago wherein she lamented the fact that the buttons on her thousand dollar coats kept falling off and her stallworth efforts to deal with this tragedy. SHE WROTE TWO PAGES ON IT!!! Yes, I read it all. Yes, I'm pathetic. I'd love to present you with the article, but I hope I had the good sense to recycle that issue. God knows the article wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.
This month, Plum regales us with her country wardrobe (page 110) - you know, those special outfits we all set aside for our vacations hunting in the country...oh, I'm sorry, you don't spend one weekend a year "shooting and entertaining" in your country estate? Yeah, me neither. But I imagine it must be a dreadfully difficult task to find the perfect country wardrobe in which to shoot innocent animals. By the way, "the dress code is nonnegotiable: tweeds for day and grand dress for dinner." I really hope Plum found what she was looking for. I'd hate to learn that she wasn't properly dressed for the occasion.
Honestly, how many trees have to die before Plum can produce a decent article?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Stop Insulting Me, Vogue

In my latest issue of Vogue (which I subscribe to so I don't understand why they're sending me these subscription slips, but whatever), the soulless hags over at Conde Nast(y) are attempting to bribe me with the fugliest purse I've ever seen. They've dubbed it the "exclusive Vogue Bag" - ooh, sounds fancy! I'm sorry, but am I to believe that Anna Wintour would be caught dead holding this "exclusive" Vogue bag? I've never been so insulted in all my life. This is worse than the shit Lucky tries to bribe me with. It's not even Kate Spade! This shit wouldn't sell for more than $5 on Canal Street!

But what really gets me is the 49% off the cover price line...I mean, why not 50%? For shame, Vogue, for shame!

Why Vogue Sucks, Part I: The Covers

Vogue covers have been sucking for quite some time now, and everyone seems to know this but the people actually at Vogue.
Case in point: "OK, I'm getting bored with Vogue's covers. Time to bring back the cavalry: Linda Evangelista!" S.A. Lucas-Townsend, Roseville, CA. "Can you please go back to using professional models on your covers?" Jill Burgess-Grider, Brooklyn, NY.
When your readers are complaining about the covers (and begging and pleading for something new) in every issue, and you're actually PRINTING these complaints, maybe it's time for a change. I don't know, I'm just saying. I mean, I'm not a publisher or anything, but it seems like maybe, just maaaaaybe, you'd wanna give your magazine a makeover.

Things that suck about the covers:
  1. Overrated white movie stars
  2. Arms akimbo or three-quarter profile pose
  3. Airbrushed to another dimension
  4. Dress by Prada, Chanel or Marc Jacobs, again (hey, it's in the contract)

Which brings us to the February issue featuring the lovely Blake Lively. (I'm skipping January where Vogue somehow managed to make Anne Hathaway look like a vampire cause I can't bear to look at it anymore. Also, my grandpa ripped off the cover to pick some trash up off the floor, but that's a whole other story). OK, so what's wrong with this picture? At first glance, nothing. It's a great photo. She looks gorge, pretty dress, sunshine-y background, la di da. But in the immortal words of Chandler Bing, could this cover BE any more generic? There's no excitement, no emotion. There's no oomph. It's blah to the nth degree. It's just so sad, like a wilting flower that no one can be bothered to water anymore. *Sigh*

*blurry photos courtesy of my iPhone