February 3, 2015
I have subscribed to Vogue magazine for a long, long time and have also wanted to cancel the subscription for a long, long time. This week I finally did it after last months issue sat unwrapped in the living room for 4 weeks. I knew that the magazine that I had long converted, since being a fashion student in the eighties, was no longer part of my life…..but why?
Cooler than Bryan Ferry’s girlfriend, slicker than Grace Jones’s thighs, Vogue has been a sign post- a marker in my life. With each page scrutinized and poured over in the college library Vogue introduced me to Horst P Horst, Helmut Newton, Talisa Soto, Schiaparelli pink and root perms . By osmosis through imagery I began to understand how the entire craft and making process could influence fashion. The colours were splashy, vibrant, exciting I saw firsthand how knit, embroidery and making could be represented. Sadly, at this time I couldn’t afford a packet of biscuits let alone a Vogue subscription. But, my God, It crawled beneath my skin.
So now let’s FW. The largest, cultural change has been the introduction of technology into our lives. As I try to pick apart the reasons why Vogue’s not relevant in my life anymore, I feel confusion, because Ive felt disloyal about leaving a British institution and then a slow burning anger builds.
Its the adverts, pages and pages of slick, pouty dross. In February’s Issue alone the first page of editorial was on page 77. It’s the endless “Stylists Favourites” Can’t people dress themselves anymore? (don’t answer that) I’m horrified by the pages of biege clothes, macs and plastic looking high shoes, only it’s biege re-invented, let’s call it caramel, biscuit, buff, coffee, pale wheat, light dust, honey….. The holding up of anyone with genuinely interesting character is a cultural oddity, a curiosity Grayson Perry, Camilla Batmanghelidjh (friend of Gwyneth Paltrow) Zandra Rhodes. These people are not owned or brought by anyone they are themselves through and through. I find the fashion for pandering to celebrities distasteful and shallow so I don’t need to know if Madonna swears by a diet of flax seeds, Chris Martin has a range of bamboo face flannels or how long it takes Kate Moss to take off her eye make-up.
Finally for now, we have a frequent and popular subject for Vogue ” Inside the houses of Russians living in London”- So these people are not interesting, they’re dull, they have no taste, they wear slacks and are photographed with small dogs in front of vast paintings. I don’t care about their parties, their caterers or where they buy their flowers. It’s tiresome, uninspiring, it’s uninspiring, unambitious, insipid, uninspiring and (to quote Grayson Perry) It’s the bland leading the bland. Very good, i like that.