June 30, 2007


In my fashion research, the old editorial director of Fairchild Publications once said in an interview that the only difference between a fashion photograph and an art photograph would be that the former includes credit (or shopping) information.

I've been avidly reading magazines since I was 10 and obsessed with borrowing issues of YM and Girl's Life from the public library every month. But until I started really going behind the scenes at fashion and beauty magazines myself, I was rather naive about how the genre operated. I always thought, for example, that when a magazine featured someone in their home that the home always looks the way it does (it's normally somewhat to completely propped), with all the amazing accessories and styling. Also, I assumed that the clothes people wore were their own - which is (in 99% of the time) not true!

But the biggest concession to the commercial nature of magazines in my opinion? Beauty credits! I remember in high school trying to "copy" the look of many a Seventeen cover girl...and it shocked me to find out that beauty credits are normally advertiser friendly rather than honest. Basically, the make-up artist does their magic with whatever products they have and like (or get for free as they might be sponsored by a make-up conglomerate). Then, the credit is given to whatever company or companies the magazine wants to keep happy...

What do you think about this? Has everyone but me always known about this practice and I'm just naive?

June 23, 2007

A Matter of Quality

If your clothes are poorly made, and you don't know...does it matter?

This was the big question that I was thinking about the other day, while browsing Forever 21. That store really scares me, and is really a wonderful example of why I went to graduate school to theorize about fashion rather than choosing to become a fashion designer with my Bachelor of Design in Fashion Design!

The thing is that Forever21 is forever basing its designs on that of others, but doing it quickly and cheaply. So whenever I go there, I see cute things that are incredibly affordable. However, I can't help but notice the poor quality of the fabrics, especially the jerseys that are so vibrant in color. Some of the trims have a terrible hand (touch) and I can't stand raw edges or serged edging. It just looks cheap to me, however cute the design may be.

During my last visit, for example, I saw a really cute woven top for $25 that I would have happily purchased even though it was made of polyester and wouldn't survive a few rounds in my washing machine...but then I noticed the zipper. At a moderately price store such as J.Crew or Banana Republic there would be a neat little invisible zipper. Instead, that Forever21 top has a cheap plastic zipper in a color that doesn't quite match the fabric (in fashion school they teach us that zippers should be slightly darker rather than lighter than the garment fabric). Why? I kept thinking: Why doesn't Forever21 spend the extra 25 cents in the factory to get a nice zipper sewn in? Doesn't that increase the value of the garment?

And then it dawned on me, they don't make the little investments in value because it doesn't pay off - most if not all of their shoppers either can't tell the difference in construction methods or wouldn't care.

Which is too bad, because even at that price point, a few of us do care.

June 17, 2007

New links

Like Jossip + Gawker + Fashionista all rolled into one! Fun!


i'll never tell...except here
She goes to all the best parties and she's not even 20 yet! Got fired from Teen Vogue over this blog...but it's still juicy! Love the spunk, and she goes to the best parties.

My new favourite blogs...for better, and for worse.

June 16, 2007

China hiatus...

Have been up to my neck in gorgeous housewares...but I'm sure I will return soon...some fashion posts guaranteed tomorrow.