Posts Tagged ‘just’

“It’s just a bit of fun!”

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

It has been bubbling up to a boil in the industry for a while now.  When will a Weinstein-gate equivalent for the fashion industry burst forward, implicating Bruce Weber and Mario Testino in allegations of sexual abuse on shoots towards male models. It, was in the pipeline for so long that at one point, Steve, (my partner who works at i-D) and I would ask each other casually at dinnertime, when this NY Times story was going to break, along with when the council tax bill going to arrive.  It’s finally out there and the darker underbelly of this in-depth exposé is, I’m afraid to say, a discernible lack of surprise within the industry over what they’re reading.  More robes, more hotel rooms, more uncomfortable exchanges.  And what?

The story broke earlier today and Condé Nast responded with a pre-prepped release of their editorial Code of Conduct to defend the tidal waves of a would-be backlash.  Except maybe not.  A quick search on Twitter and the response is thus far, no where near as incensed, inflamed or furied as when the Weinstein story broke.

But let’s not kid ourselves.  We – and I use a collective “we” here – may not have known the particulars and specifics of how Weber or Testino supposedly treated their photographic subjects but the rumours and gossip of this sort of behaviour does the rounds regularly, and often gets treated with a lack of gravity.  And despite the persistent (and consistent) accusations against Terry Richardson and the combative voices of industry greats like Caryn Franklin and the outpourings of abused models, spurred by Cameron Russell, the attitude towards sexual abuse in fashion hasn’t engulfed the industry in the same way that Weinstein and his merry band of bathrobed men has in Hollywood.  Yet like Hollywood’s casting couch culture, there are too many that are involved in the complicity of guilty parties, tied to a career ladder power struggle, where people lower down on the fashion food chain are pressurised into keeping it all hush-hush, lest they lose a gig in a highly competitive environment.

Mario Testino’s ad campaign for Gucci S/S 2003 under the direction of Tom Ford

And there is a machination of keeping the status quo that goes deeper than what’s in the report.  The “sex sells” operating benchmark is so ingrained within fashion that it ties itself into all kinds of knots with the general modus operandi of the industry.  For want of a better word, it pays to be “on” in this business.  By “on”, I mean out there, having a jolly, by downing a bottle of champagne at a party and still have the ability to make it to a 6am shoot call-time the next day or a 9am show at fashion week.  As I have spent the year making a half-assed return to life B.B. (before baby), I’ve felt a pressure to switch back “on”.  Going out, getting shit faced, filing copy early next morning and taking the Nurofen at an early show as proof.  Of course, I’m a consenting adult in these decisions.  As ridiculous as it sounds, being “on” subtly gives people the impression that you’re free spirited and most importantly, FUN!  And fun along with sex, are important cogs in fashion.   They’re the aspects that the industry has sold through imagery and branding in the last century to fuel this multi-billion dollar industry.

To be clear, I’m obviously not conflating going hard on the champers and partying hard at Le Bain with the sort of abuse that is being alleged in this report, but it’s also difficult to compartmentalise and separate the blurred lines between a “fun” shoot littered with drinks and recreational drugs, producing images that reflect far-fetched fantasies, and the after hours that leads to say, someone having their penis touched against their will.  There’s a vague link somewhere along that very VERY broad spectrum of what’s considered to be “a bit of fun”.  Somewhere along that creative process of image creation, subjects will find it difficult to differentiate between what’s above board bordering on the unorthodox and what is clearly past the acceptable line.  When David Hemmings’ fashion photographer character (inspired by David Bailey and the like) commands the model Verushka to “Give it up!” and “Make it come!” in a shoot in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up, we chortle at the supposed stereotype.  But if you were realistically in Verushka’s position, feeling scared and feeling the pressure to be “on” and go along with the wishes of a powerful person who can make or break your career, is it really a laughing matter?

We laud and consume provocative subject matter that have become standard fashion fodder – bared breasts under a submerged wet gown, performing fellatio on a handbag or a shoe, accessories artfully placed on genitalia –  but mostly ignore what may or may not have gone on behind the scenes in the making of these images.    There’s almost a so-what shoulder shrug tone to Tom Ford’s comments in the NY Times article: “We sell sex” he says, and in defence of Testino, purportedly locking a male model inside a hotel room on a shoot and climbing on top of him, he says there are only a few ways you can get the right shot of a model’s face on a bed.  Well DUH!  That’s FASH-UN!

So, should we just shrug, accept this “sex sells” standard, and carry on as before?  There will be murmurings for sure, coursing through the industry that mirror Catherine Deneuve’s open letter defence of flirtation and sexual advances in Le Monde – those that decry a “puritanism” washing over our woke-on-the-surface industry.  This NY Times story may not be a watershed moment.  We may not even raise our eyebrows enough to try and out other offenders (suffice to say, Weber and Testing AREN’T exceptions).  And of course, it’s not a case of erasing a culture that has given us so many potent moments of creative artistry in fashion and provocateurs, whose images aren’t tainted with wrongdoing.  Guy Bourdin.  Helmut Newton.  Corrine Day.  You could go on…

Bruce Weber for Calvin Klein

Just as the film industry needs a significant amount of time to enact real concerted change, so too does the fashion world.   Change also depends on legions of editors, photographers, stylists, designers and those in charge of brand image and marketing collectively changing attitudes that don’t treat these sorts of allegations and rumours as light fodder.  The question is, is it the sort of change that might be asking too much of an industry predicated on provocation and boundary pushing?  Isn’t it all too seductive, fun, and deliciously decadent?  Furthermore, it’s still all too difficult to untie all those knots of a hierarchical industry, where getting ahead is ranked ahead of acknowledgement of any possibility of foul play.  And even if the industry adopts Conde Nast’s Code of Conduct as standard working practise, how will it realistically be enforced in a transparent manner?  Are all parties involved willing enough to play by the rules and whistle blow where necessary?  It’s been less than a day and these are just some thoughts that have been percolating in a mind reacting to a story that was sadly so inevitable, it became part of day-to-day chitter chatter in our house.

N.B. I know the blog has been so dormant, it’s hard to remember the last time I even posted.  I’m not sure why I felt so compelled to take my mind off mopping up baby vom/phlegm/food to sit down and properly write.  But…in other news, I’m relaunching/redesigning the blog so that I don’t just pop up once in a blue blue moon to bang out 1,000 words.  New year, new me, new yadda yadda… I’m just sorry I had to begin 2018 with thoughts as muddied and murky as these.

Style Bubble

Salma Hayek Just Debuted a Caramel Lob Haircut at Cannes

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Got a minute? Here’s your mid-day roundup of all your need-to-know news in fashion, beauty, entertainment, and beyond.

Salma Hayek debuted a sleek caramel lob at Cannes, and it looks a lot like Bella Hadid‘s new cut. [Allure]

Here’s how one woman made almost $ 50K—just by dating. [Refinery29]

This is what it’s really like to be an Insta-famous fitness blogger. [Fashionista]

Katy Perry confirms she’s getting paid more than any of the male American Idol judges. [Marie Claire]

Kendall and Kourtney wore matching bra tops. [Instagram]

Everyone’s freaking out over these *new* Korean bubble masks. [Cosmo]

Kylie Jenner just released three new Lip Kit shades: pink, maroon, and lavender. [Instagram]

MORE: It’s Official: Scott Disick and Bella Thorne Are Dating


StyleCaster

Just Love Women’s Coral Scrub Set – Small

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Just Love Women's Coral Scrub Set - Small,Coral,Small

  • 55 % cotton/ 45% polyester Machine Washable, Runs true to size
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Women’s Just Fashion FLORAL Printed Mini Four Season Cavalli Casual 3D Dress

Thursday, March 17th, 2016
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9 Fall Boots For Big Feet That Are Just As Stylish As The Smaller Sized Options

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

9 Fall Boots For Big Feet That Are Just As Stylish As The Smaller Sized Options
Luckily, shoe brands and stores are finally taking notice that women's feet (like women) come in all sizes. Websites … Luckily for us, Pikolinos knows we like to frolic as much as our small-footed sisters and made the Verona Ankle Boot available up …
Read more on Bustle

Fall footwear trends with Canadian company Poppy Barley
Fall brings about images of comfy scarves, oversized sweaters and kicking up leaves in a pair of stylish boots. This season, Canadian e-commerce footwear company Poppy Barley is coming to Vancouver and bringing their luxury made-to-order shoes and fall …
Read more on Vancity Buzz

5 Reasons You're Going To Love Kinky Boots The Musical
12 Years A Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor first won our hearts over in the 2005 dramedy Kinky Boots, when he played Lola, a drag queen, who forms an unlikely bond with a shoe-factory owner who plans to produce custom footwear for drag queens. And now a …
Read more on LOOK

His-and-Hers Velcro Sneakers That Aren't Just For Kids

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

His-and-Hers Velcro Sneakers That Aren't Just For Kids
For women, styles like Aldo's double-strap sneaker — with mesh panelling and color-blocked sole —push the trend to the extreme. Marni's water shoe-inspired sneaker is a high-fashion take on Velcro's more practical use. To wear the style, it's best to …
Read more on Footwear News

They Are Wearing: The Venice Biennale
As artists and art lovers gathered for the opening of the 56th annual Venice Biennale last week, they dressed with broad strokes of personality — opting for the casual comfort of sneakers and the airy ease of linen dresses and latticework skirts …
Read more on WWD

Converse Opens Boston Headquarters Today, Flagship Store Friday
The company said the store will also offer a range of Boston-inspired styles and collaborations for men, women and kids; limited-edition sneakers and tees; Chuck Taylor All Star Core, Seasonal Color, All Star Fashion, Cons and Jack Purcell sneakers.
Read more on Footwear News

Lululemon for men — not just for yogis

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Lululemon for men — not just for yogis
When Lululemon was founded in the late 1990s, the company built its business by focusing on women interested in athletic apparel, with an emphasis on yoga. But the yoga … The company's men's store will be a 1,600 square foot space in SoHo, with an …
Read more on Fortune

The Spring App: Did the Fashion World just get Uber-ized?

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

The Spring App: Did the Fashion World just get Uber-ized?
It may well represent the next wave of shopping on the go, allowing you to swipe left to skip an item and swipe right to buy. It's chic and effortless, just as you'd expect a fashion app to be. "Have you heard about Spring?" I recently overheard a man …
Read more on Huffington Post

Why Gap Inc. Is A Good Long-Term Investment
Gap's online sales make up almost 13% of overall sales, which is a good thing since online sales are growing much faster than brick-and-mortar store sales. Although Gap Inc. … Athleta is a yoga/active wear brand, and poses serious competition for …
Read more on Seeking Alpha (registration)

Just Cavalli Fall/Winter 2013-14 FULL SHOW | Milan Fashion Week MFW | FashionTV

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Just Cavalli Fall/Winter 2013-14 FULL SHOW | Milan Fashion Week MFW http://www.FashionTV.com/videos MILAN – Roberto Cavalli presented his Just Cavalli Fall/W…

Clothes Aren't for Men or Women Anymore. They're Just for People.

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Clothes Aren't for Men or Women Anymore. They're Just for People.
Fashion has long played with gender stereotypes—from Coco Chanel, who, one critic groused, turned all of Paris' women “into little boys” in the 1920s, to Jean Paul Gaultier, who has featured skirts and corsets on men's runways since the 1990s. But …
Read more on Daily Beast

The Limited to launch 'Scandal'-inspired clothing line
Women's fashion retailer The Limited has teamed up with “Scandal” star Kerry Washington and the show's costume designer Lyn Paolo to create a collection inspired by ABC's hit inside-the-Beltway series, the company announced Wednesday. There are 42 …
Read more on New York Daily News

What Men Really Think About Women's Fashion Choices
Women and men have some pretty strong opinions about fashion trends like crop tops and maxi dresses, at least according to the folks at Ebay Deals. 500 women, 500 men and a group of 150 others (of mixed gendered people), played word associations with …
Read more on Huffington Post