26 May 2009

F-f-f-fashion #1

Fashion has piqued my interest a lot of late. Maybe it's because it's nearly winter, and I'm much happier with winter clothes than I am with those in summer. Or perhaps it's because I'm currently working with people who are hyper-interested in clothes, coupled with a daughter becoming increasingly opinionated about what she wears (more on that in another post soon). Actually, I think it's a combination of all of these things, plus a nice big dose of people watching; some of my best clothing related-ideas come from seeing what other people wear.

One thing I do know is that this interest is not being fed by magazines. Once you get past about 35, magazine fashion inspiration practically dries up. This was brought home for me yet again when I received the June issue of Glamour (the American edition) in the mail late last week. 

I haven't opened a copy of Glamour for years; indeed I was rather fond of it back in the 1980s. But now it doesn't speak to me at all - not in terms of its feature stories and its lifestyle tips, and certainly not as far as its fashion is concerned. To be fair, this is an issue celebrating summer. Nevertheless, no inspiration for me within its glossy pages.

(I'll get more of a chance to evaluate how Glamour stacks up over the next few months as I am a temporary subscriber, thanks to the very sad demise of Domino, a wonderful home magazine I did subscribe to. They've sent me Glamour instead.)

If I want to look at pretty pictures and read something interesting about fashion these days, I'm much more likely to turn to the world-wide-inter-web, where there are all manner of entertaining and inspirational takes on fashion to be found. One is an old favourite - Go Fug Yourself - which takes one of Glamour's long standing concepts called Dos and Don'ts and morphs it into an always amusing dialogue on celebrity, and the stupid things famous people wear. 

Another is a more recent discovery, The Sartorialist. Well, it's a recent discovery for me; thousands of people follow this stunning blog, penned by Scott Schuman, who has combined his fashion-industry background with great photography and an advanced diploma in people watching. He's recently been in Melbourne and Sydney, which is where this photo was taken. 

I've followed another 'what real people are wearing' blog - called bits and bobbins - for a number of years now. This one is about wearing what you want with confidence, and is full of quirky, colourful ideas. On another tack is the entertaining A Dress A Day, which is about vintage and modern dresses. My sister - who also keeps a blog about making and wearing clothes from old patterns - put me on to it. Both of these blogs are about the sewing, crafty side of fashion which I enjoy reading about but never actually do.

And I have to give a shout out to Cute When Frustrated, a blog which often touches on fashion. It's written by a dear friend of mine, who is not only one of the most stylish people I know, but also has a witty turn of phrase and a good heart. So pleased to see her blogging again.

All of these blogs - unlike 99.99% of fashion magazines - share a reflection on fashion which is not age specific. You don't have to be aged between 18 and 35 to find something that you can imagine yourself wearing, or a nifty new way to tie a scarf. All have a good dose of good humour and sense too, which is sadly lacking in most fashion focused mags.  

I just wish that someone would take up fashion writer Maggie Alderson's idea of a new magazine, which she shared when she was interviewed recently by Girl With a Satchel (another blog I like a lot). Here's what she said.

If there was a 'Maggie' magazine, what would it feature? Ooh, now you're talking! I do have a magazine I would love to do aimed at my age group - 40 to 65. We have rather 'seen it all' and I think there is a market for a magazine for us. My mantra for it is 'Show me something I haven't seen before...'

We're an interesting group because some of us are already grandmothers, then there others like me with junior school children and a large sector who don't have kids. I would relish the challenge to appeal to all of them. I would approach it in an attitudinal way. That's what unites us. Just because we are older, we are not necessarily into baking and crochet - although we might be - but whatever we do, we approach it in a way that is specific to our generation. That is what I would like to address.

And it would have wonderful fashion shoots in it. I wouldn't use only old models. Women want to aspire. I would inspire women to try new looks by creating atmosphere in the fashion shoots. You want the feeling of the clothes - then it doesn't matter if the model is 19. It's a subtle thing, but I am convinced about it.

I for one would subscribe to that.

1 comment:

Kath Lockett said...

Me too. I'd subscribe to Maggie's magazine and even offer to write her section on 'Working From Home in Tracksuit Pants' - there could be endless discussions on winter uggs, summer Crocs, coloured havainias and the freedom of elasticated waistbands....

Oh come on - my word verification is 'lessest' !!