Sex and the Sour Grapes
In a strangely catty review of Sex and the City: The Movie, WWD bitchslaps the fashion/film event of the season for "shallow reductionism", "visual overload", and in the case of Samantha's "gaudy, where-did-they-find-it (Dallas?) garb", they rail against her "unsightly, getups, as in canary yellow and emerald green jackets belted over white pencil skirts and topped off with door-knocker earrings...[which] make Kim Cattrall's now-infamous reluctance to sign on for the big-screen production understandable."
An interesting Pop Goes the Culture podcast from a few years back points out that with the paltry salaries that magazines pretend to pay, your typical magazine editor has to have serious family funding to actually live in NYC and feed a typical fashionista's label-loving tendancies. Being a well-connected Gossip Girl type is the basic requirement for landing a glamour job at Fairchild/Conde Nast or Hearst publication, which means that most of the mainstream fashion glossies are staffed and run by an uber-elite bunch of socialite know-nothings who are far more interested in the free designer samples and swag they can score than actually creating interesting and useful content.
“It’s all about the stuff, it’s not about the culture, it’s not about the art. And there was a great deal of art to fashion at one time,” notes Pop Goes the Culture so-host Susie Watson in their podcast The Myth of the Fashion Magazine. “It is one of the few professions in which people who work in the profession do not have any kind of a professional background in that profession. What you need to be is a very wealthy socialite’s daughter, or a trust fund kid, or someone with a major New York connection. It is very much a social status job in New York, and it continues to be.”
The WWD review smacks of disdain that the Sex and the City series, and now the movie, will continue transforming fashion into a mainstream sport that - the horror! - normal women can actually participate in, (Project Runway being the other, having singlehandedly increased design school applications a gazillion percent). We say bravo to stylist/costumer Patricia Field, a non-mainstream fashionista herself, for showing women how fun fashion can be, and making it interesting to women other than a privileged mafia of fashion & PR pointy-toe types.
- Lesley Scott
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