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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ditzville, or, Fashion in the News

With all the news about Iraq and Larry Craig in the air right now, this headline, "Fashion Opens Week with a Meltdown", is currently hogging the most space atop the NY Times online. The article itself, "Spring Rolls and Arm Candy," is a harsh, harsh review of Gwen Stefani's new clothing line, and according to the reporter Cathy Horyn (I wonder how you pronounce her last name?), it left her scribbling such comments in her notebook as “blob,” “very last season,” “bad secretary,” “astonishingly bad,” and “Ditzville.” Horyn's ultimate judgment: "If ever there was a reason for a pop star to concentrate on her vocal skills, it was Gwen Stefani’s fashion meltdown."

There's really no reason for me to be posting this. I just love me some mean fashion reviewin' in a world of debates about civilian casualties in Iraq, Iraqi security forces, and bathroom sex. (That last article has an amusing headline too: "Craig Backs Away from Trying to Hold Seat.")

  • At 9/06/2007 09:04:00 PM, Blogger Flavia wrote…

    If you love you some mean fashion reviewin, S., I'm sure you already know Go Fug Yourself, without which I could not live.

    My all-time favorite post remains this one, which I turn to, like a faithful friend, in all my times of need.


  • At 9/07/2007 12:24:00 AM, Blogger moria wrote…

    I'm really looking forward to the BtR requisite stretch-this-all-the-way-to-the-Renaissance comment that will render this post relevant to the purported mission of the blog (well, the part of the purported mission that is not "and whatever else we want").

    Who will do it? And how? Oh, the suspense!

    Just in case I haven't said it enough, I adore you people.


  • At 9/07/2007 08:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Neophyte, I'll de-lurk (sadly, sans pseudonym) and take a stab at stretching this to the Renaissance. The July issue of Vogue featured Balenciaga's couture "interpretation" of one of an Elizabethan gown. It wasn't quite "Ditzville," but I think "Techno-Tudor" might work.

    And Falvia, I cannot live with Go Fug Yourself either. My love for that site is beyond words.


  • At 9/07/2007 09:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Renaissancing things is never too hard. There's always that loveable fashion reviewer Philip Stubbes, who, I'm sure, if he had thought of it, would have been happy to change his 1585 title The anatomie of abuses containing a discouerie, or briefe summarie of such notable vices and corruptions, as nowe raigne in many Christian countreyes of the worlde: but (especially) in the countrey of Ailgna: together, with most fearefull examples of Gods iudgementes, executed vpon the wicked for the same, as well in Ailgna of late, as in other places, elsewhere. Very godly, to be read of all true Christians, euery where: but most chiefly, to be regarded in England. Made dialogue-wise by Phillip Stubs. to the more pithy Go Fug Yourself:

    "Besides this, of late there is a new fashion of wearyng their hattes sprong vp amongst them, which they father vpon the Frenchmen, namely, to weare them without bandes, but how vnsemely (I will not say how assie) a fashion that is, let the wise iudge .... And an other sort (as ditzville as the rest) are content with no kinde of hat without a greate bunche of feathers of diuers and sondrie colours, peakyng on top of their heades, no vnlike (I dare not saie) cockescombes, but as sternes of pride, and ensignes of vanity."

    Only one word of the above quote was changed.


  • At 9/07/2007 11:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Flavia, i feel you on the fug girls, who curiously, Simplicius, *loved* gwennie's new line (or at least gwennie's new baby).

    so, Flavia, i see your fug post and I raise you mine:

    (anyone who can cram that many bryan adams references into a single posting is my kind of crazy.)


  • At 9/07/2007 12:05:00 PM, Blogger Simplicius wrote…

    Hi all, and welcome de-lurkers.

    While we're on this topic, I'll chime in with two unrelated thoughts.

    I love that you all read gofugyourself too; another fashion favorite of mine, with a radically different purpose and tone, is The Satorialist.

    And since, as neophyte notes, we must always connect posts back to the Renaissance, the one fashion moment from that period which continues to mystify me is the costume worn by Lucy, Countess of Bedford in Jonson's Masque of Queens. Lest you don't immediately recall this particular sartorial choice, she's dressed as the Amazon queen Penthesilia, and in Inigo Jones's drawing at least, she is basically topless. This means that while Stubbes and others were carrying on about hats without bands but with feathers, court ladies were dancing topless in masques. This disjunction between Stubbes and those at court seems like yet another gaping gulf in early modern English culture.


  • At 9/07/2007 01:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote…

    Among the words popping through my head until Ms. Horyn's mercifully short ramble came to a stop were “choppy,” “poseur,” “non sequitur,” “unfunny,” “assie” and “astonishingly bad.” I'm all for a mean-girls fashion smackdown/namedrop festival, but for God's sake at least do it well.


  • At 9/09/2007 12:35:00 AM, Blogger Pamphilia wrote…

    I can't wait 'til BtR reviews "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." Judging by the trailer the costumes are lavish and deliciously ahistorical (the purple dress?!).


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