Before I commit myself to a fashion article I do three things: (1) assess the title, (2) study the adjoining visuals, and (3) peruse the lede. From there I can tell whether it’s worth my time or not. Unusual phrasing and quotes often hold me, as does a new twist on an old subject. With the competition from books, the internet and T.V., I appreciate a writer who considers these obstacles when writing.
Eliza Douglas, ModelBalenciaga F/W 2016-2017
Two articles that used the “examples of synergy” angle and really mesmerized me were Paint It Black by Mark Giudicci (Vogue, September 2017) and Heart and Sole by Lynn Yeager (Vogue, September 2017). In the first one it begins like a typical art piece, identifying “artist/model” Eliza Douglas as a painter then ends with her revelations about being a Balenciaga model. Somehow, Giudicci ties her two worlds together, by explaining it’s her personal style, at 30, that caught Lotta Volkova’s attention, not her beauty. A surprising, but refreshing twist, for the fashion industry.
Reversing the synergy tactic, but still revealing the tale of an older, but influential mover, Yeager unveils Manolo Blahnik’s life and career as deftly as the “biodoc” does he’s doing with director Michael Roberts. Art again is the liaison for this piece, but this time it’s fashion and film. One of the aspects I admired about these stories is their versatility to reach different types of readers.
Beautiful Body Image:
Body image is such a sensitive subject I was surprised how frankly it was discussed in Why I No Longer Care About Being Small by Candace Bresler (Stylewatch, September 2015), Game Changers by Kay Barron (Porter, Fall 2017), and Eye of the Beholder by Liz Hoggard (Porter, Winter 2017). Contrasting with Bresler’s “personal reflection” about her size, with actress Sophie Turner’s take on Hollywood about weight, and Hoggard’s discoveries about Louise-Dahl Wolfe’s photographic approach, I gained a new perspective regarding this issue.
Despite prevalent subjects in fashion journalism, about designers, runway shows, and trends, my passion for additional sidelines rules my reading choices. In the end, it’s the way the writer crafts a story and presents it to me, as a new reader, that holds my gaze.