Sometimes I think I must be living in some alternative universe. The one with women who are more round than skinny, have a respectable income but are not in the 1%, have laugh lines around their eyes, not black eyeliner, and who have children, grandchildren, spouses, partners, lives, homes, normal sized closets . . . well, you get it.
I bring this up because the Fall Issue of T came this morning. T is the fashion magazine of the New York Times and I pity the delivery person — it weighs over 1.5 pounds! And that’s on top of the weight of the Sunday Times, which can be hefty all by itself. There are 286 pages, of which 80% are advertisements for clothes, handbags, boots/shoes, and some jewelry. Oh, and there’s a two page spread of furniture.
And of the all the clothes, handbags, boots/shoes, and jewelry, there is only one thing I even like or could imagine myself wearing. As usual, it’s the clothing from Giorgio Armani which is on the first four pages. Pretty much after that, I just look, stare, and think who is interested in that clothing? Who could possibly afford it? Who has enough places to go to wear it? Who is skinny/exotic enough to look good in it? And are there so many of them that they justify 286 pages and 1.7 pounds of paper?
Don’t get me wrong. I love clothing, love to shop, love to feel the clothing itself (and let me tell you, feeling the clothing in France brings THAT experience to a new height), love the “design” of clothing, love to look at beautifully designed windows and shops, etc. etc. etc.
But there has to be some reality, right? Is the 1% of the 1% so much more of an advertising target than the rest of us? It just seems to me that the balance of things is skewed. Where are the magazines whose pages are filled with clothing from Cynthia Rowley, Eileen Fisher (ok, EF has two pages in T), Bobeau, Liz Claiborne, Anne Klein, and even Kate Spade. These are names I took right out of my closet. So, who reads this T magazine? Who is the target audience? And do those 1% of 1% spend so much more than the rest of us? Are we just “chopped liver” as they say around my house?
Here’s some real clothing from real designers for real people.
Not bad for regular clothing. And imagine how they would look if they were photographed like this spread from T.