Scissor Snippets

I am subscribed to the video podcast from style.com on my iTunes (thanks Steve Jobs and anybody else involved for this.) I am fascinated with fashion: not the art itself, mind you, but the industry and its people – and for much the same reasons that I am fascinated with blood-shooting spiders and foot-long South American centipedes (thus also subscribing to the National Geographic Society’s video podcast.) These species all have an exotic and strange lure to them that I find fascinating and need to study and learn about.

Especially that subspecies of the bourgeoisie upper crust that forms the fashion afficionado circlets around the world and do little else but travel around the world from Milan to Paris and occasionally to Madrid and Hong Kong and then back. The height of their pretention (which is all innocent and harmless), their self-seriousness, their penchant for half-learned art history phrases, and their death-desire to appear intellectual which lands them of all places in that most obvious pitfall of pseudo-intellectualism -all of these I find irresistably attractive. And the models -oh the poor models. They are all bona fide Lolitas, tools of the much older and much more cynical Humbert Humberts that people the fashion industry. They are all so pure, clean, minimalistic, white, crisp, thin, and tan, and plastic, and tall. They do not so much arouse a sexual desire but a curiosity and affection. And oh, as of late they all appear so tragic -rendering them manifold more attractive.

Today’s episode was on Marc Jacob’s latest conventions (I won’t say concoctions or inventions -but a combination of the two, which ironically, and truthfully, takes them back to conventions) –  his Fall 2007 collection. The reporter, a Tim Blanks with stylishly white hair but otherwise mundane looks, is a most serious victim of his own pretensions (notice his left hand, and eye gestures.) He says: “You come to a Marc Jacobs’ show expecting the unexpected. So when you get something that is (left hand comes out of the pocket, starts gesticulating in a rather mignon way) maybe a little bit predictable and conservative, in its own (eyes enlarge meaningfully, head shifts to the right) paradoxical way (emphatically announced) it seems really radical… (and here, for some reason or another, the painstakingly lined-up words suddenly give their place to:) …all to do with classicisms and that kinda thing…(but that is the hairstylist, in fairness to our Mr. Blanks, and he is taking about pony-tails and hats as he works on a live model as if on a mannequin.) Another hairstylist goes out of his way to accommodate the word “chagrin” (quite correctly) as he speaks about eyebrows.
Then we cut to a shot of a black rapper (I think he is a rapper) Russel Simmons who is one of the high profile attendees. He struggles to speak fashion jargon in his baseball hat and hoodie, and his struggle to not appear desperately out of place and vulnerable is apparent. Are we to believe that this is going to be Mr. Simmons’ last foray into the bizzare fashion netherworld? “I don’t know what his theme is, I don’t know anything about what he’s… put on a runway, but whatever it is, I am sure its gonna be dope… that’s Marc… Marc’s always dope..(wide, wholesome smile.)
It’s a pity that of all those who indulge our Mr. Blanks, the person who puts the least effort in brushing and bleaching his speech of all appearance of everyday language to appear fit for fashion journalism, is Mr. Jacobs himself! Below is a verbatim transcript of Mr. Jacob’s monologue as on screen we see a red velvety curtain lift and a spectacle of mannequins appear in a white, open space:
Marc Jacobs: “I was feeling a little .. (indistinguishable –  not sure whether it is a French phrase or the name of some dead fashion guru).. there was a solitude of hopper…this was just a very interior sort of world where.. you know… people’s feet don’t touch the floor, and.. you’re sort of lonely at the end of the night (on the screen, if you are wondering, is walking a conservatively dressed petite model in a red overcoat, straight pants, black dress shoes, and a wide rim hat, slinging a bag over her shoulder – for once a model looks terrible) everyone goes home and you’re still beautiful and you’ve spent all day taking care of yourself (chuckles incongruently)… (pauses, then breaks down and leaves the viewer and Mr. Blanks blank and askance) …all that great stuff (Mr. Jacobs peels away from the cameras in a hurry.) (Classical musics sets in, and Mr. Jacobs returns in renewed decorum to speak some Italian names in impeccable pronunciation, paying the c’s their due respect, and somehow managing to intermix the rough R’s of Italiano with the graceful sweep over r’s of Francaise, and in between, fitting these words “facade… evolution not revolution… my cynical references… not biting the hands that feeds me… the most personal reflection of what I am going through in my own life… I am a lonely guy, and there you go.”
A male voice of authority on fashion interjects into the solemnity of the classical background music: “it’s lack of edge might be its edge, which is the weird twist…” His female counterpart begs to differ “well it depends on how you wear the clothes”, upon which, the male authority launches into defensive, and settles for a middle ground, offering: “there was a fetishistic edge”, and a hearty endorsement from the female voice “YES! and if you apply that, then its gets (sic) really interesting.”
Mr. Jacob’s calm voice reappears in its utmost grace and aura of tragic loneliness that now the viewer is also aware of: “This was the choice that I made, which was to go for the, sort of, boredom of classicism, and again without any nostalgia for it (isn’t it time we found different cliches to work with?) but just like… almost to sort of say like (a penchant for use of weasel words as he speaks about his own works, lest he give himself away to the more learned fashion literati) ..oh yeah, you know, I can do that… I know…”
Somebody else offers (we find out it is our own Mr. Blanks): “I think the way he presents it, it really fetishizes clothing… in a provocative way”
To which the female godmother (appropriately dressed for the part) concedes with a wink, and a “Thanks goodness.”
The report concludes. Yes, thanks goodness. What would I do for amusement otherwise?

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~ by safrang on February 8, 2007.

2 Responses to “Scissor Snippets”

  1. […] have not known is that I am an insatiable fashion buff. Here is an excerpt from an earlier piece “Scissor Snippets” I wrote earlier on the subject: Especially that subspecies of the bourgeoisie upper crust that […]

  2. […] fashion industry fascinates me. there is the industry itself, of course, which i love to follow and laugh about the self-absorbed-ness of its players. and then there is the ever malleable aesthetics of […]

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