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Vogue
March 1, 2010 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Vogue Italia relaunched their website last week (in Italian and English / pictures on the site may be NSFW,) with three new subsites catering to specific fashion industry demographics: Vogue Curvy (focusing on plus-sized models, actresses and celebrities,) Vogue Black (men and women of color,) and Vogue Talents (veteran and up-and-coming designers. "Talents" also encourages hopeful designers to submit their work for review.) "Curvy" and "Black" in particular have received some positive and negative attention and some wonder whether separating those two fashion categories is truly inclusive. Vogue responds.
posted by zarq (31 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, tweets, "Without a critical attitude one becomes insecure and is considered ridiculous by others."

She summed up Vogue Italia better than any snark could.
posted by blucevalo at 9:51 AM on March 1, 2010


The "Vogue Curvy" site led me to this photo of Nigella Lawson, so I am OK with this. I totally have a gay-man-hetero-whatever-crush on her (and her food).
posted by LMGM at 9:53 AM on March 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


That isn't the most satisfying response from Vogue.

What if someone's black and curvy? Ha ha, got you there, Vogue!
posted by theredpen at 9:53 AM on March 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


So does that mean regular Vogue will now be Vogue Pale and Emaciated?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:54 AM on March 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Vogue Pale and Emaciated

Finally someone catering to my demographic.
posted by Think_Long at 10:03 AM on March 1, 2010


oh hey, and zarq came back! I'm lovin the idealization/idealism tags
posted by Think_Long at 10:06 AM on March 1, 2010


LMGM: "The "Vogue Curvy" site led me to this photo of Nigella Lawson, so I am OK with this."

I forget where, but she once described herself as "bosomy and bottomy".

These are good things.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:12 AM on March 1, 2010


So does that mean regular Vogue will now be Vogue Pale and Emaciated?

Heh. The title of this post was almost "Would you like Skim, Whole or Chocolate Vogue?" But I was concerned the joke might antagonize people, or heaven-forbid sound inadvertently racist.
posted by zarq at 10:19 AM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


*waves to Think Long*

Thanks. :) Good to see you.
posted by zarq at 10:20 AM on March 1, 2010


I have to say I'd never, ever thought of Liv Tyler as 'Curvy'...

I guess it's all relative.
posted by DanCall at 10:24 AM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to think. "curvy" was a bit of a euphemism for "plus-sized" but apparently it merely means "healthy" or "has eaten in the last 3 days". I've recently put on a little weight (BMI around 22), moving me from a (US) size 3/4 pant to size 5/6. Guess I'm plus-sized now. How refreshing:they've finally made a fashion magazine for big gals like me.
posted by apis mellifera at 10:25 AM on March 1, 2010


Skim, Whole or Chocolate Vogue

I'm not even going to comment on who Vogue Fat Free Cinnamon Vanila Crème Non-dairy Creamer would cater to.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:29 AM on March 1, 2010


I've recently put on a little weight (BMI around 22), moving me from a (US) size 3/4 pant to size 5/6. Guess I'm plus-sized now.

You're not. Fashion magazines have a seriously skewed perspective. In the US, clothing sizes 14 and over are typically considered plus-sized. But the media, modeling agencies and the fashion industry have traditionally labeled models that are a size 8-12 as plus-size. I believe the largest model being featured at Vogue Curvy is Crystal Renn, who is a size 12.
posted by zarq at 10:35 AM on March 1, 2010


Skim, Whole or Chocolate Vogue

I'm not even going to comment on who Vogue Fat Free Cinnamon Vanila Crème Non-dairy Creamer would cater to.


Let's see, we've got Soy Vogue for the middle-aged parent co-op type. Irradiated Vogue for the paranoid type. Whole Vogue for the Wisconsin type. Condensed Vogue for the 'reader's digest' type. Rice Vogue for the lactose-intolerant type who doesn't like Soy Vogue. I think that probably covers most of the reading audience.
posted by Think_Long at 10:37 AM on March 1, 2010


Rice Vogue for the lactose-intolerant type who doesn't like Soy Vogue.

Hmmm, I'm thinking Rice Vogue wouldn't be organized around lactose-intolerance…
posted by LMGM at 10:42 AM on March 1, 2010


Yes, but try looking at US Vogue from the UK:

http://feelinglistless.blogspot.com/2010/02/comment-voguecom.html

(pertinent self link)
posted by feelinglistless at 10:48 AM on March 1, 2010


Are there still women who care about what Vogue says?
posted by francesca too at 11:04 AM on March 1, 2010


Are there still women who care about what Vogue says?

It's sort of a catch-22. Whether women care or not what it says, they eventually and perhaps unknowingly will care about the magazine's long term influence on their shopping choices. Vogue helps determine which clothes and accessories are going to be available for purchase within a season or two. In all its many forms, the magazine helps drive the fashion industry by supporting and establishing various trends. This is what that infamous quote from The Devil Wears Prada refers to.
posted by zarq at 11:29 AM on March 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


giant red beams of anger are traveling from my brain to my computer right now. the fact that there are large enough demographics not represented by Original Recipe Vogue that they're making separate Vogues for them means that Original Recipe Vogue wasn't doing a good job in the first place.

Moreover, it's just another way in which minorities and fat people are being subtly told that they are outsiders and not included in the mainstream American culture. It's social disenfranchisement.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:13 PM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh good, separate but equal. This always works so well.

Honestly I don't know, maybe they have good intentions, but this to me just sort of reinforces the idea that an actual model is supposed to be thin and white.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 12:16 PM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once again, the fashion industry ignores my particular variety of physical beauty and leaves me feeling alienated and dumpy. I can only hope one day Vogue Broad-Shouldered and Short-Legged will be a reality.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:29 PM on March 1, 2010


If
Liv Tyler: plus size model
Then
Xoebe: plus sized genitalia

It's official now. Call me.
posted by Xoebe at 12:44 PM on March 1, 2010


This is what that infamous quote from The Devil Wears Prada refers to.

But if we mostly agree that the infamous quote is full of shit, then isn't then the premise for the magazine as well? I mean, if you buy a sweater because it simply is cheap, appears comfortable, the right size, and appears to be an innoffensive color and not based on a predetermined "correct" color/price/brand/size is then you negate the whole chain, no?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:57 PM on March 1, 2010


But if we mostly agree that the infamous quote is full of shit, then isn't then the premise for the magazine as well? I mean, if you buy a sweater because it simply is cheap, appears comfortable, the right size, and appears to be an innoffensive color and not based on a predetermined "correct" color/price/brand/size is then you negate the whole chain, no?
Only if you buy it from a store where the purchaser didn't make their determination based on current trends, and the designers they bought it from didn't make their choices based on current trends either.

So unless it's from goodwill, no.
posted by delmoi at 1:02 PM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


But if we mostly agree that the infamous quote is full of shit

We don't. At least, I don't.

.... then isn't then the premise for the magazine as well?

The magazine has a number of purposes, including ad sales. Covering the fashion world is a large part of their raison d'être, but it isn't the only one.

I mean, if you buy a sweater because it simply is cheap, appears comfortable, the right size, and appears to be an innoffensive color and not based on a predetermined "correct" color/price/brand/size is then you negate the whole chain, no?

The point the quote makes is that a consumer's purchasing options are to some extent predetermined and pre-limited. One doesn't need to subscribe to the magazine to be affected by them. A person's individual choice matters very little when all they have to choose from each season are a limited number of styles, colors, etc.
posted by zarq at 1:29 PM on March 1, 2010


The Liv Tyler thing is so weird. I've never heard her described as plus-sized... or even Hollywood plus-sized. And what's even odder, is that Liv Tyler's half sister IS a plus size model, and has collaborated on a plus size clothing line. Maybe they are saving the 12+ folks for Vogue Mangeur du Beurre.
posted by kimdog at 1:47 PM on March 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Funny how the "regular" models all seem to be pouting and smoking while the "curvy" models are smiling and not smoking.
posted by tommasz at 3:12 PM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok, naked Toccara Jones + Fiat 600 = extremely happy 1adam12.
posted by 1adam12 at 3:22 PM on March 1, 2010


Speaking of Goodwill, it's amazing how much nicer it feels to shop as a "curvy" lady when you're at a second-hand store. Actual ladies of actual sizes offload their clothing there, so it isn't like you're pushing at the very back of the rack to find one or two things in your size. Most things are.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:09 PM on March 1, 2010


So unless it's from goodwill, no.

Here's the quote:

Miranda Priestly: This... 'stuff'? Oh... ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

So yes, tragic Casual Corner clearance bin, Goodwill, only slight variation. Though the problem is that she didn't select it because of the particular "shade of cerulean." She bought it because it was cheap and a general shade that she didn't dislike. Perhaps she selected it out of the closet because she needed to clothe her upper body and not because of some desire to project anything.

The point the quote makes is that a consumer's purchasing options are to some extent predetermined and pre-limited.

Except that they are unlimited and indeterminate, aside from marketing, which we know in reality is not all that hard to resist if we choose to resist it.

A person's individual choice matters very little when all they have to choose from each season are a limited number of styles, colors, etc.

And that might be true if we lived in North Korea as opposed to Babylon, but since we do live in the disposable overmarketed world partly of the fashion industry's making we can have basically whatever we want when we want it. Or, in the alternative, we can chosse freely not to give a shit and select the lumpy blue sweater because it fits and is comfy. Vogue and the character of Miranda Priestly presume that their marketing is so perfect, that we all attempt to create some sort of statement with our clothing, and our own decision making proces is so dulled that we do not actually have the choice not to choose.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:49 PM on March 1, 2010


And that might be true if we lived in North Korea as opposed to Babylon, but since we do live in the disposable overmarketed world partly of the fashion industry's making we can have basically whatever we want when we want it. Or, in the alternative, we can chosse freely not to give a shit and select the lumpy blue sweater because it fits and is comfy. Vogue and the character of Miranda Priestly presume that their marketing is so perfect, that we all attempt to create some sort of statement with our clothing, and our own decision making proces is so dulled that we do not actually have the choice not to choose.

No one, including that character, is saying that everyone is trying to make a statement with their clothing. Whether it makes some sort of statement is beside the point. However, she is saying that clothing --its cut, style, color, design -- does not exist in a vacuum.

An article of clothing's presence at Goodwill is not proof that it somehow exists outside of fashion industry influence.

The clothing a person chooses to wear as an anti-statement, or as no statement at all, was only created originally because someone chose to create that particular style, in that specific fabric, in that carefully selected color. If brand name clothing, then it's highly likely that those aforementioned choices were influenced by the fashion industry. If a cheap knockoff, then it's probably either a mimic of a classic style or of what is currently or was recently en vogue, because that's what's likely to sell in the consumer market.

Is it possible to drop off the map and create and wear unique clothing that's not influenced by the fashion industry? Sure. Unique designs abound. But a sweater at Casual Corner doesn't cut it. Neither would a saree purchased in a Star India Bazaar for that matter, since clothing style trends in various countries are influenced by their own national industries.
posted by zarq at 8:57 AM on March 2, 2010


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