Monday, January 5, 2009

What's wrong with Vogue?

One of my favourite fashion critics, New York Times writer Cathy Horyn, wrote a scathing piece on Vogue magazine that will likely make Anna Wintour bite her head off. In What's Wrong With Vogue? Cathy criticizes the magazine for being too compromised by their advertisers to leave room for critical analysis of fashion.

She writes:

"Vogue has become stale and predictable, and it has happened in spite of some of the best editors, writers and photographers in the business.

There are too many stories about socialites — or, at any rate, too few such stories that sufficiently demonstrate why we should care about these creatures. What once felt like a jolly skip through Bergdorf now feels like an intravenous feed. To read Vogue in recent years is to wonder about the peculiar fascination for the ‘villa in Tuscany’ story. Ditto staff-member accounts of spa treatments and haircuts.

It’s embarrassing to see how Vogue deals with the recession. For the December issue, it sent a writer off to discover the 'charms' of Wal-Mart and Target."

I have been a subscriber of American Vogue for two years now and I have noticed that in the past year the issues have become boring, predictable and unimaginative. It has nothing on the titillating French Vogue.

Editorials have the same photographers and models, wearing the same (advertisers') clothes. It makes for boring and repetitive photography.

And the articles...well their attempt at covering the anorexic crisis was pitiful at best; coming up with no answers and unaware of their own hypocrisy of fueling bad body image.

The same "house in the hamptons" article appears in every issue. Boring!

And I just skip over their beauty section because I can't relate to any of the issues (botox gone wrong, creepy laser treatments) and I'm sure most women who read the magazine can't relate either.

Let's face it: American Vogue has become irrelevant to women of this generation. We deserve more from a magazine which used to define the word groundbreaking.

Jezebel also has a great post about Cathy's article from a model's point of view.