Who would wear this?

I don’t have any particular problem browsing the fashion magazines, because there’s no way on earth I’d ever have to wear any of the deeply-weird haute couture items that end up in the features. Actual women, though, might take this stuff personally, as does Fausta:

I abhor women’s fashion magazines. Two hundred pages of anorexic teens showcasing $500 flip-flops are not worth perusing.

Hard to argue with that. And if the trend is toward styles that fail to flatter, so much the worse. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Big padded or droopy shoulders, baggy pleated pants that nip in above the cuffed ankle, disco-y sequined T-shirt dresses that blouse all over the shoulders and then squeeze in with a wide band at the hip. It all comes rushing back.

Possibly the loudest incarnation of ’80s styles in Paris this week was an orange snakeskin coat from Dior, designed by John Galliano. Huge and broad-shouldered, it could make a woman look like a football player. The flouncy yellow dress beneath just added to the shock value.

And, well, not everybody wants shock value. Fausta notes:

I still remember removing shoulder pads off my jackets back in the 1980s. As a tall woman with reasonably wide shoulders, the last thing I need are really wide shoulders paired with baggy pants (which would hide my one good feature — my legs). I nearly gagged reading this particular bit of information.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope:

Ann Stordahl, executive vice president for women’s apparel at Neiman Marcus, must consider the druthers of women across the nation. She seemed unimpressed with the trend toward the 1980s. “I don’t know if we’re ready to go back there,” she said.

Are we? In my capacity as a curious onlooker, I can say that I’m not; but then again, no one’s asking me to buy any of this stuff.


  1. fillyjonk »

    3 October 2008 · 7:15 am

    I believe one of the “fashion rules” out there is that if you’re old enough to have worn an item the first time it was trendy, you probably best not wear it the second time it was trendy.

    Which means I have a built-in excuse for avoiding 80s fashion.

    Why can’t we bring back fashion that was actually attractive, like Dior’s “New Look”? And it has the bonus of still “working” on a woman who is actually over legal drinking age. (The assumption by fashion that women over 25 don’t exist is as offensive to me as the assumption that women size 6 and over are “plus sized”)

  2. CGHill »

    3 October 2008 · 7:33 am

    From that WSJ piece:

    Don’t be discouraged — off the runway, Dior still makes those perfectly tailored, nip-waisted suits that look simultaneously feminine and authoritative.

    Not exactly the New Look, but a reminder that while fashion is fleeting, style endures.

  3. sya »

    3 October 2008 · 9:43 pm

    I think it’s much more accurate to call this stuff post-modern “art” rather than fashion. But what do I know. I’m just a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal who thinks the runway needs more tye-dyed lab coats.

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