“Are you sure you’re just a fashion writer?” reads one of the comments on my recent blog about Michelle Obama’s appearance on “The View.” I’ll take the compliment, thank you very much, but I’ll feign outrage: Just a fashion writer? Just a fashion writer? Just?
Just as Harper’s Bazaar produced it’s worst issue ever, just as Christie Brinkley can’t resist another ugly public divorce, just as I’m waiting for Steven Meisel’s 100 page photoshoot in Italian Vogue which exclusively features black models to arrive on these shores, my copy of the July issue of W has arrived at my door.
This issue is a must read for anyone concerned about the intersection of image, politics and the corporate world, (even if only a handfull of Bruce Weber’s photos in the otherwise cliche 36 page photo shoot are worth your time. Check out the real treat of David Slijper’s photographs instead.)
First up is “Party Time,” pp. 46-50, an exceptionally thoughtful piece on how international political leaders use and understand the power of dressing. The deputy mayor of Paris, Christophe Girard, makes the point I make all the time. (Smart guy, he. And not just a fashion writer.) “Political life is no longer separated from real life, and political women and men know their image matters like [those of] a model or an actor to attract the public. But it’s a real danger when politicians are more concerned about their image than their ideas.”
Next, there’s “Money Honeys,” starting on page 64, about the hedge fund industry’s use of pretty young women and even models as “marketing executives” which “has become all but synonymous with a blonde in Theory trousers.” It’s a fascinating read into what amounts to the semi-prostitutional nature of “corporate work” for women in the financial sector.
And finally, the always fabulous and priceless pseudonym protected Louise J. Esterhazy, p.116, will confess that she “can never be president. Of course, the main stumbling block is that I’m Austrian. But it turns out there’s an even greater impediment: I’m an elitist. And what’s wrong with that?”
I suggest you spend your weekend catching up on your reading, especially since the gay Pride parade this year won’t be worth attending just because Dick Devine retired (from his position as Cook County State’s Attorney and thus will not be atop anyone’s float. Alas, hope floats–away. Dick, you will be sorely missed!).