say something once, why say it again?

the writer in me rejoiced when garance doré's latest post popped up on my google reader yesterday. although her heavily punctuated, charmingly hyperbolic commentary on velour magazine's list of banished words is hilarious, it also touches on a lot of ideas that i've been kicking around lately. as an aspiring fashion journalist, i have a natural tendency to emulate my predecessors, but as a reader, i find myself harboring criticism towards those same methods. i've been collecting fashion magazines since 2002 - that is, if seventeen can be considered the foundation of a proper fashion magazine collection - and if i had a dime for every time someone or something was referred to as an 'icon' or 'chic,' i'd probably be able to afford a whole lot of the things featured in those pretty little editorials.

i think it's safe to say that among fashion professionals and spectators alike, the general consensus is that the frivolity associated with the industry is just as potent as its ability to influence millions of consumers and remain at the forefront of the ever-changing cultural frontier. so if a professor can piece together a compelling narrative on the social implications of denim, for instance, then why can't fashion's biggest titles come up with anything more innovative than "true blues" or "get the skinny?"**

of course, fashion and academic writing are worlds apart in terms of tone, length, and audience, among several other factors (and fresh out of college, i'll be the first to reveal that academic writing is quite flawed in its own way). but when it comes to stringing together stimulating ideas and syntax, the chasm between the two products is so wide that it warrants a second glance. i'm not suggesting that subscribers are itching to read a dissertation-length analysis of the recent clog resurgence or anything, but we're hardly the lowest common denominator, either. there has to be more to fashion writing than 'glam,' 'fabulous,' and slapping '-ista' onto the end of every buzz word du jour.

while we're on the topic of clichés, though, they say you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house, so i'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. this budding writer is going to adhere to a no-fly list of fashion vocabulary, too. come to think of it, most of these words - celeb, must-have, trendy - kinda make my skin crawl anyway, so it shouldn't be too hard.

**i've never understood why eighty-five percent of fashion editorial/article titles are puns. i swear to god, it's like my dad is sneaking into condé nast at night and writing the headlines himself.


dira said...

i can always count on you to write such refreshing pieces.

keep at it!

Ruta, Look Ugly in a Photograph said...

This is such a wonderful post. I throughly enjoyed reading it. I know exactly what you mean though. I dunno, I prefer blogs to magazines even though I collect them.