Monday, April 25, 2005

The Wintour of Our Discontent

Cool title huh? That comes from my finishing the biography of Anna Wintour that I started last week, in an attempt to read something other than romances and chick-lit for a change.

I'm not really a fashionista. I care about clothes, I like gorgeous clothes but since I'm not rich or a celebrity, I generally wear clothes that I can wear to work or on weekends, which means that I buy my clothes at the GAP, Banana Republic or Ann Taylor Loft. When I have time and more discretionary income, I might hit a few sample sales, but generally anything designer that I own, I bought at Loehmann's or Filene's.

What did I learn about Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, and depending on who you speak to either the most reviled woman in fashion or the most admired? Well, apparently she's a cold, stuck up bitch. Yep, 300 some odd pages, and that's all I learned. Oh, and that she clawed her way to the top by sucking up to well-connected men, and discarding anyone woman who might be seen as competition.

Also, that she's half-American which explains how it was so easy for her to come to America to get a job. The funny thing is, she never speaks to the American side of her family. It's as if they don't exist for her. So really as far as she's concerned, the only thing her mother was good for, was an American passport. Lovely woman, don't you wish you could get to know her?

I will give her props for the fact that she's been running Vogue for 17 years, and shows no signs of stopping. She's probably the most famous editor of Vogue since Diana Vreeland.

Of course, it would be nice if she could have been any other sign but a Scorpio. I swear she gives a bad name to my poor maligned sign. She seems to embody every negative trait associated with being a Scorpio. Ruthless, ambitious, unforgiving, scheming, backstabbing, a bad enemy, yet sexy. Single-minded in that fact, that fashion is her life, the way that being a right wing conservative idiot is Pat Buchanan's raison d'etre (also a Scorp).

I think that St. Martin's should get their advance back from Jerry Oppenheimer, because truthfully there is no real story here. Not compared to Ethel Kennedy or Martha Stewart. Plus it's amazing the details he gets wrong.

In other fashion news, what is the deal with Express? When did they start taking themselves so seriously? I went in to the nearest Express store on Friday to buy a pair of black pants. $75 for these pants. They weren't even that great, certainly not wool or anything.

I also looked through the prairie skirts that they had. Apparently, prairie skirts are hot, so that we can all pretend it's the 70's again. I couldn't believe the price. $65 for a prairie skirt. Hello Gap, here I come! They also had more expensive skirts for a whopping $125.

Come on, even Banana Republic isn't that expensive, and the quality is better, not to mention the diversity of product. Plus they have cool shoes, and jewelry.

So they are going back today. I managed to squeeze myself into my size 0 pants from The Limited. Also a Leslie Wexner store, along with Victoria's Secret and Henri Bendel. I think Mr. Wexner is taking the fact that he owns Bendel's a little too seriously. Express is not nor ever will be Henri Bendel's.

It's a chain store. I remember when Express was the equivalent of going to H&M, but I guess since H&M arrived on these shores, Express feels that they have to go upscale. It was bad enough when it pretended to be a French store. They used to pipe in all this french euro-trash disco, and all the sweat-shirts said things like Provence and crap like that. I almost bought the hype before I realized who actually owned the stores.

They've even redesigned the stores so that they're all white and cool, with minimal displays like it's Prada or something.

Now, if I buy anything from Express, it's sweatpants and bra-top tanks for exercising. That's about it, unless I can find some cool stuff on the sales racks. If I want pretension, I'll go shop elsewhere.

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