It's OK for intellectual feminists to like fashion

Blog title from Hadley Freeman's book The Meaning of Sunglasses : "Prada styles itself as the label it's OK for intellectual feminists to like".

The author is a bilingual fashion editor, writer and translator with a serious blog, cinema and magazine habit.

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Apparently, in any actress’ career, there are three key moments: award nominations, becoming the face of a brand and posing for the British ELLE cover. Or so ELLE says in its February issue:

Thirty seven industry award nominations. Pulling power of £1.3 billion at the box office. Two campaigns for Marc Jacobs. And now the cover of British ELLE. All at the tender age of 17.

Never mind Dakota Fanning has also been on the cover of publications as prestigious as V, W, Dazed & Confused, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan on both sides of the Atlantic.

Being on a magazine cover isn’t an achievement in itself. Being on a magazine cover isn’t either a sign of how good an actress is - Meryl Streep would have been in Vogue much earlier otherwise - but rather of how popular and “hot” she is perceived to be. At best, cover presence is an acknowledgment of an actress’ body of work, a confidence call that she can shift issues or a legitimisation of her fashion credentials which might result in additional business opportunities. Most of the time, cover girls are tied in with ad campaign from recurrent advertisers or with movies coming out soon. From a brand perspective, having the face of their campaign on a cover is additional earned media, with strategically-placed name dropping within the main feature.

Dakota Fanning posing for British ELLE is the result of an eleven-year-long career which has seen her nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award aged seven for I am Sam and play Jane Volturi in four episodes of the Twilight Saga, one of the highest grossing franchises of all times. She has six movies scheduled for release in 2012 and features in every US glossy magazine as the face of Marc Jacob’s Lola perfume. Being an ELLE cover girl, considering these already considerable achievements, is little more than the cherry on the cake and in no case the accomplishment or career milestone the ELLE feature introduction suggests.

Quote and picture: ELLE UK, February 2012 ‘Dakota will see you now” Words: Annabel Brog, Photo: David Slijper, Fashion: Anne-Marie Curtis, Dress: Dolce & Gabbana, Shoes: Prada, Ring: Zoe & Morgan

Posted at 7:48pm and tagged with: elle uk, magazine writing, Marc Jacobs,.

Because we’re all broken —- every single one of us —- and yet we pretend that we’re not. We all live lives of imperfection and yet we cling to the fantasy that there’s a perfect life and that our leaders should embody it, but if we expect our leaders to live on some higher moral plane than the rest of us, well, we’re just asking to be deceived.

The West Wing Season 6, “2162 Votes”

Written by John Wells

Pictures: YSL, Christophe Decarnin, John Galliano from Harper’s Bazaar, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs

Posted at 3:57pm and tagged with: Alexander McQueen, john galliano, Marc Jacobs, Christophe Decarnin, yves saint laurent, The West Wing,.

When Marc Jacobs’ advert for Bang came out last Spring, comparisons with Yves Saint Laurent’s posing nude for Rive Gauche, were obvious. What I learnt reading Laurence Benaïm’s biography of Saint Laurent is that, had the French designer followed his initial idea of posing “with a fake bottle in between his legs”, the two ads would have looked even more similar.

Long after the launch of the 1971 perfume, Jeanloup Sieff, who took the pictures, explained that he “regretted not to have taken those pictures [with the bottle], a mixture of provocation and uneasiness. I went for close up portraits instead.”

Al quotes from Yves Saint Laurent, Laurence Benaïm (Grasset, 2002) p.355; translations my own

Posted at 6:00pm and tagged with: advertising, ysl, Perfume, Marc Jacobs, Jeanloup Sieff, photography,.