These days a whole lot of American women are going around in workout togs. I’m talkin’ T-shirts and yoga pants, which, let’s tell the truth, are about one-half step above PJs. So how is it that in this first week of true autumn we’re once again thinking heels and hemlines?
These days a whole lot of American women are going around in workout togs. I’m talkin’ T-shirts and yoga pants, which, let’s tell the truth, are about one-half step above PJs.
So how is it that in this first week of true autumn we’re once again thinking heels and hemlines?
“What DOES this to us?” you find yourself wondering as you flip through the heavy satin pages of Vogue or Glamour. Is it the sheer power of marketing, or is it something deeper?
Maybe it comes from our time back on the African savannah when, like any mammal, the male of our species preened and paraded in hopes of convincing the female to try on his genes. Maybe it comes from that deeply encoded prompting that had the female striking a suitably still and receptive pose to show how fit a repository she was for his DNA.
I just saw “The September Issue,” the recently released documentary film about fashion in general and Vogue magazine in particular, in which editor-in-chief Anna Wintour plays herself.
“September is the January of fashion,” purrs one Vogue executive in such a platinum card hoity-toity voice she makes Julie Child sound like Rosie Perez.
What she means is that in autumn, it all starts again for us ladies. Out with the flip-flops and in with the pointy-toed boots.
The September issue of Vogue is always the year’s fattest, crammed with a zillion photos of young women who do in fact look very much like exotic primates caught in stop-action, standing still and aquiver in the forest.
Here are the feathers and the fur, the leather and the vinyl, the hats that look like miniature version of the Alamo perched atop the flimsy skulls of these vacant-eyed waifs.
In one of the movie’s best scenes, model Raquel Zimmerman poses with just such an immense hat sitting on a perfect geometry problem of triangular-shaped hair. As the cameras click away, she strikes poses that makes her look every inch the expressionless doll, every inch the empty canvas awaiting that spurt of male paint – until the crew decides to take five and she dives with a gleeful smile into a mini cherry pie, hairdo and $10,000 dress be damned.
Maybe THAT’s what we want to see in the world: the frail and human person behind the mask. The young Princess Diana falling asleep on the stage. The elder Bush fainting at the state dinner. Anyway I had never been to a movie where there was so much steady commentary on the part of the audience and especially on the actions of Snow Queen Boss Anna.
She is perfection to look at, impeccably coiffed and dressed, with just enough blush and these cutely prominent teeth that when she does finally smile make her look like an older version of Lisa Kudrow from “Friends.”
The only fly in the ointment is … well, she seems a little shallow.
Her greatest strength, an off-camera interviewer asks. “Decisiveness” she says.
Her greatness weakness? “My children,” she answers, which isn’t what that question is getting at. The thing she would most like to improve? “My backhand.”
I wasn’t in a big metropolitan area viewing this film with some hip and snarky audience. I was in a suburban theatre at 8 o’clock on a school night with regular people who literally groaned - just groaned - at this response.
So maybe we’re growing a soul at last, beginning to finally know what matters - and we ladies will be allowed to hold on to those workout togs after all!
Write to Terry at terrymarotta@verixon,.net or c/o Ravenscroft Press, P.O. Box 270, Winchester, MA 01890, or watch some of the movie on her blog Exit Only at www.terrymarotta.wordpress.com.