“our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” // r.w. emerson
earlier this week, stella bugbee – the editorial director at the cut expressed a certain frustration – an interesting turn of events coming from someone deep inside the fashion industry. she asked why it was that so many editors were stuck on the idea that fashion, (to us, the plebes on the outside) should be viewed as wholly aspirational – something that we crave to be, look like, and possess? where instead it should be savored for what it actually is: a source of beauty, creativity and more than aspirational, inspirational.
i chimed in with my two cents worth, stating that i agreed – that a fashion magazine has never wielded such power over me, that it never made me feel any less than i was or am. an editorial has never made me feel unattractive, short, squat and without means. i may be all those things, (ah, self-deprecation!), but nothing that ever came out of vogue persuaded me to think that. instead, the reverse is closer to the truth – fashion magazines made me fall in love with the idea of expression, the fantasy, the charm of it; it was encouragement in the form of an editorial.
‘the face‘ – defunct now, but in the 90s it was the beacon of all things cool – and not only did it write and show the fashions (and music) i so loved, but also motivated the sense of style that i was so eager to express, but felt anxious to do so growing up in a suburban part of town wherein i stuck out like a very modish thumb with a mess of curly hair. those images inspired a certain determination in me, it did not however, make me yearn for the new ‘it’ bag, a new wardrobe, or a brand-new face.