Magazine Review: Vogue Hommes International (FW2007) – Part II

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Okay, so onto Page 106 where Vogue Hommes has an article on the new Tom Ford boutique on Madison Avenue.

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The stenza reads: “Having invented porno chic, Tom Ford is now reinventing the male … It’s hard to imagine a more classic exercise in style.”

Er, the article writer Ms. Anne Boulay, apparently does not know her cinema history. The phenom of “porno chic” was first used (okay, this could maybe be the closest approximation to “invented”) by film-maker Gerard Damiano is his cult film Deep Throat, starring the inimitable Linda Lovelace.

Mr. Ford certainly did not “invent” porno chic, sweety. In the 1970s when”porno chic” was born, Mr. Ford was still enrolled at NYU and partying at Studio 54. Porno chic and fashion design, were definitely far from his mind.

And to her second sentence, Ac.Stet wants to question her: how does one make an exercise in the classic, when it is a classic?

And then later to Page 113, what a great great great visual – Simple and effective:

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But then, whoever wrote the text has to spoil it all: “Oversized bags, ski mania and boots galore … it’s time to rush out and treat yourself to the best the shows have to offer for that stylish seasonal look.”

Er, whoever wrote this has obviously never (A) went to a live fashion show in the world’s top 4 fashion capitals; and (B) know what happens in the process of fashion merchandising.

How else would you explain someone writing to tell his/her reader to go out there and buy “the best the shows have to offer”?

Sweetheart, the clothes we eventually buy and wear are the ones offered by the fashion companies filtered down to retail, not the sartorial/conceptual/theatrically-styled for the sake of putting on a grander-than-life fashion show.

Perhaps the magazine should just shut-up and let those pretty boy-nipples speak for themselves.

In more than Ac.Stet. could care to point out, bad writing litters the entire magazine (Page 130 on Calvin Klein underwear: “[Mark Wahlberg] flashes a grin to match his bulge”/ Page 125 on Roman Coppola: “Coppola’s fashion sense is so sophisticated that it’s systematically simple.”/ Page 194 on the latest tech products: “Flat panel screens and high definition have literally changed the face of the images now omnipresent in our everyday lives.” Arghhhh ….

There was also advertisement disguised as editorial, such as the Virgin-engineered stories on space habitation and Philip Starck’s new appointment at Virgin Galactic as artistic director.

And there was this confusing story by Djibril Glissant about virtual sexual identities which really does not make much sense, nor does it have much of a point.

And in the Sports pages, there is an article on Chelsea FC team manager Jose Mourinho. But the entire article, which ran with quotes borrowed (but never attributed, a cardinal sin in journalism) from older publications without any new actual Vogue-Hommes-exclusive soundbites from Mourinho, quickly reduced the story – and by association the magazine – to tabloid status. Hardly befitting of a high-fashion magazine.

But Vogue Hommes is not without reasonably good editorial. The story on Green Fever questions the truth of environmental politics,  the Neo Factory story written by Carol Vogel and shot by newly dethroned Hedi Slimane, and a sexy intro to Spanish bullfighter Jose Maria Manzanares.
And perhaps, because Vogues Hommes is helmed by writers whose first language is not English, it is in editorials where stories are written simply in a question-and-answer style, that it has been more successful, and consequently, more bearable. E.g. the Mario Sorrenti interview, the Etienne Daho interview,  the Roman Coppola interview, the Calvin Klein interview and the coverstory James Franco interview, which was almost ruined by a convoluted preamble.

One true indication – though an unwritten one – of a magazine that is somehow short on its stable of writing talents is that of the Editor-In-Chief having to contribute to writing features in his own magazine. And here, Mr. Olivier Lalanne, have to roll up his sleeves in an interview with photographer Mario Sorrenti and Calvin Klein. But since when does an editor-in-chief of any respectable magazine have to write for his own publication? Or in the case of Carine Roitfeld, its editorial director, when does the head of a major publication ever have to style her own shoots? Ac.Stet doesn’t see Vogue editrix Anna Wintour doing things like that.

Has Ms. Roitfeld and Mr. Lalanne not enough editing duties to fill their plates?

Ah ha, maybe that explains why this magazine is fraught with bad editing.

But in the end, this photograph (see end of this posting) and more inside, is probably the saving grace of not just this magazine, but many others out there.

Often times in life, language just ruins everything. If you cannot write, don’t write. Do something else, like producing gorgeous pictures, period. Magazines must shed their pretensions and understand THIS as the First Law of Fashion Editing.

To that, Ac.Stet. says: “Shut up, and show!”

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~ by acrylicstetson on October 5, 2007.

4 Responses to “Magazine Review: Vogue Hommes International (FW2007) – Part II”

  1. js-bloom-filter http://snoringkatz.vox.com/library/post/porch-parlor-palm.html?comment_no_body=1

  2. Which men’s fashion mag do you respect the most?

  3. Hello Mark,

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to leave a comment.

    Respect is a loaded term and a heavy emotion Acrylic Stetson usually accord to deities, philosophers like Sarte and Fichte, filmmakers like Michael Moore, industry goodeggs like Kim Haistreiter …

    … long gone too, are the days where Magazines are institutions and where Fashion is actually more about generating ideas than generating advertising revenue.

    So when you ask Acrylic Stetson about which men’s magazine he “respects” most, he would have to say none.

    But if you ask Acrylic Stetson again which men’s magazine he likes, he will answer differently.

    He loves very much the T The New York Times Style Magazine’s Men’s Fashion issue, editorial-wise. Horatio Silva and Armand Limnander breathe so much life into rapidly vapid trends in the transcient industry.

    He likes what V Man is doing with graphics and page layouts and photography spreads. He likes how GQ is inspiring in making simple fashion ideas come alive to both the opinion leaders and the masses (the top 50 most stylish male icons issue in the US November edition is so brilliantly conceived that Acrylic Stetson went out and tried looking for a vest stitched of parrot plumage).

    He loves very much ARENA Homme Plus for the intoxicatingly erotic picture spreads of nubile men in their raw glory.

    He loves very much also the European editions of FHM Collections and Loaded Fashion.

    He likes the emergence of new men’s fare like HERCULES.

    He loves the enterprise of DETAILS magazine in their sex-drenched dude-fare, and women-belittling way of writing … and even making two unlikely places to mine their story ideas: gay culture and suburbia. Have you read their August|September feature on black-white swinher parties in the American suburbs? You should have, because even television networks like F|X has taken a peek and copied this DETAILS’ story idea for an episode for Nip/Tuck this season.

    He likes Men’s Health very well for eating tips and style checks. The severely austere photography is amazingly effective in delivering the punch. Plus, Acrylic Stetson is still nursing huge boyhood crushes on Men’s Health male model discoveries like Owen McKibbin and Greg Avedon … …

    Acrylic Stetson also loves gender-blender unisexual magazines like i-D … … there is nothing much to say in defence of this choice. It is just very good. God bless Terry Jones. Period.

    Now that Acrylic Stetson has answered your question, mark, it’s his turn to ask you one:

    How do you wear an acrylic stetson?

  4. Dude! maybe you should be writing for a magazine!

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