The secret to haute couture

So you are a faithful reader of Vogue, and W, and Reader’s Digest Elle…

You’ve seen The September Issue and The Devil Wears Prada and every Audrey Hepburn and Edith Head movie you can find…

You check out the runways online, and save your favourite looks.

(Armani Privé)

But it’s all still bit of a mystery. Haute couture: how does it work? What makes a fashion editor say, “no, no, no, yes!” And how can we frail, filthy mortals share a planet with their rarified selves?

I may have a bead on it.

You see- pretend with me that we’re both in fashion, and edit magazines along with every other fashion job- there are only so many things your standard human can wear. And only so many ways they can wear them.

Only so many styles of white shirts.

(Carolina Herrera, herself)

Only so many skirts.


Only so many black boots.

(ACNE Boots)

Only so many high heels.

(Sledge heels)

There is nothing new under the sun, my friends. No one feels that more acutely than a fashion editor.

Some may say they’re driven mad by the sameyness, but that’s inaccurate. They’re actually just bored out of their gourd, because what makes a woman beautiful or a man handsome is extraordinarily limited and they no longer care. They have models that would look good in used bin bags. The clothes they work with are fantastic quality and can be fitted on the spot to any old models. Beauty isn’t the problem.

At this point- and I say this lovingly, one fellow creature to another- they are sensation seeking carcasses, looking for anything that gives them a jolt. And you know how I know? Because I am a similar carcass!

Yawn! I say. Another perfect fit and flare dress.

Sigh. A suit in shantung. Very nice, very dull…

I have looked at a hundred runway gowns and they’ve all been the same. Different! Give me something interesting!

(Giambattista Valli, Fall 2014)

And this is how we get fashion that no one understands outside probably the ring of actual artists in the fashion world. Fashion gets taken so seriously in the media, by celebrities, what a drag. If only it were plainer that fashion is absurd- but how could it be plainer? Have you seen what they throw down these runways in an attempt to give us, the editors, a tingle of feeling?

It’s best understood as both comedy and as “show me something new, something not terrible.”

Not terrible. NOT terrible. (Christian Wijnants Fall 2016)

It finally came to me when I realised that truly there’s no such thing as “high” art or “low” art- that operas and soap operas differ only in that opera stars sing. We’re all out here just trying to enjoy this world, to express the inexpressible and to beautify what we can around us.

Judging others will never not be fun. (Regard, I began a blog for, er, almost that very reason. Boy I would really prefer the opposite were true.) But until you have developed your own taste, I advise you to avoid judging people’s outfits according to The Rules- because they’re poppycock.

Poppycock. (Okay, useful for those of us just starting out.) (Inspired By Family)

I try to remember when judging how others dress that even when I find things just terrible, someone will equally find my taste just terrible as well, so it’s better to have an attitude of laughing at yourself even if you’re focused on others temporarily. Life and art are comedy, after all!

Did you ever know that you’re my hero

You’re everything I wish I could be

You can snap faster than a mouse can

You are the wind beneath my wings

I’m behind this 10,000%. Zzzz.

Pretty-kneed man. This is improper yet hilarious.

Develop a taste and style of your own. Learn what your voice sounds like. We want to see your style, not more of the same, the many people who think strangers’ taste is better than theirs. Let us share in who you are and how you’re made. Show us what gives you joy!

Me, when I dress well I’d like to be beautiful but I find myself too mischievous. My naughtiness keeps peeking out and I wind up looking a bit outrageous.

I’M TASTEFUL. (Soulstealer Photography)

Sadly I too often throw on what I have that’s clean and sort of matches, and feel… pfeh! I am acceptable, generally, but a big nothingburger. Neither beautiful nor fun really.

Now I’ve confessed my sins, it’s your turn! Would you prefer to just trust in the fashion movers and shakers? In your ideal world, where would you fall when it came to dressing for beauty or dressing for fun? Where do you think you fall now?



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