I just got my final issue of Vogue in the mail. Considering that I’ve been a subscriber since the early 1980s, this was a big decision. I’ve been growing disenchanted with fashion magazines in general….no, that’s not the truth of it. I’ve become disenchanted with fashion. The magazines are just a reflection of that.
I’ve been through rough spots with Vogue before. Honestly, I barely survived 1988 with my subscription intact. But I held on, and fashion took a swing that was more to my liking. This time it’s looking more and more like ugly is here to stay.
The biggest offenders? Shoes. I hate what has happened to shoes in the past few years. Here you have these skinny legged models who all look as if their feet have been caught in an animal trap, or have an mini electric chair straped to the foot. Seriously, it’s like an updated version of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where no one can see that the “egdy” shoes on their feet are actually just ugly.
And while I don’t shop for these shoes, the trickle-down effect has made shopping for a flattering pair of sandals to be the hunt of a lifetime. Can someone please just make a simple black sandal with a small heel and a cute decoration?
The shoes started it all, but what really made my mind up not to renew was a notebook I’ve been keeping. Starting in 1995 (15 years ago!) I started keeping photos of clothes and shoes I loved, put them in my own sort of look-book, so I could copy the best of them and remember to look for the accessories. I’ve got pages and pages, but since 2007 I’ve added one item – a striped Piazza Sempione dress from last year that I’d still love to have.
So I look back in my notebook at the cute little Marc Jacobs flats and pretty scalloped-edged Sabrina heels and feel downright nostalgic for 1999.
Before I go. I do want to lament what has happened to our great style magazines like Vogue and Bazaar. I can look at a 1950s Vogue and I can picture the women I knew from that time actually wearing the clothes the magazine featured. I can see that they were useful in helping women stay stylish. I can remember getting Vogue in the early 80s, saving my $$$ and actually buying a piece or two I’d fallen in love with. (Before you starting thinking that maybe I’ve aged out of fashion, just the price tags alone would keep any average American woman from being able to purchase over 95% of the items in the editorial section of the current issue of Vogue.)
That’s all. At least I have my vintage copies to keep me warm.
Posted by KeLLy Ann:
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You…I too have been seriously aggravated at the Shoe People. All I want is a nice dressy shoe with a heel I can walk in. I detest these things they call shoes. Mostly. One reason I started collecting Vintage patterns is because I’m tired of not being able to find clothes I like, that fit, and are built well.
Posted by Em:
Though I do like the modern “bear trap shoes” (that is the best description!), I do agree that a lot of what is featured is more concept than something the average person could pull off financially or practically. I always enjoy your well-thought-out posts. Loved the old covers in this one!
Posted by Lisa:
I totally agree with you except I think I’m disenchanted with clothing, advertisements and the photo spreads. I too look through my vintage Vogues for a reminder of what a fashion magazine should be! Great Post!:)
Posted by Sarah:
I stopped buying fashion magazines a few years ago, after I realised I simply wasn’t reading them!
One reason might be that its easy enough to keep up with trends online if you want to, but the other might be that I’ve simply lost patience with fashion too.
I’m not asking for velcro fastening bootees and elasticated waistbands (I’m not quite there yet!) but fashion does seem to be increasingly divorced from real life – and the shoes are a good example of that.
Oh heck, maybe I am just getting old!
Posted by Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap:
I just had to add my voice to the “why are all shoes so ugly?” chorus- not only ugly, but uncomfortable and dangerous, I can’t imagine falling off some of these monstrosities. I feel bad for young gals these days who have to wear them to keep up appearances. At least some ballet flats have made it back into style, but the heels have got to go!
Posted by Jessica:
I hate shoes today too… I can’t understand why no one ever says “Hey, all those shoes that look like hooves are pretty awful!” And I agree about fashion magazines. I quit reading them entirely, as it seemed less and less applicable to real life.
Posted by Inky:
agreed – i received a free one year to Lucky magazine and after the first issue i pass it on without opening it. I can’t bear to look at modern clothing and the shoes are horrible offenders.
Posted by Joules:
You’ve summed it up Lizzie! Regretable, but that’s the reality.
Posted by Chris Anderson:
Ok I could live with the shoe if it made a short appearance and went away. But they have stayed around longer then they should have. OK ha ha big giant shoes, now let’s move on. I let my subscription expire a few months ago.
Vogue hit the wall in the 80’s. I became a loyal Elle fan… Vogue totally missed out on what was really going on and seemed to be plaquating their advertisers.
Posted by Lizzie:
Thanks for the validation. Sometimes I feel I’m out in left field, all by myself!
And I love ballet flats too, but even some of them are so over designed that they are…tacky.
Posted by Tracy:
still trying to create my own blog. I have been really busy. I think I may be ready to start. Love the Vogue speak and yes, the shoes out right now are horrible. Skinny legged models feel in animal traps describes the horrific site perfectly. 😉
Posted by reilly:
I’m in love with that Vogue 1934 cover – perfect, perfect, perfect.
I agree with you on most of this, but sometimes I wonder if us vintage-loving folk aren’t a bit too harsh or close-minded. There’s a lot I don’t like about clothing today, but we can’t back-peddle. We all know clothing is an important indicator of what’s going on with our society and within our countries, so I’d hate for us to be stagnant.. what would that mean for us?
I don’t read magazines but I can imagine that they are letting a lot of people down. I often feel like my peers around me don’t actually know what they like or have their own personal style. Plenty of people can’t work, and they don’t sew, so everything they buy is from a low-quality store that is imitating a design that is imitating something else. Every item out in stores is for a trend, a flash in the pan. There’s no longevity to any of their clothing because the thought and quality isn’t there.
Posted by Lizzie:
I really feel for people who don’t sew. Maybe we should go back to the days when every girl was taught how to use a machine, but this time do it right and teach the boys as well!
I can’t speak for all fashion magazines, because I have been limiting myself to Vogue and Bazaar, but the truth is there is very little featured that the average woman would wear, even if she could afford it.