(not so) random links

-from a recent washington post article about (u.s.) vogue magazine editrix anna wintour, and the ethos of her iconic magazine:

vogue wintour quote.png

i don’t bother to buy or read vogue, for just such reasons. it’s unattainable, elitist, fantasy aspects just don’t appeal to me on a myriad of levels. it’s just too divorced from reality for my tastes, with it’s ridiculously priced clothing, and highly polished and crafted images of women, culture, and life…realistically, they will never be a reflection of my own life. stories about real people and images of real people, with their imperfections and differences, appeal to me far more than anything i might spot in vogue, or any magazines of a similar ilk. however, i’m probably in the minority…vogue is considered to be THE fashion bible by many, and ms. wintour is so revered and fetishized by the culture at large that she’s almost untouchable, perhaps even goddess-like in the eyes of some.

what about you? what kind of magazines do YOU favor? do you like indulging in aspirational fantasy when you digest your fashion mags, or, conversely, seeing reality when you deign to crack a style-focused monthly? or do you like a little of each, depending on your mood or whim at a given moment?


could it be that hairstyles are a cultural barometer that suggests the current state of world economies? (via the independent) if so, some (japanese) economists say, then the long hair that heralded the high flying financial times of the recent past is on it’s way out, and cropped styles are on their way in, suggesting that when money’s short, so’s are our locks. in a very simple way, lots of flowing locks could metaphorically suggest abundance, while cutting one’s hair back may be seen as being suggestive of (financial) scarcity. others note that during the times when money and material things are scarce, people desire more visual stimulation…the variety and diversity of short hairstyles may give people at least some novelty in times of want.

any other reasons you think this might be? or is the supposition of these economists reaching for straws, and kind of a crock? what say YOU?

have you been noticing a trend (on a micro or macro level) in the way of shorter hairstyles, either locally, or in the culture at large, now that the economy has taken a dive? do you think there’s any merit to the supposition of these economists when it comes to the way we choose to wear our hair?


the quick and dirty:

the renegade craft fair descends upon san francisco this coming weekend! cool! more details here.

burdastyle recently made a post that featured some quick, helpful tips on taking better pictures. i’ve harped on this subject before…i don’t know about you, but i’m sick of seeing janky photos of people’s creative endeavors or outfits. make the effort…go the extra mile! you’ll find that people respond more to aesthetically pleasing, thoughtfully designed photos and images in blogs and elsewhere. and, it’s not really all that hard of a skill to master. just like anything else, it just takes practice. do eeeeet!!!

-i’ve always had a soft spot for knitted, crocheted, and fiber jewelry. which explains why i am enamored with this crochet collar pattern by the ongoing project. (via craft:)

-make a pleasing workbasket and matching pincushion using vintage sheets! it is by oh fransson and is friggin’ adorable. put it to work as a place to stash and corral all those little bits and bobs you use for creative clothes-making (also via craft:)

smagglestyle shows us all how to make good on those laddered tights and stockings by morphing them into a fabulous necklace. she’s a smart cookie, that smaggle!

-because i quite literally have babies on the brain right now, and uh, a baby living inside my body at the moment (umm, hello???), i’m all “awwww!” over this cute little quick bias tape bib project over at the purl bee. cute! on a related note, their pattern for knitted baby bloomers is pretty damn adorable too.

make yarn out of scraps of fabric with the help of laughing purple (via whip up). oh, the possibilities!

-some creative ways to lace your shoes/sneaks (via buzzfeed)

liebemarlene just made a post about knitting and vintage knitting patterns and her love for such. one of the commenters on the aforementioned post linked to this adorable “3-hour sweater” pattern from the 1930s. v. cute, eh? and allegedly, quick too…


  1. sarah

    as a gal who generally favours short hair, but is currently wearing her hair long (rather than trend, however, my locks are a memorial project and destined for donation once I’ve enough to shear), I have to say that short crops require far more maintenance to keep up, if one is going for a particular look. I’m surprised economists have overlooked the costs of trims and styling products, which – for me, at least – made short hair more expensive to sport.

    Re: mags. I will pick up a September Vogue or Lucky for the oodles of pictures. I paw through for a few hours, then set it aside for a few weeks, then come back and cut out anything that still inspired me and include it in a book that I reference when I need inspiration for a sewing project. But that’s about it.

    I once (only once) purchased a fashion mag for an article hawked on the cover. Though it touted itself as an examination of the “slobification of America,” the article ultimately only discussed the snappy fearless dressing of three well-to-do women with massive closet resources. The author ultimately caved to her own expressed fears of looking as if she had “tried too hard” (that phrase again!), closing her article with the express need to “go mess up” her hair. Not only was I disgusted by the capitulation to insecurity and a slobby status quo at the article’s end, but I wondered why the author couldn’t come up with three normal middle-to-lower class women who actually made use of their closets, dressed well, and with individuality. Like I said, stupid mistake. Won’t make it again.

  2. Mouse

    I don’t have any use for Vogue magazine either.. even though I am interested in fashion. I just can’t justify even the cost of the magazine on my family’s tight budget.. let alone the type of lifestyle that the magazine caters to. If I’m going to purchase a magazine.. its most likely going to be BUST.

  3. Jocelyne

    As a hairstylist, I would think that when money is tight people would grow their hair out. The reasoning is simple, the longer your hair is the less you need to cut it. Shorter hair loses it’s shape faster. At my salon in SF, we are definitely feeling the effects of the changing economy. When I started a year ago we were very busy and all the people who had been there the longest were booked solid, now that is not the case. We are one of the most highly rated salons on the internet, via yelp and citysearch and are still suffering. I just hope people still want to look great in times of hardship because what else is a surefire way to make you feel better. Thanks for the interesting article!

  4. Gladys

    Earlier this year I realized that when Vogue arrived each month, I was hardly looking at it. Other than a few articles – namely Jeffrey Steingarten’s food ones – it was soon on its way to the recycle bin. I finally called them and switched the rest of my subscription to another magazine that I thought I actually get something out of. Vogue doesn’t fit my life – and I don’t want my life to fit it either.

  5. geek+nerd

    The first fashion magazine I ever read was Seventeen. I started reading it when I was thirteen years old. When I was about 18 I realized that they were recycling stories every other year or so. So I graduated to Vogue. Now, I can appreciate the fantasy of Vogue, because I grew up in the theatre, as a performer and a patron. I enjoy the absolute impracticality of runway fashion sometimes. I read Vogue for years. Then sometime in 2000, 2001(?) I picked up BUST magazine on a whim. The models looked like normal people, and they were beautiful, and they wore things that I liked. I read them both for awhile, but as time went on the models in Vogue wasted away to the size of thirteen year old boys, and suddenly the fashion, no matter how fantastical and fun, didn’t look good on any of them! Not to mention the issues were heftier with advertisements than actual stories. I stopped reading Vogue and I’ve never gone back.

  6. Erica

    Haha, Vogue. I have to applaud the blunt honesty in this article! Yes, it makes no apology for being completely elitist and directed at the “highest echelons” of society with laser accuracy. That’s fine, wealthy people can have their specialty magazines like any other demographic.

    But isn’t there a good reason why you find this magazine in every major bookstore? It isn’t less prevalent than, say, Cosmo or Glamour; it’s often side by side with these magazines. Vogue gives women outside the club a precious peek inside, giving them a sense of what they must know, how they must appear and what they must find important, in order to be mistaken for a member of the club. Yes, it is a bible for some readers because they study it religiously, memorizing which designers are hot this season, which items Vogue editors deem interesting enough to feature, where celebrities vacation, etc. You may not be able to afford anything, but at least you’re in the know, and you know how to fake it. Sort of. This can be a bad thing if it results in one feeling inadequate or depressed by one’s actual life, or results in financial disarray trying to fake that elite life. But it seems to me that for most women, reading Vogue doesn’t get *that* deep. I’m often disappointed by it, mostly because of the ridiculous ads. Without the ads there might be 25 or 30 pages of actual readable content, and of that content, almost none of it is of interest to me. But hey, if I were an elite New Yorker, Vogue might be just another trade journal or alumni newsletter.

    I personally love Japanese magazines like non-no and wish I could get my hands on them more conveniently. I like that these magazines often discuss the how of fashion, not only providing inspiration for particular items but inspiration on how to mix them into your existing wardrobe, ways to combine them, working a capsule wardrobe, even color theory. It’s more about thinking carefully about one’s presentation and aesthetics. For me, this sort of content is worth paying for, and keeping back issues!

    Of American fashion-related magazines, I like InStyle the most because it most closely approaches what I mentioned above. But it too suffers from ad obesity, as well as a little too much celebrity worship for my taste. Really, there isn’t anything in the American market(that I know of) which approaches fashion like non-no.

  7. crabbyrangoon

    Personally, I adore Vogue. It’s so full of bizarre sets and crazy colors, feathers, pointy shoes, etc. I admire it for it’s staging more than anything else. On the other hand, I get that it’s very elitist. But if you got it, flaunt it, right?

    As for hair, I work at a really stellar hair salon in San Diego (www.disconnectedsalon.com), and I agree with Jocelyn that short hair requires lots of maintenace. Practically every third girl leaves the salon with a short, kicky bob. Those girls will have to spend the cash in the long run to keep up their look. Although if you consider shampoo as a mark of the recession, girls with short hair save a bundle on hair care products. Hmmm…I’ll have to ponder that one for a while…

    Regardless, nice work bits and bobbins! I love your blog.

  8. Sal

    I adore thumbing through my copies of InStyle and Lucky each month. I’ll admit it! It’s fun to see up-and-coming styles that I can note and knock off it I so chose. And even though both magazines seem to be featuring more and more flashy, high-end goods, I appreciate their efforts to alert readers to the occasional bargain.

    Vogue makes me anxious and angry. I don’t understand it and don’t want to. I can’t even laugh at its outlandishness because I feel like it is laughing at MY prudishness. Not to mention my ample ass. I understand why it exists, but I will never EVER be a reader.

    I gotta jump on Jocelyn’s bandwagon, too, with the haircut story: short hair means frequent cuts. It doesn’t make sense that people would want to deal with that sort of maintenance when finances are tight.

    Tricia, THANK YOU for asking the good questions!

  9. Lipstick Dipschitz

    it is interesting to me that people perceive vogue to be elitist when in many ways, it has become more and more commercial over time. it features the same designers over and over – dolce and gabbana, prada, galliano, chanel… ad nauseum. it is rare that a new designer will be featured. in this way it is formulaic. there is very little difference between the editorial content and the ads. also, the covers used to feature models, but now they are almost exclusively celebrities. celebrities sell more magazines because they are seen as more “accessible” to the average woman, for whatever reason.

    I work in fashion so I read Vogue almost like a trade publication. I don’t know how it comes across to others, but it seems necessary for it to be the way that it is in order to keep people informed about what is going on. High fashion is elitist by nature, so it makes sense that the magazines that chronicle it need to be as well. My only wish is that it would include MORE of fashion, instead of just the same tried and true designers again and again (or the designers who are paying the most for ads).

  10. Lady Julianne le Fay

    I don’t buy any fashion magazines because I find them too “divorced from reality”, as you put it. They’re all about consumption, and I don’t need or want to consume the latest trends all the time, I can’t afford it and I don’t have the space for an endlessly expanding wardrobe. I can appreciate the aesthetics and the fantasy element of Vogue, but I feel so alienated from it at the same time. I always put comfort ahead of style, I can’t stand pain, and I’m not a heiress living in a luxury apartment with little dogs and a celebrity boyfriend. I’m a single woman living with her parents, with student debt and no job! Couture costumes look lovely but ultimately have no place in my life, maybe when I’m a rock star, but it’s likely I’d choose a simpler version even then, and no high heels, don’t want to trip over any wires.

  11. GlamaRuth

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I dropped all of my mag subscriptions when I started reading style blogs. Not only are they more accessible, they are more creative and don’t have Ms. Wintour’s in-hoc-to-the adverts non-point of view.

    And what does long hair worn up say about the economy?