Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Yesterday - or the day before, or even the day before that (jet lag makes me confused) - I bought the Australian newspaper and found, slipped within its pages, one of the most loathsome magazines I've ever come across. The name of the magazine (to quote the White Knight) was Wish:
Wish had taken upon itself the task of compiling a best dressed list for 2011:
Number one on the list was Sarah Murdoch, who doesn't dress badly. However, to describe her thus:
is really a bit rich. For 'sophisticated media and fashion power player' I think many readers would substitute 'attractive woman who married extremely wealthy son of Rupert Murdoch, thus ensuring prominent media position despite almost unforgiveable televised gaffe'.

However, to be fair, Sarah Murdoch does at least dress reasonably well, as I said. Below her in the list, things go to pieces on the aesthetic front, I reckon:

If there are really only ten men better dressed than No. 11 and only three women better dressed than No. 4, this, it seems to me, is not a vintage year.

But tastes differ, of course. Surely though few would disagree that this next paragraph is a load of unspeakable twaddle:
And when the magazine tries to persuade us that this person, who has a really extremely idiotic hairstyle and an apparent inability to do up his shoes:

is, as they put it, 'a man with innate style':
and that this person is 'starkly stylish' (a slightly overweight, bald man in a jumper, black jeans and some gym shoes?):

I begin to wonder if I am inhabiting the same world as my fellow human beings.

Turning the pages I discover as well that, in Milan (where style permeates the streets, apparently):
(and, incidentally,' there's more to style than being fashion forward', which is lucky for me, since I have no idea what 'being fashion forward' means):
Armani's new collection is turning heads. Although the clothes are not elegant it is not surprising this is happening. Just look at this weird outfit:
and these extraordinarily frightful trousers:

I think the odd head might turn even in places not permeated by style, eg Queanbeyan or even sophisticated Civic, Canberra, if a gent appeared as nattily decked out as that.

I am then confronted with a further sickening effort to con me into believing my own life is not good enough - this attempt to undermine confidence seems to me to be the major thrust of modern marketing. It is clear that I should be investing my energy in trying to 'hightail' it to places of great exclusivity:

where I could meet pert little chaps like this:

and discover the secret places that  'only the cool people know about':

I wish magazines like Wish didn't exist - or at least that they weren't given away without any warning to innocent readers like me (although I suspect they have to be given away as no-one would willingly buy this garbage) and I'm glad I found a terrible typo in this edition. The staff at Wish may think they're the kings of style, but they have no grasp for detail, as you will see here (although is it possible it's not a typo but some kind of hip joke? Oh dear - see how these things erode commonsense?)


  1. Oh dear zmkc you aren't becoming a grumpy old woman are you? That said give me a 60s caftan any day and I'd be happy. THERE was fashion!

  2. A bit less of the old, thanks, Whispering. What about a Kamahl night some time?

  3. Don't you realise Z that attempting to fathom sunday supplements can only end in tears? I long ago gave up trying to read them as that way madness lies...Consider yourself lucky that you are not like 95% of the rest of the world who are beholden to utterly bonkers waffle

    ...and what a bizarre coincidence that the wife of the owner of the newspaper came first in a best dressed competition...

  4. Worm, I was tricked by it not arriving on a weekend. How clever of you to notice that coincidence. I thought I was cynical, but I feel like a complete innocent beside you.

  5. well hearing about the sort of stuff that News Corp has been getting up to here in blighty lately, I do tend to view anything they do with the archest of eyebrows

  6. I bought five shirts and a pair of pants for $90 last week. I did this within the space of thirty minutes, from entrance to checkout. That's fashion, if you ask me. (At least, that's fashion when you earn your living with books and drumsticks.)I suppose I could do an absurd hair style for free . . . it's just so taxing to maintain a certain level of fierceness.

  7. I'm so fashion forward I'm already wearing next week. Tomorrow I will be wearing October. In October I will be wearing 2015. In 2015 I will be wearing the turn of the century. Zoosh! And then I will go retro, and wear a ruff, and everyone will be confounded.

  8. In general the Washington, DC, men's style is to look as much like everyone else as possible: suit, or jacket and khakis, or business casual. Yet The Washington Post will run fashion sections showing models in clothes that would perhaps do in lower Manhattan.

    As for "fashion permeating the streets", perhaps the Milanese contractors aren't sealing the asphalt properly. Does it lead to potholes during freeze/thaw cycles?

  9. That's fashion, Chris, I agree - but don't listen to me, I buy all my clothes secondhand on ebay (hence the lack of any pictures of self here);
    Worm, it's really getting hair-raising, isn't it (I suppose that might explain the man of innate style's hair - he'd had advance notice of the headlines [possibly been doing a touch of hacking himself?]?);
    Umbagollah - the ruff, oh please, just go straight to the ruff, I love a nice ruff;
    George - do you suppose the Washington Post people dream of working in lower Manhattan or Milan? I used to work for a magazine about crafts - when I once admitted I had made a patchwork, the editor said, 'Ugh, I hate doing things with my hands'; his dream was to work at Vogue and so he spent his time trying to make the magazine look like Vogue with pottery and raffia work.

  10. Haha, the guy with the 'extremely idiotic hairstyle' isn't bad looking. You could certainly do worse.

  11. Zoosh! I wear the ruff. I wear the ruff. I wear the ruff. I am over the ruff. I have done the ruff. The ruff is done. Aroint thee ruff. Now I am all codpieces. With cod in them.

  12. Were I a fashion writer, I'd certainly rather work in Manhattan or Milan than Washington. Some I think have made the jump to Manhattan, at least one NY Times byline looks like one I used to see (not necessarily read) in the Washington Post.

  13. I suspect total purgatory for a fashion writer would be Canberra, George.