Monday, January 5, 2009

What's wrong with Vogue?

One of my favourite fashion critics, New York Times writer Cathy Horyn, wrote a scathing piece on Vogue magazine that will likely make Anna Wintour bite her head off. In What's Wrong With Vogue? Cathy criticizes the magazine for being too compromised by their advertisers to leave room for critical analysis of fashion.

She writes:

"Vogue has become stale and predictable, and it has happened in spite of some of the best editors, writers and photographers in the business.

There are too many stories about socialites — or, at any rate, too few such stories that sufficiently demonstrate why we should care about these creatures. What once felt like a jolly skip through Bergdorf now feels like an intravenous feed. To read Vogue in recent years is to wonder about the peculiar fascination for the ‘villa in Tuscany’ story. Ditto staff-member accounts of spa treatments and haircuts.

It’s embarrassing to see how Vogue deals with the recession. For the December issue, it sent a writer off to discover the 'charms' of Wal-Mart and Target."

I have been a subscriber of American Vogue for two years now and I have noticed that in the past year the issues have become boring, predictable and unimaginative. It has nothing on the titillating French Vogue.

Editorials have the same photographers and models, wearing the same (advertisers') clothes. It makes for boring and repetitive photography.

And the articles...well their attempt at covering the anorexic crisis was pitiful at best; coming up with no answers and unaware of their own hypocrisy of fueling bad body image.

The same "house in the hamptons" article appears in every issue. Boring!

And I just skip over their beauty section because I can't relate to any of the issues (botox gone wrong, creepy laser treatments) and I'm sure most women who read the magazine can't relate either.

Let's face it: American Vogue has become irrelevant to women of this generation. We deserve more from a magazine which used to define the word groundbreaking.


Jezebel also has a great post about Cathy's article from a model's point of view.

18 comments:

Ondo Lady said...

Well if it is any consolation, UK Vogue is going down the pan as well. Instead of featuring fashion forward thinkers in interesting and original shoots we have been treated with bland images of TV and pop stars. How the mighty have fallen eh?

s. said...

I completely agree with what was said about American Vogue; while I still have it sent to me yet again, every month, I skip over numerous parts because none of it carries any important relevance, the articles have become bland, and it has stopped pushing the envelopes of fashion that are meant to be pushed.

Anthea said...

Have you ever noticed how little there even is about fashion in the pages of Vogue? I agree the shoots are boring..and I am so sick of seeing Cokate Moss everywhere..I swear it's a conspiracy..what about Agy and the new up and comers. I would rather read Harper's Bazaar and other fashion bloggers than Vogue. I am thinking about getting a subscription to WWD..thoughts?

Chloe Tejada said...

Anthea- I've thought about getting a subscription to WWD too but I haven't made the plunge yet because it's a bit pricey. Do they have editorials or is it just news?

Sascha said...

I thought it was just me! I do agree with this piece. I used to pour over Vogue for interesting editorial writing and photo spreads, but it has been lacking in the past year. I would much rather read Elle, as they publish articles that are more relevant to an actual woman, not a socialite. Sorry Vogue, I canceled my subscription last year. You aren't worth the $6 a year anymore, sadly.

WendyB said...

I definitely agreed with her on the socialite thing -- I might care about those people if the magazine gave me a reason to, but it doesn't. And the celebrity covers...boring. Some artsy model covers would be nice!

WendyB said...

@Chloe, I would get W magazine, not WWD, unless you need to read it. It's very expensive and it's definitely a trade paper.

Anthea said...

Hey Chloe! I am sorry I never got a chance to meet you! I created a link to this article on my blog. Love it! I am now switching over to WWD I think. I am so sick of boring old Vogue. I really like British vogue though. Anyways, I know I've already commented so I'll stop now!!

Creme de la Mode said...

I've liked Elle better than Vogue for a while now. Also, some of the fashion mags I get here in Japan are straight collages of all the collections, instead of the same 10 pieces I see in every major mag. Although I still think that blogs are the fashion mag of the future - you get such a broader sense of opinion in fashion blogs, and daily doses, instead of rereading the same mag over for 30 long days. And I can get entire collections on style.com.

Haley said...

At age 23, I find the best and most relevant parts of VOGUE, to be the last few pages in the back of the magazine that compile a short list of dresses, flowers, shoes, in an efficient (but chicly presentable) manner. Vogue needs to be en vogue and it is seemingly stale?
Instead of a superhero story, they should have done a fashion spread with then & now. They have such an archive and history, they could have pulled articles from the 1929 or the 1940's which chronicled rough times and a recession- and shown us how those "fashionistas"/ "recessionistas" dealt with the change... and both modernized and applied those same ideas to today. Vogue should further educate readers how to shop with an eye and how to discern luxury and quality in a time of great need. If they believe the $1,000 skirt to be worthy of notation, tell us why. Because frankly- many no longer believe them.

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Anonymous said...

High fashion magazine are a complete waste of money for cos i will tell u one reason why....they are the same and don't change...i'm talking the layout, the topics and most importantly The MODELS!!!!!! for a whole year, u see the skinny white girl, who is young and u know can't afford not one item that she is wearing, the same poses...once i start seeing people like myself...i'm talking different races and shapes and sizes, i might start buying the vogues and the vanity fairs.....but for now, i ain't shelling a single cent!

Gerry said...

All I have to say is this: My mom likes Vogue, and maybe that's all Vogue is hoping for?

Rochell said...

Bravo :)

Poshhh said...

wow what a harsh write-up..i agree though...at least she had the balls to come out and say it
xx

Lola Candy Hans Harder said...

So Sad :/

Stacy said...

It was quite an article. I am shocked the difference in readership between vogue and french vogue. I had no idea it was so dratic.

v said...

uk vogue is so disappointing.

http://balmainbazaar.blogspot.com/