Friday, October 13, 2006

Of course you look attractive dear,

The fashion industry.
Specifically the fashion industry for women.

How depressingly stupid is it ?

Two news items today on the fashion industry, both relating more towards the fashion industry for women than men - because as we all know your average Joe in the street cares about fashion almost as much as he worries about whether or not he washed the breakfast dishes this morning.

The first story relates to the almost compulsory use of diet pills and other methods of reducing your weight down to your birth weight which has been well publicised for several years in the fashion model industry.

But now its endemic in women in general - apparently.

According to Closer magazine, 55% of women in the UK have used diet pills to reduce their weight.


But then of course you read the survey a little more and realise that its actually 55% of the women surveyed and when you read to the bottom of the article you learn that the survey was carried out on a total of 1230 women - but still, and even given that its a survey of celebrity obsessed women (Why would they buy "Closer" if not) then its still an eyebrow raiser.

But why does it happen ?

Who was it that dictated some years ago that catwalk models looked best when carrying no more than six stones of flesh vaguely hanging off their bones ?

Do clothing designers really think that the best showcase for their next seasons designs - on which hang their route to fame and fortune - is a feeble, barely standing, exploited young girl who's sexual development has almost certainly been halted and possibly even destroyed, by the belief that taking horse drugs will make them desirable ?

And how worrying is it when that belief spreads from a narcissistic, egocentric, mercenary industry to females in general ?

And it has to be said that it is mainly females that it affects, the fashion industry is geared up for females, males are almost totally ignored in the self-indulgent rush for perceived beauty - walk into any high street clothing store and you'll see the same designs for men on display year in year out, the same suits, jackets. coats, shirts, the same colours, the same cut, the same accessories - men never change their clothing habits and do not require a horde of designer names to tell them what their winter wardrobe should be this year - beacuse its going to be the same winter wardrobe as last year - and thats OK by men.

Its different for women though.

Each year they need to be told what colour is "in" this year, they need to be told how long the skirts should be this year, pencil cut or flared, high waistline or hanging off your hips , worn with tailored jackets or cardigans, accessorised with what, and most importantly, what is "this years black" ?

Apparently "this years black" is grey, and its causing problems for retailers.

You see, for various reasons, women don't want to buy grey. Men have been buying grey since the dawn of time, men are comfortable in grey, it works.

Women don't like grey and the designers who six months ago decided that it would be grey this winter are now wondering if any of their ranges will sell, or rather they are wondering if any of their ranges will sell at the hugely inflated high street prices or whether they are going to have to flog them off at cost before going away and panic buying some short runs of clothing in more gaudy colours.

I confess to understanding nothing of this fashion business.

I live in a house with a fashion concious wife and two daughters aged 18 and 14 for whom their clothing choice each morning can take upwards of an hour and certainly nothing like the ten seconds that I take.

Last night as my wife came downstairs, on her way out to a night out with the girls, and having raided the 18 year olds wardrobe, I casually asked her if she was supposed to be wearing that black belt just under her ribcage rather than on her waist where I foolishly believed that belts should be worn - ie they are for keeping your pants up.

I cannot describe the withering look that all three females gave to me, its the sort of look that they give Jake the dog on the rare occasions when he is caught short through the night and does a whoopsie on the carpet - its the sort of look that says, "shut-up male creature, you know nothing".

And indeed I don't.

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