Friday, February 21, 2014

Why Both Lady Gaga and I Need Fashion

FASHION Magazine February, 2014
I am in the midst of assembling an application package to FASHION Magazine for one of their summer internships and as part of the application I must critique their latest issue (February, 2014).

This I can do no problem. Just like most of the fashionably-inclined, criticizing has become second-nature for me. In fact, the moment I picked up this month's issue I thought to myself that it was a contender for the most understated magazine cover ever published of Gaga (albeit the prettiest and most relatable). I was also surprised a shot of her in one of her innovative eyewear pieces made the cover. Surely even those were too radical for the contrastingly demure FASHION Magazine brand. Well, it turns out they were. Bernadette Morra discloses in her Editor's Letter that she reluctantly let Gaga hand-pick the shot with "wacky glasses" after foreseeing an uphill battle with the pop singer (fun fact: most artists are insufferably dedicated to maintaining the integrity of their visions, myself included).

Now, as much as I like to pat myself on the back for having these sorts of hunches, I recognize that it comes with a price. The more trained the eye becomes to a particular pattern of execution, the less accepting and open-minded it remains to anything that deviates. In other words, I can't tolerate let alone appreciate most civilian fashion. Do you see what I did there? I just shunned almost everything the general public wears. And this is the curse of loving fashion: it's an industry seemingly built on elitism and no one escapes life completely unscathed by its unapologetic standards.

FASHION Magazine August, 2011: Lady Gaga's last cover with the magazine
And just as I begin lamenting about the impossibility of it all, I read Gaga's interview and am reminded of why I love fashion to begin with. "It was always the thing that made me feel like I could be anything, no matter what anyone said about gave me a sense of who I am." says Gaga in response to an inquiry on her draw to fashion.

I too have embraced the self-fulling prophecies of my own dress. I grew up painfully shy and insecure, but I learned to dress with confidence and then eventually it came. For most of my life my clothing has been my armour. It has allowed me to project the woman I wanted to become when I could not project it myself, just like Gaga, which is exactly why she fought for those crazy weird glasses on the cover. They're not just for the world to see; she needs to see them too.

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