Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Harper’s Bazaar confuses me. The fledgling glossy always seems to reach too high on the edgy barometer, maybe because it’s just not edgy. Whether it’s juxtaposing a fashion-clad Lindsay Lohan next to costumed superheroes, dressing toddlers up as renown designers, or casting the polarizing Tyra Banks as the First Lady In Waiting, the spreads look like bad publicity stunts similar to the now cancelled, Kutcher-produced show, Pop Fiction where B-list celebrities try to fake the paparazzi out. The problem? Fashion is not pop fiction; it’s the opposite, an entity above popular culture dealing in fantasy rather than pure fiction.
In Bazaar’s September issue, they went too far. Here the infamous Ronson offspring, which includes a music producer, a celebrity DJ and a fashion designer, are photographed in a family portrait dressed as the Royal Tennenbaums from Wes Anderson’s iconic film opus on upper crust, family dysfunction and entropy. But the Tennenbaums are everything the Ronsons are not.
Sure they both come from silver spoon upbringings, schooled by the best Manhattan's teachers, churning out a factory of eccentric stepsiblings co-existing as bohemian alternistas, but where the Tennenbaums fail as members of society suffering in existential bordering on suicidal crises, the Ronsons need only worry about which Pinkberry is less paparazzi-populated. The Tennenbaums are a symbol of crumbling New York City aristocracy, a beautiful endangered thing.
Final Word: Perhaps I’m over-analyzing but I think Harper’s is better served in sticking to clothes than social commentary...I prefer my fiction in the weeklies, thank you very much.