Sometimes you’re so knee-deep in the be-all-end-all of this business that you forget a long forgotten truth: A lot of people really don’t give a shit about fashion. They don’t need new, they don’t need novelty. They, unlike most of my male friends living in New York, do not know the names of models like they were athletes on baseball trading cars. They do not speak the language of Lanvin. And despite the shiny paint we, the industry, tend to throw on this world, or all the street style clusterfuck peacocking that makes the outside of any fashion week show look like the bustling, frantic scene of a very beautiful crime, other people all over the world have other things going on; they’re not about to waste their lives debating dandyism (rest assured, however, we will certainly persevere in this occasionally silly pursuit).
And so, just to curtail your bloated expectations of where the rest of the planet should be on the “How Much Does Fashion Matter” spectrum, Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes came up with this poll. Don’t worry; we don’t get it, either.
Every once and awhile my mother tries to dress me, in that we’ll go out shopping and she’ll pick up a white cardigan with lace fringe and say something horrifying like, “You’d look so cute in this!” For the 6% of you still out there, letting your mom actually put you in that white cardigan with the lace fringe, it’s time to move out of the basement. I’ll prorate your rent.
Ah, Fashion Famous. It’s different than Famous Famous, like celebrities or rock stars (I would say politicians but I’m sure the face recognition for John Boehner or Mitch McConnell is distressingly low). Fashion Famous, however, feels like being Famous Famous… but only when you’re in that world. You think some ten-year-old in Montana cares who the editor of XYWhatever Mag is? Probs not. In reality, Fashion Famous is like being the homecoming queen at your high school and errrrrrybody loves you, you’re banging the quarterback, you drive a late-model BMW. Life is good. You are awesome. That is until you move to a place like New York City and get absolutely CRUSHED by the beautiful babies running around. 72% of people polled didn’t know who Andre Leon Talley (a man who certainly falls into Fashion Famous territory) is, which is probably the inverted number to what Andre Leon Talley himself imagines. To the 3% of you out there who responded “Famous Lion Tamer,” you’re invited to my next dinner party. Let’s be friends.
By no means did I grow up well off. If I ever had a silver spoon in my mouth, it was of the knockoff, plastic variety that left chips of leaden paint in my mouth. My mom (the aforementioned cardigan pusher) made puffy paint dresses out of men’s tee-shirts for me in lieu of, like, real clothes. My favorite sweater was an MC Hammer number from the JC Penney discount store with neon letters and a hologram of him dancing in the center. Trust me, I understand shopping on a budget. But for an entire outfit to cost between $10-$50 seems as incomprehensible to me as flying to the goddamn moon, which probably means I’m now a horrible, disconnected human being and elect that I be smoted from this earth.
This poll was clearly taken from a demographic of sole Downton Abbey watchers. You dudes have obviously never been to a zoo with your kids, in which case you would know that a fanny pack is 10000% better than some bullshit tie when your child is covered with churro sugar and exotic animal excrement. I don’t think you’ll want to do double duty with your fancy silk man necklace when trouble befalls your perfect day. An ascot doesn’t do shit about shit.
If you’re at a “very glamorous party” you better hope your shoes are uncomfortable. A good looking shoe does not leave its wearer unscathed. Expect blood and gore down there. Spilling red wine on your dress should be the least of your worries.
If Joan Rivers has somehow made her way into my closet and is offering up advice, I have arrived. You fearful, quaking 27% out there who fear her wrath are losers.
I feel violently sorry for whoever is dating the people in the 35% polled who don’t know what “going commando” means. I’ll take it cunnilingus, fellatio, and everything in the Urban Dictionary are also out of your realm. Tis a sad, sad life you live.
This set of questions reminds of me of when my middle school literature teacher ripped Alanis Morissette’s “Isn’t It Ironic” song into shreds by explaining that nothing in the song was ironic at all–examples of irritants, maybe, an inconvenience, at most. Number 9 of this poll is rife with non trends. Ugg boots have been a staple in many a sloppy closet (apologies to my fellow writers on this site who think otherwise), and baseball caps, leggings, and clogs have all been around since I could store the memories I haven’t purposefully blacked out.
I know parents don’t want their daughters looking like premature prossies but I can tell you for certain, the goo I was smearing on my cheeks and lips in 7th grade was so heavy-handed, so horribly applied, so blue-eyeliner-with-brown-lipstick-who-cares that I scared all the boys away. Makeup as a contraceptive device. (Side note: Why do I get the sneaking suspicion the girls who weren’t allowed to wear makeup until they were 18 are of the 7% “I Go Commando All The Time” group?).
Photos courtesy of Vanity Fair.