Monday, 31 October 2011

Where is the mainstream going?

I felt like my youth had been robbed last night when The Special's Ghost Town was played on Strictly Come Dancing. The Specials used on Strictly! And don't get me started on #frankiefieldmicehair singing The Clash on X Factor.

Those were the days when only really young people listened to Radio One or hung out in record shops of a Saturday afternoon. Now, even I still listen to it occasionally though I have put Radio 2 on twice in the last week when driving. Then to compound it all I got an ASOS fashion mag/catalogue which looked like something I used to throw together minus the ads of course when I was young and hand out to people. I really used to pull a magazine together and hand them out to complete strangers. A couple of friends used to help me and ok we stapled it together, it wasn't bound but we didn't care. Now I do nothing that is invention and pure indulgence, apart from my writing.

Not that I would ever have labelled myself as street but I've always been pioneering and moving forward. One of my biggest bug bearers is when someone says of an item of fashion 'Oh I couldn't wear that I wore it first time around'. Nothing is the same, it is always a pastiche, a reinvention. I saw two looks in the ASOS catalogue which I wore in the 80s with joy and guess what I want to wear those sport looks I loved then again. The first time round I wore a sporty tee with a tight midi bandage skirt and metallic ankle socks and trainer. Plus I has a long red mohairish jumper which I wore with tight leggings or stripy or lurex tights. I keep pushing to the back of my mind the hideous purple dungaree jumpsuit thing I bought in Kensington market and wore quite a lot for one summer., however it never put me off re-embracing the jumpsuit thing again, it gave me hindsight on best of bunch choices!

images from ASOS catalogue 
It is funny how the most mundane everyday issue of a piece of post can cause you to reflect on so much. For goodness sake it was only an ASOS fashion mag as catalogue, a big marketing ploy not a fanzine style mag produce in your bedroom and a garage.

But I suddenly felt I needed some of that old vibe in my life and given I've no money and can't buy the items to give me that injection of fun and frivolity I'm not entirely sure what to do next. I think the pursuit of grown up glamour has polarised how we dress into classic, edgy, street and glamorous but really is that fair? Don't women get put into so many boxes anyway - mother, 'career' woman, bitch and baker. Gosh I'm tired of it all. I want to be liberated of all these constraints.

Even my wearing of a blue wig on Saturday night for a Halloween party felt like a breath of fresh air!

 Even my blue wig gave a me a go crazy licence. I did drink too much and maybe that sambuca shot was not a good idea but at the time...

After all the ASOS mag thing was dull in the sense it followed the format of celeb on cover, celeb modelling clothes, a facile interview -  the usual. And that is what is irking me everything seems mainstream these days even tattoos. Even the Occupy events are like a roll out of a brand # + occupy + location. It is as if everything has a pattern, a blue print.

I feel a garage magazine coming on again! I need to go back to my roots (I'm even thinking of changing those from my natural blonde to brunette & blue!).

What would you like to see in a magazine? What angle or take on fashion is missing? What would you change to the current fashion magazine formats? And could someone tell some people that tweeting about dressing up in x, y and z or buying x, y and z is hardly living on the edge. This blue wig is going walk all over my mainstream life and shake it all up!


  1. I have to say, I love you in that blue wig, its a killer to get rid of natural blonde but it seems to bring your features out! Anyway back to the matters in hand, yes to be a pioneer, but what is there left to do that hasn't already been done? Maybe you should have carried on making your magazine, I think you make a great boss with all your ideas of good writing, the way your enquiring mind constantly questions everything around you and your life and pushing the boundaries. I would be happy with a quarter of your fashion knowledge xx

  2. I love the wig too!!!! Last night I saw a young girl with emerald green hair and I wanted to follow her.

    Let's just go back to shopping at charity shops. No more "brands." I'll bet we already have enough clothes to dress a village.

    A friend of mine has been wanting to start a zine. She is very excited about it. Msybe the time is Now. Maybe we're all sick of mass production.

    I'd like a magazine with good writing instead of magazine writing. Magazine writing is worse than romance fiction, it's just crap for middlebrow idiots.

    I miss you.

  3. Mrs Fab - I feel sure there is a new angle, not the same format which is rolled out from Vogue to Love, across the spectrum it hasn't been challenged for years! I have nothing to get going but I'm going to give a go. Even the Gentlewoman is just about being aesthetically pleasing, almost a superior right on!

    I have this need to create something that is inclusive, less boastful about brands/material goods etc.

    Sister Wolf - it is the key ingredient, good writing but also good subject matter helps - why do I care what someone style pronouncements are!! But I'm sure I'll fall into the same traps but I've got the name and just need to produce a few prototypes and go from there! I'm thinking print as well.

  4. i wish we did halloween in australia!! but i must say it's slowly entering the mainstream here with the young ones.

  5. This is just my own very personal experience. I stopped buying magazines years ago because there was nothing to read and I got tired of looking at the same models all the time - ones that I thought were totally overrated at the best of times. I fell out of love with the High Street for a long while due to the ever declining quality and I got news of the collections on the internet anyway so there was nothing left. Even the amazing photo shoots of the late 80's early 90's ended so I honestly can't remember the last time I bought Vogue.
    I did briefly venture into the Easy Living/Red and similar once I became a mum but again came up to a dead end for me personally with too much high street stuff. And of course being under 5', can't relate to most of the clothes in any case!

    I would really love to see more (new) photography and illustration talent, design and aesthetics, intelligent and substantial writing and humour! I love knowing what people in other countries are wearing and mad about. In fact I would love to see the best of what I enjoy most reading the various fashion blogs now in a magazine but then do we need the magazine format anymore? Would it be a fashion e-zine? Would it be too niche?

  6. couturecoco - I hear what you are saying! I agree that is my biggest worry would it be too niche, too much of a blog/online imitator. I can't put my finger on it but it is about articles that have substance and is more feminist in delivery - real issues not the same old deary work/life balance. It is a tough one and I don't know how without unlimited funds you stop it turning into yet another brand celebration

  7. I know the feeling! I used to do a zine myself in the early 90s.

    This Canadian magazine is possibly similar to what you're thinking about:

  8. I would love a magazine that wasn't brand/celebrity led. I do love the Gentlewoman but I know what you mean it seems to contrived or controlled and something for an elite. If you could make an non elitist magazine that would be incredible.

  9. I absolutely love you with dark hair, I think you should bite the bullet and join me on the dark side.
    Everything's depressingly mainstream these days, that's why I've chosen to opt out of the equation, make my own or only buy second-hand clothes, cut and dye my own hair and shun magazines.
    I used to love a fanzine called Cheap Date, it embraced DIY fashion, second-hand clothes and feminism.

  10. You look hot in the wig!

    "'Oh I couldn't wear that I wore it first time around'. -- yeah, totally stupid "rule"

  11. What a great wig! The party sounds like fun.

    I never wore it the first time around so everything is new to me :).

    But I get your point.


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