Vogue, Trends, and Social Responsibility – or What I learned over Christmas Break

Although I used to work in the fashion biz and read Vogue, Bazaar and Town and Country on a regular basis, as a single, working mom, I have to admit that I don’t generally have the time to peruse those pages as often as I would like. But I guess that’s what vacations are for. I was lucky enough to be able to escape Montreal’s record breaking snowfall for a few days of sun and relaxation, and during that time read the December issue of Vogue from cover to cover. It was an interesting journalistic romp, and here’s what caught my eye:

1. Social Responsibility – In an earlier blog post I mentioned that my fantasy husband is the dashing, erudite and very British actor, Colin Firth. Seems that in real life he is married to a charming, tall and beautiful Italian woman named Livia, who – when she is not walking down red carpets with her husband – has started an online magazine and shop for the curious consumer.’ (You can find it here) In between shots of magnificent clothes and the aforementioned Ms. Firth at glam events, you’ll find the undertone is one of social responsibility and green power. It even includes a contest called Sew It Forward.

Sew it Forward!
Sew it Forward!
which encourages reuse and recycling in clothing design and marketing. Very laudable. (I still pine for her husband, but I’ll get over it. Maybe.)
Original Italian 1950s Knitting Machine Poster
Original Italian 1950s Knitting Machine Poster

It isn’t just high-profile celebrities who think about reducing and reusing: in the 1950’s and 60’s, most housewives could sit down at their sewing machines and whip up a garment just as easy as 1,2,3. Now it seems a challenge to most of us to re-attach a button when it falls off, but it wasn’t always thus.

2. Conscious Chic – Not to be outdone by the high-cheekboned Mrs. Firth, a company in Africa called SOKO (http://www.soko-kenya.com/products/) is marrying fashionability with responsibility and creating clothing that is what Vogue called a ‘runway e-sensation’. I think any entrepreneurial idea that seeks to reduce waste, create jobs, and function in an area surrounded by giraffes and zebras is something to support. I’m in!

3. Roger Vivier’s Poppy Clutch – When I was a little girl my mother collaged a series of Irving Penn photographs on her closet door.

Irving Penn (1968) - Poppy
Irving Penn (1968) – Poppy
Roger Vivier - Poppy Clutch
Roger Vivier – Poppy Clutch

I loved them then and love them still. Evidently the inspiration for the new ‘it’ clutch by Roger Vivier, it is on my wish list …

4. Erdem Moralioglu – this young Canadian born, British-Turkish (now that’s a pedigree) fashion designer has his own Wikipedia page and glowing coverage (pardon the pun) for his swimwear line in the December 2012 issue of Vogue. I think my bikini days are over, but if they weren’t, I think Erdem would be the man for me. (Assuming of course Mr. Firth was still married. Otherwise, all bets
are off.)

Erdem Vogue
Erdem Vogue
1949 Original French Travel Poster, The French Riviera
1949 Original French Travel Poster, The French Riviera


5. Les Miserables – If you haven’t seen the print or television ads for the cinematic version of the Broadway classic, you must be living in a cave in Tora Bora. Anne Hathaway as Fantine reprises a role that her mother played when she was 7, and the multi-talented Russell Crowe (who always looks fab in a uniform), gets to sing in film. This isn’t the first time he’s done that: for the imminently forgettable A Year in Provence he did the same. Ms. Hathaway graces the cover of last month’s Vogue, and describes how she got ready for Les Mis in a video you can see here !

Les Mis!

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m a huge Sasha Baron Cohen fan, so at some point soon I’ll be in the theater – no doubt, cheering, crying and singing along.

6. Resilience, Grace and good Jeans…

Micheal J. Fox
Micheal J. Fox

This 40 something year old Canadian actor, author producer and activist was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. Rather than retire from public life, Mr. Fox has championed research, spoken before the US Senate (before he spoke to the US Senate he opted to limit his medication so that when he did speak, his symptoms would be clear, obvious and difficult to mask. You can see his testimony here), and received recognition and admiration for his work on behalf of those diagnosed with the disease. His sense of humor and sense of self are to be applauded and admired.

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