April 04, 2012

Why French So Risqué & Americans So Conservative?

What's with the French fashion that they feel more free to publish semi-naked sexy photos in their fashion magazines, why can't the American Vogue do it? 


That's been a perplexity of mine for a while. I've been always fascinated with the international fashion, for which I turn to the book stores in the city to browse through the magazines from UK, France, Russia, Japan and Australia. 

I get a great pleasure - even when I don't understand the text - from the visuals in the magazines. My favorite of them all is, by far, the French Vogue. Every time I look through it, I find things that could - and never would - be published in the American Vogue, like photos of models with cigarettes, semi-naked photos, S&M scenes and etc. Not that this is something of my deepest interest - not at all, but seeing is not doing. But then again, Anna Wintour,the Editor-in-Chief of the American Vogue, is a rather conservative woman, judging by the way she's always dressed.

I'd like to have an open mind about things. I'd like to be able to make my own decisions, whether I want to see the over-Photoshopped models or the models who bare their intimate body parts. It's the nature of the fashion - constantly and continuously surprising the readers - to the point of even making the readers uncomfortable about the editor's choices for the visuals...

Personally I like how Emmanuelle Alt, the Editor-in-Chief of the French Vogue, is pushing the envelope of how far the fashion can go, although, she is still on a more conservative side in comparison to the predecessor of hers - Carine Roitfeld, whose editorial work I absolutely loved! She is was notorious for continuously surprising the readers and fashionistas around the world.

There's a strong misconception that the American audience is very strict - and in a way it is, because why then the mothers would protest against Madonna's Truth or Dare perfume commercial? I didn't see anything over-sexed there. Yes, it's of a sexual nature, but it's still on the border of decency. Those who complain, they haven't' see the European magazines, films and commercials! 

While the local fashion industry is protecting the fashion crowd from 'naked models', there are more teen pregnancies in the states, than there are in Europe, per say. The same as with the local pornographic industry - just visit the Los Angeles 'valley', the center of all the pornographic production in the country. 

What I'm actually trying to say - without going into the depth of politics and social morality is that I think we are missing a lot of creativity in the American fashion magazines in comparison to the ones abroad. But then again, you have me to write about those.

And while we are on the subject matter of the French Vogue, here are a few good finds for the stylish shopping sites and brands that you might be missing in your Marie Clare and Lucky magazines:

  1. Forte, Forte - a relatively peculiar minimalist site, but you might as well just 'window shop'
  2. Les Petites - just like the name says, it's basically for relatively petite ladies, although, judging by the photos, they are not that petite. P.S. Notice the footwear, some very cute shoes and boots!
  3. Irfe -  a very old brand that's been revamped by a very strong Russian fashionista - business woman Olga Sorokina, this fashion house was originally established by Prince and Princess Youssoupoff in 1924.
  4. Closed - their style reminds me a lot about the fashion of Los Angeles (the casualness of it - the surfer-going-out-on-a-night-in-town kind of styles) and Amsterdam.

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