Saturday, March 29, 2008

It’s Unanimous: Is Anna Wintour Satan?

I just found two awesome, awesome articles and I needed to repost...

I am giving full credit to the original writers...

Is Anna Wintour Satan?

by Maria Bustillos

There is reason enough to suspect that US Vogue editor Anna Wintour is in fact the cloven-footed demon known as Satan. For one thing, those sunglasses are very likely hiding glowing red eyeballs. For another, Wintour’s destructive powers are so immense as to raise a strong suspicion of supernatural origins.

After a long spell of editorial mayhem and bloodletting in the United Kingdom (where she was dubbed "Nuclear Wintour" by a perceptive press), our subject descended on the States in 1987, and proceeded to lay waste to House & Garden. Where once this venerable magazine published breathtaking pictorials of the Villa Medici as restored by Balthus, Wintour installed a small, second-rate celebrity merchandising hell; an adjunct, apparently, to her larger property below ground. In a devastating maneuver, Wintour even trashed House & Garden’s dignified black-and-white cover logo, replacing it with the inane initials, "HG", widely supposed to stand for "How Gauche." Despite a return to its original name, House & Garden has never recovered.

But that was just an appetizer, compared to the putative archfiend’s next move. Landing somehow (cf. Rosemary’s Baby??) in the driver’s seat of America’s leading women’s magazine, Wintour has proceeded to demolish not only Vogue but with it the whole American fashion world, with colossal force, and for over a decade. Women who were permitted, during the heady days of Carmel Snow and of Mrs. Vreeland, to live in a wonderful fantasy world of beauty and delight every month, have been exiled to a wasteland populated by drab, desiccated, amenorrheic teenagers, wearing rags that would look unnaturally bleak on the set of Blade Runner. Gaiety is gone; humor is gone; warmth is gone; pleasure is gone; style is gone. In their place are greed, insolence, starvation, envy and malice; in short, Satanic stuff.

Let’s start with the deadly sin of greed, for money clearly means a lot to la Wintour; Vogue mentions large sums with precision, and whenever possible. In an article about rich women’s cast-off designer stuff, Vogue breathlessly lauded one of the dumbest women in the world, future Darwin Awards candidate Maria Williams. (Though the Australian Williams has yet to be bumped off and tossed in a Hefty bag, anyone who announces in a publication with a circulation of over one million that she routinely carries around $100,000 in specie can’t have much time left.) "Cash speaks all languages, love", Williams gushed--um, wittily, in her Vogue interview.

Writhing in Agony

In vain does a desperate readership pen what must be a perpetual avalanche of enraged Letters to the Editor. Take the four or five published letters, each roundly condemning hair colorist Brad Johns. "Will someone hand Brad Johns a reality sandwich?" demanded one incensed punter, "incredibly offended" at Johns’s suggestion that patrons tip him "A nice, crisp $100 or $500 bill, presented to us elegantly, with a note." [Is there such a thing as a $500 bill? Ed.] It’s a comfort to know that the fastidious Johns would reject any such gift without the "elegant presentation"; somewhere, at least, the highest standards are still being upheld. And how about those dreadful, rumpled $100s? Those go in the yucky wastebasket, with all the hair clippings!! "I am so disgusted by the egotistical attitude of colorist Brad Johns," fumes another--and another, and another, no doubt. And even more women write to protest against the Wintour notion of a "curvaceous" body--that would evidently be about a 34-24-32. "From what I could see," hissed another reader, regarding yet another famished model, "the curviest part of Gisele is her hair!" Figure it out, girls--in the Vogue lexicon, "curvaceous" is simply another way of saying, "surgically enhanced breasts on heavily airbrushed victim of eating disorder."

On to Puff Daddy, who was invited by Vogue on his first visit to the Paris collections. Old Scratch (possibly) professed herself touched by Puffy’s naïve enjoyment of the runways: "[...] such unabashed delight made the rest of us feel a bit jaded," she writes. "We all need to have our enthusiasm renewed from time to time… Puff Daddy helped rekindle our passion." Such is the delightful innocence of Puffy! Doubtless his 45 pairs of shoes, 26 hats, eighteen trunks of clothes, a whole hotel room reserved just as a closet, two stylists, what Vogue calls "a hair person"--shades of the Blair Witch!--a case of platinum and diamonds, four bodyguards, two publicists, record managers, etc. etc. also found favor with the no-longer-so-jaded editor.

(Can there, one wonders, already have been a secret transaction between these two?? Is Puff Daddy, in fact, the Adrian Leverkuhn of our times? "Rap culture today is shameless," Puffy admitted in Vogue, with what must surely have been a million-dollar smile. "You want a Bentley because it’s hot. It’s also $300,000, and a Rolls is only $100,000." Later, in this same article: "Bentleys have a special place in Puffy’s heart: he owns two.")

Perhaps this obsession with wealth should be forgiven in a publication devoted to the high-ticket consumer? And magazines are surely put on this earth to sell products, some will say. What matters most is that, with all its clout, Vogue can at least present to us the latest style--however bonily? Well... no. Vogue is in fact amazingly, almost bizarrely, square. Why?? Because wealth, in and of itself, is not cool; because obsessing over your body until you can’t eat so much as a string bean in peace, is not cool; because always wearing sunglasses makes one think of that unutterably lame sunglasses-at-night song, which then gets stuck in your head, and that is miserably uncool; and finally, because Vogue is virtually web-illiterate--and nothing, but nothing, is less cool than that.

But wait! Vogue, responsibly trend-forward publication that it is, did finally manage to launch a reasonably good-looking web site, as early as October of 1999--this Internet is going to be a big thing, after all!--at "Log on", Wintour writes vaguely, with an airy wave.

Especially because she has failed to increase Vogue’s circulation since her editorship began, someday--maybe sooner than we think--this nightmare will be over, Anna Wintour can, perhaps, retire to her subterranean abode, and someone articulate and elegant and fun, someone with intelligence, and generosity, and a healthy appetite, will have that influential job. Then Vogue will once again be the thrilling, beautiful magazine everyone wants to read. That will be a great thing for the women of America and the world, and I, for one, can’t wait. Meanwhile, we must all maintain a stiff upper lip, and continue to endure ’the banality of evil’.

So, anyway… is Anna Wintour Satan??

(Oh, of course not. Satan is much smarter than Anna Wintour.)

Anna Wintour Must Be Stopped

Sienna Miller on the cover of January Vogue. She’s the only redeeming feature of this issue!I received the January ’06 issue of US Vogue today, and I must say I am incredibly disappointed! The January issue is traditionally a slim volume, but this one is so skinny, it’s more like US Weekly than Vogue.

Sienna Miller is on the cover and looks, of course, gorgeous. I must admit that the interview and the photo spread are also lovely. However, the only other worthwhile item in the magazine is a breathtakingly original Dior coat on p. 96 - a beautiful nude distressed-edge twill with a black lace bustier overlay (Annie, are you listening?).

The rest of the pages are full of the socialite-worshipping, ridiculous crap with which Anna has notoriously polluted the magazine, especially in recent years. I am so very tired of looking at pictures of Anh Duong and Sloan Lindemann, and reading vapid interviews with Lauren du Pont.

In an even more heinous crime, Vogue names Kirsten Dunst one of the best dressed lasses of 2005. Yes, the same Kirsten Dunst who has yet to be introduced to those marvelous inventions, the brassiere and the hairbrush. She is featured in the magazine wearing a Christian Lacroix frock that looks like a bag with a ribbon wrapped around it twice. This is unforgivable. (If you don’t believe me about La Dunst, head over to Go Fug Yourself and see the photos of her in hideous getups throughout the year). Incidentally, I have met Kirsten Dunst and can personally say that she is undeserving of a Best Dressed honor.

We also have Selma Blair on the best dressed list, sporting a horrifying reinvention of Dorothy’s gingham dress from The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, this monstrosity comes to us from Marc Jacobs. I intend to forgive him for this.

Mephistopheles?The last bastion of sanity and enjoyment in Vogue, Jeffrey Steingarten’s column about food, is missing from the January issue. And even the ad pages are boring and unspiring, the exception being a Roberto Cavalli ad with Kate Moss.

I am beginning to believe that Maria Bustillos is on to something with her theories about Anna Wintour.

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