Britain's ad watchdog agency, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), just banned an American Apparel ad (pictured) which appeared on the back of Vice magazine, after the group received two complaints against the image for appearing to sexualize a child. The ASA is oddly vigilant about age-appropriateness in British advertising, having previously gone after Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs for similar reasons. Here in America, we won't even buy toothpaste unless there's a pair of pleading Bambi eyes pictured on the tube.
Responding to the ASA's charge that the ad was “offensive and irresponsible,” American Apparel said the image was actually quite “tame and tasteful" by fashion and underwear standards. You say potato, I say potahto.
I feel torn. On one hand, I've long felt that American Apparel's whole schtick is "offensive and irresponsible." But for once, the retailer does have a point: apart from the grimy basement aesthetic, which lends American Apparel ads a sleazy porny vibe, the content is not especially provocative. The picture shows a pantless, knee-socked girl sitting on a chair, wearing an I-really-like-that-sweater sweater. It looks like she's in the process of undressing more fully, maybe even for the purpose of Having the Sex, as the kids say. Let it be noted, for the record, that the position of her legs does reveal a flash of pantied crotch.
If the model were very young, I would feel differently, but American Apparel confirmed to WWD that she was over eighteen. Also, bear in mind that the ad appeared in Vice — hardly a bastion of taste and decency to begin with — and targets, like, insufferable 23-year-old alt-bros in bands, and the girls who want to date them.
Aaaaand I've just defended an American Apparel ad. Please, please never put me in this position again.
Image via WWD
When you take two things that have been done to death and combine them into one editorial, it has all the makings of a disaster, but luckily Du Jour manages to avoid this trap entirely. Taking bank-making androgyne Andrej Pejic and subjecting him to yet another gender metamorphosis, this time as none other than fashion editorial favourite Andy Warhol, they’ve turned the tired into something truly awesome.
Pejic not only makes an incredibly convincing Andy, but also proves his gender morphing chops as Warholian superstars Edie and Nico. He has the former’s childish gaze pretty much perfected, and his smouldering take on Blue Steel is uncannily similar to the stony stage face of the late Velvet Underground singer. He even goes for the ultimate male-female mash-up as transsexual superstar Candy Darling, showing off heavy purple eyelids and thinly-pencilled brows for his transformation to a man dressed as a man dressed as a woman. Sufficiently confused yet? We assume that’s part of the point.
The editorial was shot by Tony Kim and inspired by the recent NARS x Andy Warhol makeup collection. If you haven’t bought anything from that collection to date, now is probably the time.
Images: Du Jour
Today, WWD came out with its annual list of the 100 best-known consumer brands, and Victoria's Secret tops the list, followed by Hanes, Old Navy, and Levi's.
It's actually remarkable that two undergarment brands made it to the top spots on the list, considering underwear's propensity to hide underneath other clothing. Clearly there are other factors at play — for example, every year Victoria's Secret selects some of the most beautiful women in the world, and has them walk the runway in elaborate and revealing costumes while America's most popular pop stars perform alongside. This is all televised nationally. That probably doesn't hurt their brand visibility, I would guess. (WWD notes that Victoria's Secret also donated many of its forklifts* and generators to the National Guard for Hurricane Sandy relief, lest you think they're all cleavage and Swarovski crystals.)
Hanes seems like a more modest brand, all cotton white briefs and undershirts, but the over 100-year-old brand has an annual ad budget of $50 million dollars and works with people like Michael Jordan, who is one of the few basketball players even fashion people know about.
Image via Getty
* Can I get a visual on a VS forklift, plz?
Images via TFS Forums
It looks like Marc Jacobs still hasn't gotten over that time earlier this year when graffiti artist Kidult spray-painted "ART" in giant hot pink letters across the designer's Soho boutique. Always a master of turning lemons into overpriced novelty t-shirts, at the time Jacobs responded to the incident by releasing a limited-edition pink tee printed with a photo of the graffiti-d store. It sold for the happy price of $689.
If the designer's run-in with Kidult did serve as a source of inspiration for the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 campaign (which popped up in the tFS Forums a few hours ago), I would like to take this opportunity to caution all graffiti artists against vandalizing Jacobs' boutiques in the future. You can't win. Unless you want to see your subversive action beaten down into a rich white man's (when people talk about "the man" I'm pretty sure they're talking about Marc Jacobs) fantasy of cool, your witty/challenging social statements would be more effective elsewhere.
Juergen Teller lensed the ads for Marc by Marc Jacobs, and even though they're visually interesting, and very Marc (colors and chaos and grit are the New York designer's bread and butter), they're practically a parody of themselves.
Questions: Who wears brand new white pumps to an abandoned lot, unless they want to customize them with a DIY cat pee print? I can actually understand why the model on the right is hanging between the two walls instead of sitting on that so-called toilet, but who chooses the most disgusting bathroom of all time for their book-reading? Contrary to what the photographs above suggest, I don't think it's actually true that young graffiti artists are lunatics.
I think this is an ad only for people that have so much money they need to go throw some in that toilet.
I would be very hard pressed to tell you what Kate Bosworth’s last viable acting project was (other than singing a holiday song for Topshop), but she’s still very much a fashion world darling, as exhibited by her appearance on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Australia’s January issue. As they often do, forum members had mixed reactions to the cover shot, but I also have to point out that this cover bears more than a passing resemblance to Jessica Chastain’s current Vogue Germany cover. Is this the suggested styling and pose for January 2013 in some sort of secret international magazine cover manual that we don’t know about? That weirdness aside, I’ll share some forum member thoughts and reactions.
Blueorchid wrote, “Pretty, but she's like the American version of Sienna Miller to me: a completely irrelevant actress with marginal talent who won't go away.”
“This is beauty now?” HeatherAnne asked. “Photoshopped noses and blown up lips? Not interested. She looks ridiculous.”
Others, like Maximilian S, were not as critical. “I love it, captivating cover, Kate looks stunning,” he wrote.
I think Kate looks fine, though the Photoshop and the plumped up lips are indeed a bit of a distraction. I just can’t get past the weirdness (I know, I tried) of how similar this cover is to Vogue Germany’s. Just look at them side by side (below) and I dare you to tell me I’m crazy.
Images: Harper's Bazaar Australia and vogue.de
Bruce Weber photographed actress and fashion darling Jessica Chastain swathed in red Gucci for the cover of Vogue Germany’s January 2013 issue. To ring in the New Year, the issue features things that (most) people are currently obsessed with – like their cover girl, Downton Abbey cast members, and Kate Upton. Picky Fashion Spot forum members don’t always speak for “most people” though.
Melancholybaby wrote, “The sleeve looks like she's wearing an ugly hat, and honestly that's what it took to ruin the cover for me. Nice to see Bruce Weber shooting an issue of Vogue Germany again though,” he added.
SugarMe fell somewhere in the middle, saying, “I've never been impressed with or convinced of Jessica Chastain's status as a fashion icon. It always feels so forced. However, this is a nice cover… I was kind of dreading seeing Gucci SS13 on covers, but I like the way it's being used here.”
“I think this cover of Jessica is really eye-catching,” YoninahAliza posted. “I like the all red color palette, it works here. And I love seeing two of my favorite girls, Michelle Dockery and Jessica Chastain, in any edition of Vogue. They are so fantastic.”
In addition to her cover, Chastain was photographed in an All That Jazz-themed editorial with French actor Omar Sy. Weber also photographed the aforementioned Downton Abbey cast, in addition to a massive Kate Upton editorial (that you can see here, here, and here).
Is Kate Upton a bona fide fashion phenomenon yet? I think yes. I’m kind of hooked, and so apparently is Vogue Germany, but what about the rest of you? Jessica Chastain may be on the cover, but Kate’s stealing the thunder.