Keep the Magazines Coming Please…

Alexander McQueen Fall 2008

Image via Wikipedia

This may come as a surprise to those who haven’t known me more than a few years (and maybe to some that have), but I love fashion. I mean I really LOVE it. It doesn’t have to be anything that I would wear myself but the more over the top the better… think Alexander McQueen (RIP, the runway is a more boring place without you)  meets Alice In Wonderland. I’m a Project Runway fanatic, and the new Project Accessory makes me want to start designing tomorrow. An invitaiton to a show at NYC’s Fashion Week is one of those things I long to see in person and would soak up every crazy moment of.

As a young girl, I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys in Bradenton Beach, FL. In fact, I was the only girl in our age group so I spent my afternoons playing football and skateboarding with the boys. I cried so much when I got  Barbie in my Easter basket one year that my mom took it back to the store and exchanged it for a NERF (sheesh) football. Still girlie, but better than the Barbie. Even though I didn’t like to dress up dolls, I loved to dress up myself. And yes, I showed up to the afternoon football games with pigtails adorned with shiny bows and the most outrageous striped knee socks I could find to pair with my Chuck Taylor’s. I wasn’t afraid to tackle my male counterparts on the playground but then, I was like 9, so there wasn’t really anything important that could get hurt yet. That changed within a couple years and I quit playing outside with the boys and, to my parents’ dismay, discovered the mall.

I spent all of my allowance there and asked for extra chores if there was something special I had my eye on. I had it all too… the fingerless, lace Madonna gloves, plaid skirts with knee high socks, the short suede boots that was all the rage in London… (Keep in mind, I was young and a child of the 80’s; this stuff was cool then.) As soon as I was old enough, I started working in a fashion store in the mall and that is where I stayed, in some store or another, throughout college. I won’t even go into the turn that my “fashion sense” took while I was in college/ my 20’s, except to say that I discovered the rave scene and that was it. I was in love with the music, hair every color of the rainbow and the insane clothes and accessories (many of which lit up, I’m sure). Thank GOD we did not have camera phones and Facebook then. Thankfullly there isn’t a lot of evidence from those years but boy was it fun.

I’m not sure where this love of fashion started but it probably stemmed from my mother’s fashion magazine collection and her dedication to never leaving the house without her hair fixed just so and her lipstick on. She kept up a nightly beauty regimen that included a little speech about the importance of moisturizing until the day she left us.  As I was going through her things as I prepared to leave our home in Atlanta after her passing, I found a huge box full of hats and gloves. You can tell these are from another generation, and honestly, I cannot ever remember seeing her wear any of them, but I know how much they must have meant to her to keep them all those years and I’m happy to have them.

Anyway, I digress a bit. What actually started me reflecting on this whole fashion love of mine is what came in the mail today. I received a magazine called Style.com/ Print. It’s big and glossy and full of beautiful, shiny and colorful things that brought me back to a time when I used to wait anxiously each month for my mom’s Vogue to come in the mail so I could look at all the cool clothes and dream of a day when I could afford to wear them to some posh NY restaurant or very cool club. The magazine that came today has a pair of Prada shoes in it that are so spectacular, my roomate actually gasped when she saw them. I tore the page out for her and she said she may sleep with it tonight. It’s that good of a shoe.

I’ve spent my entire post-graduate career in print advertising and the last couple of years I have heard a lot of people saying “Print is dead.” Now this is mostly used as an objection to not buy print advertising, preferring to spend their money in the arena of online advertising. But honestly, I hope (and believe) that print will never die. How could generations of young girls not get the opportunity to peek into a world of fashion, models and otherwordly makeup and wonder or pretend what it must be like to strap on those fabulous Pradas and walk a runway? Keep the magazines coming… and the awesome shoes.

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