Monday, November 5, 2007

Smart Girls, this Thursday

by Diane Vadino

So we've been talking, here, about non-book things that inspire the writing of books. Yesterday, Hopper. Today, Amelia's Magazine and Pop. I love a good fashion magazine - especially a fashion magazine that doesn't aspire to be anything but that. (For anything but, I go to Monocle and The Economist and about a billion other magazines built to do that job.) Anyway: What I love about these two magazines is that they feel auteured - that Amelia herself or Pop's mastermind, Katie Grand, are creating content completely in concert with their tastes, and nothing else. That sort of freedom is, I think, makes way for a sense of humor and wit that are so often missing from their competitors. My favorite Pop story ever was a collection of rabbits photographed wearing exceptionally tricked-out hats:

I mean, that's insane, and funny, and adorable. I love it. So the question becomes: Is there a place here for narrative? And of course I think the answer is yes. I've been working on a fashion story that's tied into a short story - so the images function almost as a film's storyboard ... only the model is exceptionally well dressed. I have some friends who get tetchy when they hear about this particular project, and I understand why writers - and I think I sort of live our uniform, in American Apparel tees and shorts, basically 24-7 - are a little meh about the fashion world in general. I'm certainly not interested in participating in, or contributing to, the tyranny of the pretty. But I do think that there's plenty of art in fashion, and an appreciation for completely unconventional beauty, and I found it more often in Amelia's and Pop than anywhere else. And that becomes an entry point, opening up to some fertile land - at least I hope so, since it's territory I'm very interested in exploring.

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