Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Haute Times

Last night I watched "The September Issue" and "Gossip Girl" back-to-back. The former is a documentary about Vogue Magazine and editor Anna Wintour, while the latter is a popular TV show about rich adolescents living elaborate and sexually charged lives in NYC. Watching them in a row provided a perfect juxtaposition of the industry which produces/packages fashion and luxury with the young status obsessed consumers.

I lived in New York City in the fall of 2007, the season in which "The September Issue" takes place. My introduction to the Big Apple was before the markets crashed and before buying haute couture became something to be ashamed of. When I started my Master's degree and began working in the arts in NYC, the city was riding high - off hedge fund cash and thriving creative arts. I met young people, barely out of high school and college, interning and working at the leading fashion houses, banks and magazines. Possibilities seemed endless. The future seemed to be not only encouraging but seductive. The "next" always seemed to be "better." For the young and naive - no end seemed in sight to the potentials of prosperity.

The world has changed a lot in just two years, but there is one thing that watching "The September Issue" and "Gossip Girl" reminded me hasn't changed much:

Perfection in life, love or work has never and will never be attainable - yet too many people spend too much time keeping up appearances of a perfect life, even while in reality things may be crumbling.

Advice for today:
There is nothing wrong with striving for perfection. However, when it seems safer to plant a fake smile on your face and present to the world an image of perfection that does not exist, remember - we got into these current economic problems to begin with because too many people were creating false images of reality. Leave the pretty pictures to the magazine editors. It's ok to NOT HIDE the faults in your marriage, a drought in your dating life, lack of satisfaction in your job, or family stress. Spend less energy covering things up and more energy making things better.

"Everybody isn't perfect in this world, it is enough that the models are perfect"
Coddington, Creative Director, Vogue

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