Covers & Content: May 2013

The Magazine: Fashion

The Cover Star: Isla Fisher

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No. However, Fashion gets major props this month for featuring a spread with a model in her 60s! Canadian model Donna DeMarco is 68 is the star of a The Graduate-inspired editorial.

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The Magazine: Flare

The Cover Star: Christina Hendricks

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: White

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: No

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: No

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The Magazine: Elle Canada

The Cover Star: Grace Mahary. It should be noted however, that Mahary is not interviewed anywhere in the magazine though she is the cover star. This is not unusual–models who land magazine covers often get shorter stories. Even disgraced icon/model Charlotte Free got a few words in for her cover story for Flare March 2013, so Mahary’s voice is notably absent.

Perceived Appearance of Cover Star: Black

Does the magazine appear to feature any models of colour in the editorials?: Yes! There is one fantastic spread called “Graphic Games” that has nine different models of all different ages, shapes, sizes, and races which we really applaud–genius move! However, there is also a spread called “Tokyo Society” which gets a major thumbs down from us for the same reasons the March 2013 issue of Flare did…you think they’d learn.

Does the magazine appear to feature any plus-size models in the editorials?: Yes! (see previous comments)

Gloss over This: Allison Williams

“It seems all the young female characters on the show [Girls] have moments when they feel like they’re unwanted by the world so I think ‘Dancing on my Own’ is their song,” says Williams. “It is so unabashedly about being vulnerable and rejected and having the strength to keep going, to keep fighting and get noticed.”

-Allison Williams to Elio Ianacci in “About a Girl” in Fashion August 2012

How to Become an In/Famous Fashion Editor

It seems that being a good fashion editor or reporter these days is a monumental task. How can you stay current/relevant with your news? How can you turn heads with your editorials? How can you ensure you will be the talk of the catwalk? We’re going to let you in on a few secrets that will not only make you famous, but ensure that you will go down in history for changing fashion as we know it…

Do you want to be remembered as an editor who people loosely associate with white supremacy movements? Yea, we didn’t think so.

Why hire a model of colour when you can just do blackface? Don’t do it. It is racist, no matter what you do or say to try and justify this racism. Hire models of colour and check your historical references.

If you can’t trust your own instincts about what is/not racist, culturally sensitive and appropriate, be proactive and hire a staff member who has the necessary know-how. There are thousands of university and college grads looking for jobs right now who care about fashion and who can act as an advisor. We recommend someone who has studied Women’s Studies, History, Anthropology, or otherwise has an academic background strongly informed by feminism and anti-oppression.

Do you want your site to practically crash because there are so many people positively supporting what you’re doing?

Above: Erika, a model with Ben Barry Agency Inc.

Talk to and hire plus-size models. Talk to and hire models of colour. Talk to and hire models over the age of 20. It works, and people love it. It would sell out on newsstands. You know why? Because it would be different from every single other magazine out there. The vast majority of magazines have the same thing every single month: thin, white, young models. Just look how much praise H&M Sweden got for using plus-size mannequins (note: they didn’t it was a prank, but the message went rapid fire around the internet). You are guaranteed to stand out by challenging the status quo!

Be known as the person who give someone their big break.

Above: A look from Montreal-based line Rush Couture. This is from the Fall 2013 collection.

The late and great Isabella Blow was known for ‘discovering’ Alexander McQueen. If being a patron of the arts appeals to you, put your money where your mouth is. Leave perverted, violent photographers out on the curb and hire new talent. Rookie Magazine has plenty of talented photographers. If you need new stylists, you can basically ask any fashion blogger out there. Plus, how many more racist collections of designers actually need to be showcased? None. Discover someone new, look at a relatively minor fashion weeks (Toronto? Tokyo? Auckland?). Bottom line: be the bold explorer, and foster intergenerational dialogue and creativity.

Support Safe Space

Models of all backgrounds have come forward expressing frustration and fear when out on the job. Whether they face sexual harassment, manipulation, or unreasonable demands from set photographers, stylists, and editors, it’s not right. As a leader in your industry, you, dear fashion editor, should lead by example. Models are your employees, respect their rights. If you don’t know how to do that, check in with The Model Alliance.

 

 

 

Gloss over This: Emma Stone

 

Stone was first truly thrust into the spotlight when she took on a leading role in Easy A, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010. She isn’t really sure if it was the pressure of starring in a movie or if the attention came too soon, but she felt crushed. She had stress-induced acne. The chronic anxiety and panic attacks she has had since childhood flared up. She never watched the movie. It’s a side of herself that the lighthearted actress has been remarkably frank about […] “Well, anxiety is part of my reality, so why not talk about it?”she says carefully, clearing her throat. “It’s just part of whatever happened to me when I was really, really little. It’s just kind of something that I manage.”

-Emma Stone in “Rolling Stone” by Kathryn Hudson in Elle Canada May 2013

A Note About My Sweater: Reimagining Expression

By: Fiorella 

I can’t remember what sparked my adoration of the color yellow. Was it a runny bit of yolk in my first sunny-side-up? Or the duckling in my picture book? I’ll never know, but I am certain that its magic has enriched my experiences as an individual eager to communicate. At eight years old, something about its energy instantly attracted me, irrevocably spellbound by my “dandelion” crayon and bright canary-yellow rain boots. My connection to yellow has evolved alongside my growth as a young, clothing-conscious woman, placing special emphasis on all things knitted, oversized, and faded.

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Above: Fiorella wearing the yellow sweater

As a twenty-something feminist and determined communicator, I behold my yellows in a state characterized by utter possibility. I often feel flooded with a sense of boundless expression and imaginative identity-shaping, uniquely mobilized by a stretch of sunrise, inching me towards my next printed word or melody. It come as no surprise then, that when I bought my yellow knitted sweater at a local thrift shop, I unearthed a new way to connect, a tactile mechanism bridging the gap between self-display and reception. Tangled in the fabric, I sensed an alternative method of communication, unrestricted by language and insecurities, instead empowered by threads.

When sporting its ordinarily cushy design, the tips of my fingers feel electric. I feel special and gracefully unimportant all at once, like a young witch realizing her powers at the same time her friends discover theirs, as if unified by magic yet subtly distinguished through individualized consciousness. In those few quiet moments, I become aware of unidentified words, radiating off my flesh in sweet splendor because they are filled with communicative power.

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This sweater is a cozy house to hundreds of stories, weaved into the softness of its fibers, and when I pull it over my head in the morning, I begin to share my own. Without looking back, I become an inscriber of meaning mediated by the itch on my collarbones, rolled up bohemian sleeves, and warmth against my stomach. An exaggerated fierceness fuels my intimate interaction with the environment: fabric is transformed into magnifying lens, and with this cosmic microscope, the platform on which I stand enables a self-expression that is rich and dynamic.

Through an active choice-making process, I embrace the yellowness and wooly texture of my sweater. Our relationship becomes reciprocal, lending my body to its sweet tangible instability, and inhabiting a unique identity marker in return. I connect deeply to the snug way it hangs off my chest, like a second skin, blurring definitive modes of (passive) consumption in favor of clothing as a self-affirming communicative tool. I consider my yellow knitted sweater an extension of myself, belonging to my psyche, reflecting my ideas, aspirations, and glorious mistake-stains. Using this extension, I am able to navigate my identity more fully, creating a space to challenge limiting assumptions of self-expression, and subsequently finding inspiration in the dusty lens less looked through. Within a wide exploration of communicative methods, it is then possible to discover real empowering spaces, shedding a narrow approach to self-expression in favor of a intricate declaration of selfhood.

 

Fiorella is a 22 year old, fourth-year Psychology student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She volunteers at the Centre for Women and Trans People* on campus, and has a special place in her heart for feminism, anti-oppression, and cinnamon. She was recently hired as Editor-in-Chief of her school’s literary magazine, Blueprint, and is committed to wild, messy hair and well-worn sneakers. Her favorite book is The Witches by Roald Dahl. She has four copies. Find her on twitter @ellafior.

 

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