Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Boyfriend vs. Fashionista: What he says

"Good taste is better than bad taste but bad taste is better than no taste”
Arnold Bennett (British novelist, playwright, critic, and essayist, 1867-1931)

I was reading "The Cut", a great online fashion blog from New York Magazine, and stumbled across a post that highlighted top picks of Best Dressed and Worst Dressed lists. Delighted, I quickly flicked through it, not at all surprised by the various celebrities and socialites that inhabited it, oohing and aahing at the delectable best list choices of Alexa Chung and Rihanna, and chortling at the unfortunates who had made the worst dressed lists.

It made me think (or as Carrie would say, I couldn't help but wonder)...

Who decides what is good or bad style? What criteria must one fulfill to please the sartorial gods? Is it good fit? Flattering shades? A nod to the current season? Although much of style judgment is subjective, there are clearly some universal style qualities that everyone is judged by. But still, there is a very fine line between what is simply eccentric, and what is weird. I am by no means qualified to be a fashion critic (who really ever is?), so have decided to merely include the opinions of others. Cop out? Yes. But I'm sure you've had enough of my opinions.

So I've decided to enlist the help of one who is ever so fluent in the language of fashion: my boyfriend.

Whenever I find myself taking fashion too seriously, it is nice to be reminded that at the end of the day , it is often just a case of grown-ups playing dress up. I don't mean this in a patronising way, but too often people take life too seriously, and fashion should never be too serious. It is a mode of self expression, the perfect union of form and function, often times wearable art, but one mustn't forget it is a rather frivolous industry. One of the reasons I love it so.

Quite simply, as I was in fashion heaven viewing this post, my (ever so slightly pretentious) thoughts were quickly brought back down to earth by the very simple observations made by my boyfriend. And so I present to you: Boyfriend vs. Fashionista (the latter played mostly by NY magazine).

1. Best dressed: Alexa Chung (see above)
Fashionista:"Alexa Chung always puts her geek chic spin on her designer favourites," says British Vogue's fashion director, Kate Phelan." Credit: Vogue UK
Boyfriend says: Shoestring around her neck, tux belt, lederhosen.

2. Best dressed: Rihanna
"Rihanna appeared on several "best" lists; Anna Dello Russo zeroed in on her outstanding color sense, as evidenced here by the combination of melon-colored Cacharel pants, a violet Maria Luisa top, and that fire-engine-red hair." Photo credit: ADR

Boyfriend: Pyjama pants, top that's too small but not in a sexy way.

3. Best dressed: Victoria Beckham
Fashionista:"Victoria Beckham made a few "Best" lists, which, given where she started, could give Taylor Momsen some hope. French Elle praised her style maturity in knowing what suits her and sticking to it." Photo credit: Elle France
Boyfriend: It's a green dress with arms. [Me:Don't you have anything else to say about it?]. No. Boring green dress.
4. Best dressed: Helen Mirren
Fashionista: "Who can dispute the elegant perfection of Dame Helen Mirren?" Photo credit: The Daily Beast.
Boyfriend: Good for an old bird. Elegant, fine. If she was younger she should be showing more skin.

5. Worst Dressed: Taylor Momsen

Fashionista: "Oh, Taylor. French Elle was in the minority, applauding your audacious, if derivative, use of underwear. Refinery29 expressed the majority opinion: "Taylor is ... really playing up the Courtney Love element. The problem is we already have a Courtney Love, and she does it much better."" Credit: Refinery 29
Boyfriend: Are those goggles? Seems slutty.

6. Best dressed: Michelle Harper
Fashionista:"Tommy Ton did Style.com's list and singled out Michelle Harper in particular for her marvelous Surrealist Yazbukey hat and finger necklace." Credit: Style.com
Boyfriend: Need I say more. Weird and not quite Lady Gaga

7. Worst dressed: Ke$ha.
Ke$ha was a universal worst-er. Ben Widdicombe at StyleList said, "We'll say this for Ke$ha's music — it's better than her fashion." Credit: StyleList
Boyfriend: [Laughs].Eighties theme party. I dress like that.

Who's the winner in the style stakes? Drum roll please...
Boyfriend says: "I like the one with the lederhosen type thing [Alexa Chung]."

Well yes, me too.