Thursday, August 10, 2006

Not In Love With the Modern World -or- The Wonderful World of Fashion Vocabulary

I'm so interested to know some sort of figure on how often the participants in this season's Project Runway make use of the word "modern" in a typical episode, that I'm tempted to actually sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and keep track next week.

It is unlikely, however, that next week's episode could possibly top this week's for sheer ridiculous over and misuse of the once great word. This is because the challenge in tonight's episode made specific use of the concept of "fashion modernity" by requiring the designers to "modernize" the look of a classic fashionable celebrity by creating an outfit that they would concievably wear today. The main problem with this idea isn't the idea itself. The results of having the designers create something for the Marilyn Monroe or Twiggy of today were decidedly interesting. The problem is that absolutely all of the celebrities chosen as models for the challenge were/are entirely "modern" in some respect of the word. Which brings us to the real question: what the fuck are these people talking about when they say the word "modern"?

Seriously, at one point during this episode it was good that I didn't have anything sharp in my hand, because, had I had, it would have ended up inside of my head. These people, even the ones I pretty much like, or feel like I might like if I ever actually met them, throw the word around the same way they do "seam" or "wrinkly". What gets my goat, though, is that I don't ever know what they mean by it, and I don't think they do either. The worst part is that the judges encourage them by doing exactly the same thing.

Maybe I'd deal with it better if, just once, I could hear Micheal Kors criticize someone's creation as "pre-modern" or even simply, "not modern," because that would give me some sort of clue as to what in blue blazes the people on this show, and, I suppose, the fashion industry on the whole, intends to mean when the use this word. My biggest fear is that later on in the season there will emerge a challenge based on the creation of period costumes and Allison will do a great job making some sort of faux baroque evening gown, like some shit out of that performace of "Vogue" Madonna gave at the 1990 Video Music Awards, and will proceed to describe her work as "modern" only to be praised by the judges for how, even though it could fit in in period setting, it looks "modern." I think I'd damn kill myself.

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