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Fashion nonsense and other foibles of the cognoscenti

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by Frank Pitz

Just when you think it can't get any sillier, any more mundane, along comes a news (sic) that restores your faith in the bizarre. I suppose that I could never be a fashion writer like Elizabeth Wellington of the Inky (that’s the Philadelphia Inquirer to the nicknamed challenged). There are just so many nuances contained within the sartorial spectrum that I just could never master. One must be knowledgeable in all aspects of fashion runway demeanor, verbiage and just when a particular designer is “making a statement.”

And I will admit, whenever the occasion arises that I must wear something other than jeans, sweats, cut-offs or pj’s my lovely wife goes into DEFCON-1 mode automatically. No way would I ever get out the door – in her company, or sans her company – until I pass a style assessment. As a reader, writer and journalist I’m always open to new ideas and/or trends, keeping my finger on the pulse as it were. I am also aware that fashion trends with the varying color schemes and other trappings always somehow – at least according to fashion writers and ‘other’ experts – have an underlying theme. I mean like it’s not just a suit, skirt or shoes, it means something and that something denotes just who and what you are on some fashionista’s real or imagined pecking order.

Ms. Wellington – with a few comments from supposed fashionistas’ - in a recent offering entitled "State of the attire" opined on just what we could infer (psychobabble-wise, one supposes) by paying attention to how those in attendance at Bush’s State of the Union fiesta were dressed. As proof of this her sub-hede “Powerful prefer pastels” spells it out for those of us who are fashion challenged. Dick Cheney – a true fashion maven – offset his usual stern countenance by sporting a “pink tie.” One supposes this is meant to convey his power look but tempering it with “pink tie” approachability; Cheney as teddy bear as it were. The boy Prez himself opted for a “sky-blue tie” to offset his dark-blue suit, hidden by the dais was the unanswered question as to the color of his cowboy boots though.

Then we had Madam Speaker, adorned in a “celery-green skirt suit,” appropriate pastel friendliness; a green rose between two thorns? According to Ms. Wellington’s piece “Pops of muted colors were everywhere.” Barack Obama sporting an “ice-blue tie” and Hillary in “soft-pink shell with a charcoal gray suit.” Now, the ubiquitous experts in Ms. Wellington’s article orate thusly: “…the adoption of lighter colors could signify a desire to connect with a disenchanted public.” Say what? People are dying by the score in Iraq, New Orleans is “out of sight, out of mind” to the politicians, the economy is in the toilet and we’re all going to be saved by soft pastels? The only one with any cojones in the crowd was Laura Bush, she was “attired” in power red.
Where do people come up with this nonsense, or better yet; why do they come up with it? I know, I know, diversion, entertainment, milksop for the unwashed masses; the Marie Antoinette School of governance and media twaddle. Forgive me, I realize I’m not being very fair here; I’m certain there are a few people out there in La-La Land who truly are interested in what the power structure or entertainment structure – aren’t they one and the same? – are wearing. Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re naked if they would do the job that we the people elected them to do.

But then, folks like Elizabeth Wellington and her assorted fashionista’s would be out of work, though that might not be such a bad idea, then they could join the countless millions in this country who find themselves unemployed. They might find some comfort in giving fashion advice to the homeless; you know, the correct color scheme to wear when panhandling, or a particular power ensemble to dress in while sleeping in the subway – interchangeable of course depending if one is sleeping uptown or down.

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