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Mar 3, 2012

Are you a "Fashion Person" + POLL!



So my brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner last week and I get into something of a -- I won't call it an argument, more like a debate -- with my sister-in-law, when she says that in her opinion, I'm a foodie.

Now I had cooked the meal, but it was nothing special -- homemade tomato sauce (an improvised Bolognese meat sauce) over spaghetti, with a salad; can you get more Olive Garden than that?  I had mentioned, in passing, something about putting Italian parsley (the flat kind) in the salad rather than cilantro.  I do not think that makes me a foodie, readers. 

To me a foodie is someone who follows the restaurant scene (like my sister-in-law, he he, who happens to be an excellent cook, btw) the way some people follow Ryan Gosling movies, or is constantly on the hunt for some rare ingredient for a dish they're making -- teal truffle oil or, I don't know, dodo eggs.  I do care what I eat, yes, but I actually don't enjoy eating in restaurants much and if left to my own devices would eat very simply.  It's true: I know my ingredients, we get our vegetables during the growing season from a local CSA farm, and we drink raw milk.  Does that make me a foodie?

I ask, because sometimes people also mislabel me as a "fashion person."  I do not consider myself a fashion person.  First of all, I do not follow fashion.  Fashion Week in NYC came and went last month and I paid no attention.  Sure, from time to time I might glance at a fashion show photo on some blog or other, or pick up a fashion magazine in the dentist's office or the laundry room.  Frankly, fashion can be hard to avoid these days.



Yesterday I salvaged a recent copy of People from the trash ("Murder at the Palace! Drew's Engaged!  Beauty Secrets of the Stars!"), but just so I had something to read in the bathroom. And People is hardly Vogue, even if most of the ads are the same.

Obviously, I do write about fashion here from time to time, but always from the perspective of a head-scratching naif. Yes, I have an interest in vintage style and old Hollywood costumes.  But I don't think that makes me a "fashion person."



I think the confusion happens because I sew clothes.  But the more "fashion-y the item (think leopard pants) the less likely it is that I ever wear it.  You will never see me sporting sagger jeans or a suit that looks like it shrank three sizes, or Red Wing Classic Moc Lug boots -- or stuff like this (though I do like fringe)...



 Or this:



Anyway, this topic got me wondering about you.  Do you consider yourself a "fashion person" -- i.e., someone who follows fashion fervently and puts its dictates into practice -- or could you care less and do you just sew/wear what you like?

Do you have a spare second?  If so...



How would you define a "fashion person?"

BTW, please don't forget to throw your hat in the ring for the latest issue of Vogue Patterns I'm giving away with my article in it.  You have till Monday morning.



Happy weekend, everybody!

64 comments:

  1. I have a friend who self-identifies as a foodie, but he doesn't really sound like what you describe. He like to cook and he tries hard to diversify what he cooks. He's also always on the look-out for the best burger and fries out there, and lately cupcakes, but he doesn't eat out at restaurants all the time. I don't think he's always trying to find THE elusive ingredient, but he likes to try perfecting his recipes. He likes good food, and that's about it.

    Anywho, just thought I'd put that out there. I'm happy with pasta sauce out of the jar (although sometimes I get fancy and add a bit of pesto to it), so I can't really speak from experience myself. :D

    And no, I'm not a fashion person. I sew what I like, although I'm sure what I like is influenced by fashion.

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    1. By that definition, maybe I AM a foodie! Heather, it doesn't take very long to make your own sauce, you know... ;)

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    2. I would agree with that as my definition of a "foodie." The restaurant frequenting super special ingredient hunter is a "food snob."

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    3. Doesn't take long to pick one off the shelf either... ;D

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  2. Though I keep an eye on current fashion, mainly to know what's out there, much of it leaves me cold (or at least gives me a good laugh). Vintage fashion is where I draw my inspiration from, particularly the 1960s/70s.

    Micky

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  3. I used to follow fashion, but I could never afford to buy real expensive designer clothes. That is how I got interested on sewing.
    I changed my "ways" when I started working as a teacher assistant at a Kindergarten classroom because my job did not allow me to dress too trendy. So I started to leave fashion just for the weekends.
    Two years ago I had twins. So, my fashion interest became secondary. Recently, I started to sew again and I am trying to "fashion recover". LOL.
    I don't consider myself a fashion person or fashionista but most of my friends do because I feel comfortable wearing bright colors, current trends, etc. I am very good at predicting what might be on style next season also. I think the sense of fashion/style is just part of my personality.

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  4. I am interested in fashion, but don't follow its dictates; I am definitely a wear what I like person.
    I collect clothing and also make it; the most important features for me are quality of fabric and construction details.
    I adore vintage and classics; 1950's beaded boucle dresses and Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses are among my favorites.
    My spring sewing plans involve some amazing silk/linen blends and stunning cotton prints, and an assortment of both vintage patterns and new Vogue releases.
    I would love to take your survey, but none of the choices fit!

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  5. I don't do fashion - I have my own style :)

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  6. I guess I just can't see the fashion. I live in the Midwest, work and am close to 60 years old. I don't go anywhere that I would need a beaded anything and that's alright with me. I am like you, Peter, if there is a magazine in the doctor's or dentist office I will pick it up and look at it, but I certainly do not rush out an buy something in Tangerine Tango or whatever because its the color of the year. I do look at the sewing catalogs, if you consider that fashion, but my pattern stash has gotten so large that there is rarely anything there that I don't already have some version of. I don't consider myself a slob, I can dress up, but it has to look good on me. Just because its the latest is not good enough.
    Sewgranny

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  7. I follow Project Runway. That's the extent of my "fashion" following. My ideas of what's good to wear and fashion barely coexist in the same universe!

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  8. I can't participate in the poll because my category is not listed. I am into authentic self-expression.
    The more a person understands their own style and the more accurately they express it, the more they interest me.
    I also make an effort to be true to myself in matters of fashion, taste and style.
    If, at any point, I feel like the fashion industry is telling me what to wear, I wanna drop f*bombs. In a very two-year-old way, I say NO.
    No, I will NOT wear seafoam green and salmon in this lifetime,

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    1. Robin, Once again I completely agree with your personal style statement. Thanks for articulating it so well. Just say no!

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  9. I think there's a VAST difference between style and fashion, not that you can't have style and be fashionable. But you don't have to be fashionable to have style.

    I think you are interested in style, I would never label you fashion, perhaps people don't know what to call us people who are interested in clothes but couldn't give a fig about what is going on in fashion.

    I agree with you on the foodie front too, I cook from fresh, like good ingredients, we're vegetarian but a foodie I think of as someone who follows food trends and is interested in the latest restaurants! I can't afford restaurants, I guess I would be interested if I could ;o)

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  10. I love fabric. I'm interested in pattern books. i think that most of what passes for fashion is mere novelty. I live breathe and eat wearable clothing that feels good and does not look ridiculous. And I adore clothing from 1910 to 1958

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  11. I think of you more as a sociologist than a fashionista, and I mean that as a compliment. You do a great job of bringing disparate things together in your posts (and in your sewing too!) and it's always so interesting here.

    I don't follow high fashion and truthfully, most of what I see on runways is ugly to my eye. It has to be filtered down for me to want to try some of it. So, it's probably more accurate to say I am always a year or more behind. But I don't want to dress completely behind the times so I try to keep up somewhat, but more in a suburban mom way than as a fashionista.

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  12. Labels shmabels! i neither follow fashion trends nor food trends. I sew because i like to; i cook & blog about it because i like to. I cook what i like and make an effort to try to extend my skills, which is exactly what i do in my sewing. If someone else feels the need to label me they can go right ahead and knock themselves out.

    If i'm a foodie for making my own spaghetti sauce from scratch, so be it. If i'm a foodie for bottling/pressure canning tomatoes in summer; so be it. If i'm a fashionista for sewing what i like/interests me; so be it.

    Personally, i don't think of being interested in what you eat and how you cook it as being a foodie, but hey what do i know!

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  13. I think a fashion person (or a foodie) would have to have these interests as an overriding passion. Seems like you're more of a Renaissance man-- you want to do everything that affects your life in a classy and thoughtful way, including observe it in a blog.

    I'd love to read your article.

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    1. Renaissance man...hmm...has a nice ring to it!

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  14. I like to make my own clothes because it helps me ignore all the trends.

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  15. think you need one more option: "I like clothes, shoes, jewellery etc, which are stylish and make me look good, irrespective of the current trends according to the mags"

    S

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  16. Well, if you were one of those city people who comes upstate to pick your own stuff and then can and freeze it... I think then you'd be a foodie. I think you guys just like to eat good food. period. As for fashion - we'll, I have an intellectual interest, especially in what's going on with men's fashion right now (I find all the 'authentic US' business pretty funny). And from a historic standpoint I have a lot of interest but I would not consider myself a 'fashion person' since I don't live in a place such as New York where dressing at a certain level is expected. Where I work, the standard uniform for guys is jeans and sport shirts or golf shirts so the expectation is not there. I'm quite envious of Deb Cook being able to dress for the office since if I dress in anything other than casual pants and a knit top, I get the 'oh, are you going for a job interview' sorts of questions.

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  17. I'm somewhere between "fashion person" and "people think I wear vintage". I sew for myself, I keep an eye on fashion trends, but I follow my own style first and foremost. I approach fashion through the lens of design (hobbyist design, but still), so if I'm feeling the same sort of trends that other (professional) designers are feeling, that's great. If not, that's fine too -- that's how the whole of fashion is formed.

    As far as being a foodie, I'm with you: I care about ingredients (we also drink raw milk here, way out in sunny California; I didn't know NYC had raw milk access!), organic and non-GMO, and I like when things taste good. But I don't really enjoy cooking, I don't go to restaurants, much less follow popular chefs. But like sewing, I can see taking up cooking some day in the future, to be able to better make the things I want that others can't quite seem to get right. But I don't think I'll ever be a "foodie".

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  18. Oh come on, surely you could give the tutu a go :-)..

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  19. I look at fashion magazines etc, but I look at the details rather than the trends. I'm not interested in the latest colour, or that a particular type of trouser is in fashion. I'm interested in an interesting sleeve detail, an interesting pleat arrangement, etc - ideas I can adopt/adapt/extend to my own aesthetic. Also, I'm interested in real, wearable clothes, not circus fashion!

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  20. I love fashion and following the industry, but for me its like admiring exotic animals, I love the beauty and knowledge of it, but I do not want Gatorade owning responsibility!

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  21. I'm an organic farmer that has sold at a urban farmers market, and our definition of foody were people who were very conscious of the quality of the food they consumed, embraced the unique (vegetable-wise) and were adventurous with food. It was always gratifying to see how many 'foodies' were 20 somethings rebelling against fast food and instant meals and embracing cooking. Sound like you?

    On the fashion front. I love pretty clothes, and vogue patterns gets my creative Mojo revved up---but, being a farmer, most of my clothing leans toward denim and earth colored fabrics. I've tried to embrace the cowboy styling I've seen worn successfully in the movies by people that are supposed to be like me, but I don't really feel comfortable as a cowboy (-girl, -person). I also find fashion week a joke--I mean really, who dresses like that? As long as I've skirted the frump, I'm happy. That being said, I do have a daughter about to become a teen-ager, so I'm planning to encourage her to be fashion forward, and live vicariously thru her :)

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  22. Meh. Fashion has no interest in people bigger than a size 4, so I just ignore it. What interests me is STYLE not FASHION. Fashion is to style what a pair of snips is to a sewist - one of many useful tools that they can draw upon. And I find if my snips are not at hand, a pair of scissors works too. Peter I think you are a Style person not a fashion person. Make sense? :)

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    1. That's what I would say, too. I see you as a style person, Peter, not a fashion person.

      Um, but you are most definitly a foodie. Anyone who participates in a CSA (and expects their readership to know what that means) is one. I'd simply say that a foodie is anyone that takes an active and regular interest in good food and drink. So that would include both the restaurant set as well as the fresh local ingredients cooked at home set.

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  23. I am so not a fashion person. I think I am looking to define a personal style, and I have strong opinions on what I like and don't like, and I do find the construction of clothing interesting, but I don't actually follow fashion, designers, or trends. And it isn't that I ignore them completely, but more that I don't make additional effort to search them out.

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  24. For me, it's the fabric that comes first, then the decision about how to use it. But then, I'm pretty old and have lived through so many fashion cycles--belle epoque to the big- shouldered eighties, and their various repeats--that now I just go for flattering along with comfortable. It can be fun to look at what's being shown currently, but, truly, there isn't much new under the fashion sun. Makes all the hoop-la about this or that "look" seem rather silly.

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    1. WAIT -- You lived through the Belle Epoque???

      How old ARE you, Marilise? LOL

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    2. No, no! Not the 1800s, Peter! LOL! Just the Sixties/Seventies interation of lace, long flowy skirts, and the embroidery from Victorian/Edwardian styles.

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  25. I love clothes. I have no interest in "fashion".

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  26. I have to say I am totally into fashion! I have a degree in apparel design so I am definitely eat, sleep and breath fashion. It is interesting to watch what people are wearing and how it influences others. I love love love watching the live streaming shows from MBFW!

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  27. I'm like you. I would not say I follow fashion in the sense that a true "fashion" person does. My oldest daughter on the other hand does. I think I have mentioned her in my comments on here before. She actually worked for a London designer and was part of the London fashion week. The girl knows her trends, and is a designer herself. That to me is a "fashion" person. I guess since she is my daughter, a small part of me is a fashion person ;)

    Now a foodie, I would say that I am. I follow the San Francisco Bay Area food scene, i.e. restaurants etc., and I only shop for the best ingredients, eat zero junk food( except my M&M weakness).
    I had a friend tell me I should be a food critic, since she really enjoyed my Yelp reviews!

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  28. I love to follow fashion, but wear what looks good on me, despite the current trends. There's a difference between following fashion and being a fashion victim. I only voted the top choice because it needed a boost(:~)
    I think you are a "foodie" Peter, as am I. The person who can get all crazy about the "latest ingredient could also be called a food "victim." ;)

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    1. I thought a food victim was someone who eats spoiled meat.

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  29. I may have skewed the poll a bit but I could not resist choosing nudist colony. A nudist colony in Kabul. Awesome.

    I'm not a fashion person but I am trying to dress more consciously and like the way I look more often.

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  30. I "followed fashion" when I was in my late teens and early 20s. I didn't have a lot of income, and I didn't take what I saw on the runways as gospel. More inspiration, if you well. Even then I was quite aware that I was not the body type, nor did I have the lifestyle, being designed for, and had to choose carefully.

    As I got older and busier, much of that fell by the wayside. I stayed current, sort of, but really didn't have the time, inclination, or money to "follow fashion". Because I was in university for so many years, dress was on the casual side.

    Now that I've come out the other side, my interest in clothing has reawakened. I would describe my style as more or less classic/tailored and slightly quirky. It's not that I don't like other styles, it's just that simple, classic, and tailored suit my personality and figure best.

    I'm trying (when schedule and energy levels allow) to get more sewing done. But you know, it's not for the clothes--that's part of it--it's the joy of creating. The same reason I knit.

    I ran across "Elegance" by Kathleen Tessaro, and would like to get a copy of her inspiration, "Guide to Elegance" by Genevieve Dariaux. Some of the clothing advice is outdated, but one thing stuck with me, and I've been trying to put it into practice. And that's the advisement to not wear anything unflattering. Nothing you don't love. Now when I try something on, "Okay" for colour, fit or style, isn't good enough. I have to look at it and think, "it makes me look good." rather than "it'll do."

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  31. Lots of people don't care what they eat, and they even eat lots of things that aren't actually food, like Twinkies etc. So, I guess if you care what you eat you are a foodie. Also, it looks like lots of people will wear anything. What's the garment equivalent of a Twinkie? Polyester trakkiedaks and a T shirt? So I guess if you care what you wear you are into fashion on some level.

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  32. I'm not really sure how I'd define myself. I'm not a 'fashion person' in that I don't follow the trends and I have no interest in selling a kidney just so I can afford the latest It Bag/shoes/whatever. And one of the big reasons I sew is I find most clothes in the stores capital-B Boring. It's winter so you can only wear black, grey, black, cream, navy, black, black, maroon, or black? No thank you! I'll wear my pink coat, thankyouverymuch, or maybe my green and purple tartan one if it isn't too cold.
    But that said, I do find looking at the runway shows fascinating, especially some of the more outlandish stuff, simply because it is so interesting and creative. I think th fact that I do sew inevitably leads to an interest in 'fashion' at some level, at least, even if it is just looking at a few pictures. And while I don't (yet!) have any reason to wear a gloriously dramatic ballgown, it's always fun to look at them.
    So I'm not really sure what I'd call myself. While I never read fashion magazines, I look at the runway pictures. While I don't go out and buy the latest trendy item, I do look at what sort of influences are around and they sometimes will show up in what I make. So I guess my approach is kind of 'I'm-aware-but-I-pick-and-choose-what-I-care-about-and-what-I-ignore'. Unfortunately I don't know any shorthand term for that approach. Fashion-informed, maybe?
    Hmm, that's all a bit overlong, and I'm not sure it really answers the question! Oh well.

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  33. I appreciate fashion and if I had more money no doubt I would wear some of the finer examples of designer RTW..but in truth we all wear fashion because of the trickle down effect from runway to department store.
    I think you'd rock that tutu, especially if your socks had little garter belts..

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  34. Fashion to me is simply living to someone else's standard; I like what is comfortable, and works for me & my lifestyle. I rarely look at a fashion magazine, or watch any fashion type television.

    Now the foodie thing -- maybe depending on the definition or how you perceive it. We too drink raw milk, have our own cow; raise our own beef, pork, chicken; have our own eggs too; like getting fresh vegetables & fruits -- I'm into the natural grown foods, including my meat, no extra chemicals or meds! So I might be a picky eater :-D

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  35. For me, "fashion" is what a person wears, how they dress themselves. It's wearing the clothes that you do - vintage, business, grunge, tailored, hippy, athletic, avante guarde, classic, preppy, etc - in the combination that ends up on your body that defines *your* fashion.

    By my definitition, you are into fashion because you create your own clothes and refine your own look.

    No one said it had to be *good* fashion. ;-)

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  36. I like reading fashion magazines but I enjoy the back issues (1985? 1998? 2009?) as well as the recent ones. I enjoy the pretty pictures; they get my creative mind thinking but don't dictate what I should be wearing.

    I love eating fine food and I'm snobbish about processed food, but I wouldn't call myself a foodie and you don't sound like one to me. I tend to think of foodies as the sort of obsessives who'd use distilled hazelnut oil instead of olive oil for their vinaigrettte, who'd search out obscure brands of Spanish sherry, who use a Chinese tea ceremony for their cup of gunpowder tea :-). I only know a few people like this!

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  37. The guy in the tutu looks miserable, and with good reason!

    I consider myself to be a bit of a foodie, and it has nothing to do with restaurants. (I live in a small-ish city, with few quality dining options.) I think a foodie does have an enthusiasm for special, fresh and quality ingredients, and trying new foods. A lot of people don't cook, and eat fast food or from a can/jar.

    As for fashion magazines, if one is sitting in the waiting room, I might look, but that's it. I would never, never buy one.

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  38. I consider a fashion person anyone who has put thought into what he or she is wearing. Not following trends consciously is different from not following trends at all. We're all influenced by the spirit of time and therefore we're all participating. Fashion is also about trying to be different from other people and stating that difference through one's clothes, furniture, cars, etc. I think there is more than one type of fashion person.

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  39. Style wins over fashion. Style is what I choose that makes me look and feel good. Fashion seems mostly a well orchestrated farce meant to fill somebody else's pocket. No thank you.

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  40. I don't really agree with the questions in your poll... ;)
    In my opinion, a true 'fashion person' is a trend setter, someone who (yes) cares about what (s)he wears and is usually ahead of the curve. Not someone who blindly follows what's in some glossy magazine.

    Personally, I couldn't care less about what Mary-Kate and Ashley might wear but I do like it when a colour or texture (herringbone tweed, a couple of years ago) I've wanted to sew with for months (and finally found fabric in at some market stall selling off the stock from a shop which went out of business many years ago) is suddenly proclaimed to be the new 'it' colour...

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  41. I am definitely a "fashion person". Not an insano spend-my-lunch-break-on-Style.com fashion person but I like to keep up with what's going on. I used to be a religious Vogue reader until I realized this summer that the fashion industry is kind of evil. The September issue in Vogue did a totally out of touch "Let's celebrate all the sweatshop millionaires in China!" article and I stopped buying it. I also stopped shopping and make or thrift most of my own clothes now. Stepping out of the "must buy" fashion cycle loop has been incredibly liberating.

    However, I still follow dozens of fashion blogs and still like to know what people are up to. A girl needs inspiration. But I'm done with slavishly buying whatever is hip and cool these days from the knock off shops since that's all I can afford. Sweatshop labour does not make me happy. Sewing does.

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  42. I need to vote for the Mary Kate twins, but I do not like their style. I muss confess I follow a bit the trends every Season, just to find out that I do not like most of them. Them I use to pick up one or two pieces I consider that fits my taste and my body and I go for it. The rest of my wardrobe are simply classic.

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  43. Hmmmm - I consider myself a fashionista only lately. I followed it religiously in the 60's, 70's & 80's, but fashion lost me in the 90's & 2000's. But I'm back now that it's turning pretty again. That may be part of the reason you haven't been drawn to it. As fashion moves to a prettier stage, it's easier and exciting to follow. So no, I don't follow "the twins" but I do follow fashion!

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  44. Did anyone notice that the twins were on the cover of the latest issue of Vogue's best-dressed? Can anyone say "huh??" When I think 'best-dressed" the Olsen twins don't exactly pop to mind!

    In fact they have always reminded me of a couple of bag ladies... And now suddenly they merit the cover of "Vogue's Best Dressed"? Puhhhhleeze. I smell payola there; a recent suck-up article listed them as multizillionaire movers and shakers in the rag trade... so I guess with the print industry in such dire straits and all, Vogue decided it was politic to ignore past sartorial history and cede them the cover shot, no doubt for a tidy sum and all the sycophancy they could ever want!

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  45. Oh and I stopped taking fashion seriously when the pants-falling down thing started;Then there was the bum crack trend, and now we have the "cleavage-with-everything" trend and the "got-a-load-in-my" pants trend. I realized that I could wear whatever I wanted to; nothing I could come up with could ever look as absurd or as revolting or as idiotic as some of the sartorial spectacles that have been inflicted on me due to "fashion"!

    One has only to peruse the current offerings to see that everyone is out of ideas and it is all nothing but a chaotic dollar grab, and has nothing whatever to do with clothing; clothing is merely incidental to the sick sad power circus that fashion has become, as evidenced by that picture of Herr Karlsberg (or whatever his name is) with all those young and impressionable girls walking behind him like he's some sort of S&M sultan with his harem or something!

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  46. "sick sad power circus" -- I love it!

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  47. Not a fashionista. I care about the implications of clothing for women, including, but not limited to, the objectification, comfort, and expense of certain clothes.

    Fashion people seem indifferent to these issues.

    Fashion is also a clear tool of patriarchy. It's a brilliant idea, make a huge proportion of over half the population obsessed with their appearance. Link it to their sense of self-worth and opportunity. Watch a mediocre fashion show (one where you aren't distracted by the beauty of the clothes or the models) and you'll see how ridiculous it is.

    On top of that, some, certainly not all, "Fashion People" are incredibly stupid. They're so stupid they don't even care about their limitations.

    I care only about enduring style that flatters.

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  48. Sorry to be late to the party and WAY off topic, but could you please clue me in as to the origin of that bottom photo. Looks like it's from a movie I need to see.

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    1. That's the famous "Think Pink" number from Funny Face. A Must See!

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    2. Thanks, Peter. You're a peach.

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  49. I love Project Runway, but I'm definitely NOT a "fashion person." I'm more puzzled by some of the latest fashions than desirous of them. I like vintage styles, like '40's era women's and some '80's styles, but I think a lot of those styles were designed to be flattering (make waists look smaller, legs longer, frame the face, etc.). I don't want to wear clothes that look vintage, but I do incorporate bits and pieces into my sewing. I'd never go the route of doing my hair in a 40's style and trying to look like a pin-up poster, but some like that. But there are different levels of fashion and in the upper echelons, the fashions aren't necessarily meant to be worn, they are about concepts and ideas, most of which aren't going to translate successfully into RTW lines and clothing you'll see on the street. That's the history of fashion design, too. Nowadays, since anyone can wear anything, what is there that shocks people? That seems to be the motive behind high-fashion. I'm not into trying to make something totally unique in concept. I like wearable clothing that fits well and looks nice.

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  50. I am the total opposite of a "fashion person", I hate the fashions of today
    and never look at fashion magazines. Celebrities on the red carpet, models in magazines, and the ordinary citizens who follow them all look silly and ugly. I also hate the disposable attitude that comes with the fashion industry, clothes should be made to last, it's my main reason for sewing. When things come off an assembly line it's hard to have your own personal style.

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