Friday, December 19, 2008

Top 10* Worst Fashion Trends of 2008
. . . and other things I'd like to see less of in 2009.

Anything Designed by Christian Audigier
How this man has been so successful is a complete mystery to me. If you've never heard of Christian Audigier before, it's highly likely that you already hate him (and didn't even know it) since he was the "creative force" behind those annoying Von Dutch trucker hats back in 2003. Here are a few samples from his Ed Hardy® clothing line which his website describes as "luxury streetwear". Seriously, who buys this stuff?

Men's Super Skinny Jeans
I added "super" because some guys can pull off the skinny jeans look. But, unfortunately, most guys can't without looking a tad pre-pubescent. Observe:

Oversized Sunglasses
Yeah, this trend has been around for a few years now, but I'm really hoping that by next year people will finally realize how ridiculous it looks. It's just silly.

Silly x 3 = trilly

Shooties = combination of "shoes" + "boots" (also called "booties")
At the time, I really thought this look had a lot of potential, especially when paired with a pencil skirt or tights. But I'll be glad to see them gone in 2009. Even the name annoys me now. Shooties.

A pair of shooties.

Shutter Shades

I believe these were first introduced by Kanye West. Since I'm naturally inclined to think Kanye sucks at most things, I guess I was heavily biased against this look to begin with. Let's be honest, there's no way you can wear a pair of shutter shades without looking like a tool. Speaking of, here's a picture of Kanye trying painfully hard to look cool in a pair of his own while "rapping" on stage.

"Damn, Kanye, you so cool! Teach me to be cool like you!"

Giant Scarves
The ironic part of the mega-scarf trend was that it reached its peak during the hot summer months. Even though I'm a huge fan of scarves as accessories, this look was just excessive and totally taken to the extreme.

Julianne Moore: smiling on the outside, hurting on the inside.

Buddy Holly Glasses

If your name doesn't start with Buddy and end in Holly, then chances are you shouldn't be wearing these. I've seen way too many people sporting this look recently and it just looks completely uncreative.

Woo-ee-oo, I look just like Buddy Holly . . .

Straw Fedoras
Like the "oversized sunglasses" look, the fedora trend has been around for what seems like an eternity. To me, nothing screams "trying so hard!" than a strategically placed straw fedora. As an example of how ubiquitous this look has become, last weekend, at just one bar, I counted nine (9) guys wearing a straw fedora. Unfortunate.

Baggy "Boyfriend Jeans"
I think Katie Holmes (first image) started this trend and I'm pleased to say that it never really seemed to catch on among us regular, non-celebrity folks. In short, it's just an incredibly unflattering look.

If you break up with your boyfriend, who keeps the jeans??

Celebrities Getting "Political"
Less a wearable fashion, than a fashionable "statement", this year's presidential election brought a barrage of celebrity ads encouraging young people to get out and vote. Unfortunately, they were about as effective as those old-school "The More You Know. . ." NBC public service announcements. Here's an obvious example:

*List is in no particular order, and of course, just my silly opinion.


Paul said...

You're right on about Ed Hardy. I think Adam Willis made the good point that it's weird how these ripped, masculine dudes wear these brash, sometimes effeminate patterns. I had no idea there was a Von Dutch connection, but that makes perfect sense.

Big disagree on men's super skinny jeans, shutter shades, and Buddy Holly glasses. I see cool kids hanging around the Panda Express in Santa Monica wearing those styles and find myself jealous of their look.

I think oversized sunglasses are cute, but I agree on the boyfriend pants and giant scarves thing. However, if you combined them all, maybe it'd work as some sort of "giant" style, like David Byrne in Stop Making Sense.

michelle mcmahon said...

I totally agree on all but two: oversize sunglasses and scarves. I own lots of both and like to wear them together, although I don't know if my scarves really qualify as giant.

To go along with your shooties thing, what about those little boots with the peep toes? I hate those. When can you ever wear them? Too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer. I think Rachel Bilson might be wearing a pair in that picture with her boyfriend jeans on your post.

Thomas McMahon IV said...

That PSA actually makes me not want to vote.

Sepi said...

Awesome, thanks for the feedback guys. Regarding the oversized sunglasses, I agree that they were cute at first, but I guess I'm just ready for a new look.

I don't know where the line is drawn b/w giant and non-giant scarves, but I think I can safely say that, if after wrapping the scarf around your neck it bears a striking resemblance to a neck brace, then you may indeed be in the presence of a giant scarf.

Michelle - I totally agree that those boots with the peep toes are insanely hideous. I think they were a mutant offspring of the high-heeled gladiator shoes that were all the rage this summer. As though those shoes could get any weirder, I've seen runway models wear them with SOCKS. wtf?

Thom - Not only does that PSA make me not want to vote, it kinda makes me want to deny being an American.

Ricky said...

Awesome blog. Even the captions are great (my favorite is "Silly x 3 = Trilly" - brilliant!).

Erica said...

Super witty blog. Keep doing it, Seps.

The funny thing about those giant scarves is that I believe they are shawls masking as scarves.
I do love comfy "boyfriend" jeans, though. But I look good in them hahah, but then again I have no boyfriend. Is that a coincidence?? :P

Colin McCormick said...

I have to say, I completely disagree about celebrities getting political. I hear this complaint all the time, and it always ticks me off because it is completely unfounded and hypocritical. Our society is unbelievably obsessed with celebrities. We have myriad magazines, tabloid papers, and TV shows solely dedicated to tracking their every move. If a celebrity gains weight, it's headline news. If one is caught in an embarrassing situation, it is repeatedly trumpeted throughout all media as the must-see story of the year. And then, after this ungodly level of attention is lavished upon them, they try to use it to achieve something positive. And our response is, "How annoying! Who do they think they are? They can't tell me what to do!" Give me a break. Sure, that PSA is annoying, but virtually all commercials are annoying. And the vast majority of those are what feed into our country's disgusting, rampant consumerism that is a far better reason to want to "deny being an American." Also, I would never be subjected to many of these instances of celebrities getting political (including this PSA) were it not for people complaining about them. The bottom line here is that the blame for whatever irritation you experience from a PSA like this one should be leveled squarely upon our society's morbid celebrity fascination, not on the celebrities themselves who are actually attempting to use their positions to do some good.

Thomas McMahon IV said...

Mr. Colin McCormick,
Since my previous comment was lacking in details, allow me to expound. My repulsion by that PSA is triggered, I believe, by the concept of it. If the people in it were unknowns, I would probably feel the same way. However, I think the fact that these people are actors makes it worse. Watching them perform this charade makes me quite uncomfortable. And it ends up having the opposite of its intended effect, much like Carl's Jr. commercials make me not want to eat at Carl's Jr.

Also, if it were up to me, there would be no Us Weekly, Access Hollywood, TMZ, and the like (sorry, Michelle). Does abstaining from those celebrity-crazed programs make it all right for me to decry a celebrity-crazed political message?

Colin McCormick said...

Yeah, yeah, Mr. McMahon, that's fine. I mean I don't like the stupid PSA either. I just had a knee-jerk reaction to what I may have misconstrued as the sentiment that celebrities have no business using their positions to support political causes and the like. It bothers me that many seem to simultaneously idolize and vilify them, and I jumped to the conclusion that such was the case here. Sorry. But a commercial with the sole intent of promoting the public good deserves a hell of a lot more slack than a commercial hawking cheap junk food or some such nonsense. As far as I'm concerned, it's the latter that should go on a list of most annoying trends. Or have we become completely numb in that department?

Sepi said...

Hi Colin, nice to meet you. Thanks for your comment.

My main point in including the PSA was that the entire message comes across as condescending and insincere. Consequently, it's a completely ineffective (not to mention half-ass) way of encouraging people to vote.

I agree with your point that the public is eternally fascinated with knowing about the personal lives of celebrities, but you take your generalization too far. Very few people criticize celebrities like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt or Al Gore when they use their fame to draw attention to a worldly concern, such a AIDS, global warming or breast cancer awareness. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, they usually receive acclaim and praise, and deservedly so.

However, it's the means or medium of getting that attention across that I was criticizing. I'm not saying that celebrities should not encourage people to vote. In fact, I think that's a noble cause if done effectively. But what I am saying is rounding up a whole bunch of actors, merely because the media thinks the public is swayed by quantity and not quality, seems to suggest that the entertainment industry has a pretty low opinion of our mental capacities, especially when we know for a fact that a lot of the issues the celebrities raise in the PSA have virtually no impact on their own lives at all. (E.g., "This is one of the biggest financial crises of the century!" "Welfare!" "Minimum wage!", etc. )

The bottom line here is not that society's "morbid celebrity fascination" should be the root of my irritation with this PSA, but the arrogance of the PSA itself (and those of a similar nature), particularly a PSA that may have the surprisingly unintended consequence of discouraging people to vote. I think the public would be better off without such a seemingly patronizing message or, even better, if celebrities actually explored HOW voting could bring about change (in an open and insightful dialogue), instead of a scripted, passive message.

Colin, it sounds like you're ready to start your own list of worst trends. Show us how it's done.

Colin McCormick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin McCormick said...

Nah, I'm not so much into trends as I am into spirited debate, or, if you prefer, ranting and arguing like a loudmouth jackass. It's way more fun.

Okay, I still have two points of contention here. First, you say the PSA shows the media's "low opinion of our mental capacities," but that's simply a failure to take into account its target audience. Those of us already aware of the importance of voting and the issues it affects are simply not for whom the PSA was intended. It's like being insulted when you turn on your TV and see Big Bird teaching you about the letter J. Whether they have lower mental capacities or not, the fact is many are truly of the opinion that elections don't matter. And if a group of celebrities can inspire them to get informed and care a little more about the world and people around them (and it's quite likely they can), I say we're better for it.

Second, the idea that we should not have an opinion on, care about, or see the importance of issues that do not directly impact our own lives is staggeringly self-centered and completely absurd. I don't think I should even have to explain that one.

I do agree that these messages could be conveyed much (okay, muuuch) more effectively than they are in this crappy PSA. And I also agree that it is a very irritating thing to have to watch. I'm even fine with making fun of it and complaining about it and everything. But can we agree that our opinion should be an encouraging, "do it better," rather than a disdainful, "stop doing it altogether"?

Sepi said...

Re: your first point -
You're right, perhaps I'm not thoroughly considering the PSA's target audience. But I never disagreed with the idea that celebrities can inspire positive action. Certainly they can and perhaps (hopefully) this PSA will do just that. Doubtful, but possible.

Re: your second point -
I have no idea where you got this idea. I am certainly not saying we should not care about or see the importance of issues not directly impacting our lives. That is absurd and again you overgeneralize. I'm saying that in this particular example, when taken as a whole, it appears disingenuine when wealthy people are spitting out issue after issue (without much else) as though they speak from experience. Just seems too contrived, that's all.

Re: your last sentence -
Agreed and don't think I said otherwise.

Colin McCormick said...

I'll take it. Common ground achieved!

Thomas McMahon IV said...

First of all: I like this discussion.

Second of all: Colin, regarding your Big Bird analogy: If this PSA were clearly targeting 5-year-olds, I would say that you had a great point. But the youngest person that it could be targeting is 18. And I believe that anyone who's 18 or older should feel free to be insulted by this PSA.

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