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Why I Hate Fashion! It's To Die From!

JOANNA MULDER

Another Fashion Week is approaching, and I'm all dressed up in my hate and accessorized with some bitter bows on top. Here's why I'm sick to my designer stomach:

The fashion biz always pressures you to lose weight, so you'll have to buy a whole new wardrobe every six months. ... The '60s and '80s are in a constant battle as to which decade will be the most regurgitated by designers drained of new ideas. ... Women get to wear all the fun clothes, I guess to make up for the fact that they have to bleed and give birth. ... The outfits that are mercilessly made fun of on TV and in the tabloids are always my favorite ones by far.

You can have the most incredible ensemble on earth, but according to the experts, it's completely worthless because the shoes are all wrong. ... The day after you throw out the gaucho jacket that's been clogging up your closet for 10 years, you get invited to something where you need to wear a gaucho jacket. ... I have more than 100 outfits in my apartment, but I always end up wearing the same three shirts and two pants (if not all at once). ... The models who showcase the clothes to the world are underage, overworked bulimics who stomp the runway with an aggression that makes it hard to cotton to their fringed tops and chiffon pouf skirts.

Ever since Fashion Week moved to Lincoln Center, fashionistas have been forced to look at posters for operas and ballets they've never heard of. Their quizzical looks clash with their handbags. ... If a designer comes out with a jacket that zips down instead of up, everyone acts like it's the height of nonconformist brilliance, practically a cultural revolution. ... A few months ago, I wore a five-dollar shirt to a party and everyone kept oohing and ahing and asking me if it was Comme de Garçons. "Yes," I beamingly replied, sensing more than ever that the whole fashion thing is a crock. ... Old designers who've been vehemently closeted their whole lives end up doing documentaries about their beautiful and inspiring relationships with men.

I distinctly remember the night before 9/11 shook things up, when the fashion crowd was bitching that they had no water, and the show was starting late. ... Every five years, they put a fat black lady on the cover of Vogue, figuring that pretty much covers it. ... The designers who take out ads are the ones who get editorial and vice versa. ... "Up to 95 percent off" sales usually mean one pair of rainbow-colored mittens is 95 percent off, and everything else is as is.

Once, when a model's earring dropped onto the runway during a show, the impresario patronizingly gestured for me to pick it up. (I just sat there, defiantly determined to be a highly fashionable bitch. I'm not the help!). ... The brilliant McQueen exhibit at the Met had people snaking around for miles to get in. Where were they for all the other shows? (Oh, the designer didn't kill himself, and his label didn't go on to do Kate Middleton's wedding dress?). ... Too often what's supposed to be a form of expression turns into a form of oppression. ... Every gay man on earth is suddenly wearing red gingham. ... Everyone in fashion enables Calvin Klein's life choices.

Chinatown knockoffs are illegal, but it should be the overpriced originals that are illegal. ... Models always want to branch out into acting and singing when they should actually just keep strutting until their heels wear out. ... Most of what you find at Century 21 looks like it was left over for a reason. ... If you buy something at H&M, you will soon enough be seen on the street next to a thin 16-year-old wearing the same thing. You will lose. ...You always hear about the most amazing sample sale the day after it's finished. ... Everyone's caught on to the sartorial tricks people use, so if you've always got a hat on, you must be bald, and if you constantly wear a solid black shift, you're obviously a cow.

Anna Wintour never says hello. ... I once had a dream where I wore pink in India, and someone said, "That's our navy blue! We hate navy blue!" ... Polka dots are the new stripes. ... I finally made peace with the fact that I usually get second row—until last time, when the front row had a special gift bag complete with a talking Ken doll. (I managed to finagle a couple anyway.) ... A girl in a McDonald's once yelled at me for wearing an old rabbit-fur vest, clearly forgetting that she was patronizing the biggest animal-murdering institution in the history of civilization. (Plus, she was wearing a leather belt!)

Couturiers stopped coming out with designer chocolates when they realized their customers couldn't fit into their clothes anymore. ... It costs more to dry-clean most of my outfits than to buy them. ... Karl Lagerfeld spits out his Nutella. ... Seemingly every city on earth now has a Fashion Week, so editors are seriously torn between options such as "Seoul or Pittsburgh?" ... All that air kissing creates a wind effect that wreaks havoc on your makeup.

Fashion-show DJs still play "I'm Too Sexy" as if it were the height of au courant wit. ... If everyone loves your outfit, you have to make a mental note to not wear it again for another year, or you'll be thought of as overplaying your hand. ... Fashion's Night Out has become Thieves' Night Out.

But what I really hate about fashion is that I actually adore all the zany, fashiony people who set the trends and establish the hemlines and ... blah blah blah. Well, you know the rest by now. Insert happy ending—but make sure it matches the shoes.

musto@villagevoice.com


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