the magazine of the columbia daily spectator
May 1 2013
Mmm, baby: The very best in food porn
April 27 2013
Alternatives to Butler
April 19 2013
Red Bull and relaxation
April 17 2013
Back to the kitchen: A short journey through sexist pop culture
April 12 2013
Bikinis and big booties, y’all
April 8 2013
Azealia Banks Did What?
April 5 2013
More stories from Columbia’s military veterans
April 3 2013
Sing, O Muse, of some sappy story
April 1 2013
Missed the Cliterary Open Mic? Check out the highlights here
March 29 2013
Sex & Low Beach
“Are you going to FNO?”
When these words dinged onto my phone screen last Thursday, I was honestly a little confused: What, pray tell, was this FNO (which sounded to me either like a political party or an early 2000s boy band)? Then, just a little too late, my brain clicked into gear: Fashion’s Night Out—at which point, I promptly responded with a courteous but curt, “Nah, don’t think so” (translation: “No chance in Hades”).
Now, I don’t intend to be cynical for cynicism’s sake. Of course it’s easier (and more fun, especially in print) to snark away at something than to actually dive in and find its worth—and yes, FNO has plenty of perks, both experiential and swag-related, for New York’s aspiring fashionistas—but ultimately, it really rubs me the wrong way.
Last year, for example, I was coaxed from the comfort of my lair with the promise of Beth Ditto at the MAC store (because Beth Ditto is so fabulous it hurts, and passing up the chance to see her in person would be like turning down a fruit basket from Jesus). Instead, I ended up wandering the streets self-consciously in belted vintage, cramming myself into the occasional storefront, all while receiving innumerable snide once-overs and not nearly enough tchotchkes (or alcohol) to make it worth my while.
Maybe I just wasn’t doing it right—maybe I went to the wrong places, wore the wrong shoes—but that experience hammered home for me the fundamental disconnect I see at the heart of FNO: the clumsy intersection between an industry that prides itself on a certain brand of elitism (see: “Either you’re in, or you’re out,” intoned in Heidi Klum’s pouty German lilt) and The Masses, those weekend warriors crowded at the edge of a codified hierarchy, faces pressed against its artfully frosted glass. While I can certainly appreciate the gesture of fashion’s insiders opening their doors (quite literally) to the public for one night during Fashion Week, I can’t help but feel a little condescended to in the process—like my place is with the plebes and our disposable champagne flutes, while the real wheelers and dealers roll their eyes from the sidelines (and profit off our drunken impulse buys).
So, though this year promised the wondrous Azealia Banks headlining at MAC in Ms. Ditto’s place, I chose to decline—settling instead for a highly unfashionable night in, rocking waffle print PJs and schmoozing with my computer screen over box wine.
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