Style goes south

I WENT to Melbourne last week for the autumn-winter version of Mercedes Australian Fashion Week. Not that I stayed the whole week, just for the opening ceremony and one show, but that was enough exposure to notice a few things about the fash crowd there.
Firstly, all Melbourne men are metrosexuals. They invented it, I think. In fact, when you say the word "metrosexual" in Melbourne, they look at you blankly because they don't understand the concept. That's just how everyone is. Even the thuggy-looking guys accessorise and use product in their hair. "Sure, I may be mugging you, but do you like my man-bag?"
In Sydney, the inspiration when getting dressed goes something like this: "Should I flaunt my boobs, my bottom or my legs? Oh heck, I'll just go all three!"
Sydneysiders think skin is sexy. Near nudity is sexy. Sexy is sexy. You know how Coco Chanel's style mantra was: "Look in the mirror before you go out and take something off." If Sydney had a style mantra, it would be: "Look in the mirror before you go out and find a way to show more cleavage."
But in Melbourne, fashion is altogether a more intellectual thing. Aesthetics is important and sexy is tacky. Boob tubes are not cool in Melbourne. Neither are boobs. It's all about coverage and layering: dresses over pants over leggings under a jacket with a vest over the top. Maybe a hat. Oh, and the obligatory $1200 shoes from Miss Louise.
In Melbourne, exposed seams and handkerchief hemlines are compulsory. Don't leave your wardrobe without them.
Melburnians are wonderfully individual and inventive with their fashion: wanna wear your top upside down as leggings and your pants artfully wrapped into a headscarf? You go, girl!
In contrast, the Sydney interlopers were easy to pick at the fashion functions I went to. They were invariably: (a) wearing denim; (b) flashing spray-tanned flesh; and (c) had blow-dried hair.
For the Melbourne fash crew, hair is an opportunity to make a statement. Many girls have mullets.
So while Sydney is all about trying hard to look as though you haven't tried at all, Melbourne is about clothes and hair and tricky glasses as art. It is not uncommon to see people who look like they may be an installation. It's fresh and inspiring and makes me stare a lot.
I had plenty of time to stare when I arrived at the Wayne Cooper show on time, foolishly forgetting that late is the new black. I amused myself for the 100 minutes that elapsed between me finding my seat and the show starting by watching the passing parade of audience members.
Oh, and did I mention I had a great view from the front row? This isn't nearly as impressive as I would like it to sound because Cooper diplomatically created four very long front rows in the stadium-style auditorium he showed in. Pretty much everyone was in the front row, which is a good thing be cause the fashion crowd is prone to snits.
At this show, the snits began about an hour after the start time mentioned on the invite. "Outrageous!" some fashionistas began to mutter. "Who does he think he is? Tom Ford?" huffed others who dramatically threatened to walk out but of course didn't because no one ever does.
The parade finally started and I began to scribble importantly in my notebook. This professional illusion would have been shattered if anyone could've seen what I actually wrote. Here's an excerpt: "Bleeding ears cold sore greasy hair circumcised pants." Gee, funny how I'm not the editor of Vogue.
I think "bleeding ears" was a reference to the music being so loud, "cold sore" was something I noticed on a model's face, "greasy hair" was the look deliberately chosen for the show (why??!?) and "circumcised pants" referred to the male models wearing pants so tight you could pick the chopped from the unchopped even if you weren't trying. Which of course I wasn't.
And the clothes, you ask? Well, there were some incredible latex tights, lots of black, leather, black, tight and black.
Oh, and here's something to remember next time a famous designer begs you to model in his next show: just say no. Real women (i.e., non-models) should never stand, walk or strut next to catwalk models. To earn a living wearing someone else's clothes on a runway, you have to be impossibly tall and impossibly thin.
You know how jockeys are like these really tiny men that you never see walking around the streets in real life? They just exist at racecourses. Catwalk models are the same. Real life couldn't accommodate them. They'd be forever hitting their heads on door frames. Maybe jockeys and models live in some kind of parallel extreme-height universe.
Anyway, next to these Amazons, any non-model looks like a fat, squat little garden gnome. Harsh but true.
Even Paris Hilton couldn't cut it. Here are my observations about Paris: her hair, her shoes and her clothes were unlike any other model's in the show this girl obviously writes her own rules and overrules even the designer she's walking for.
I'm guessing she was welcomed warmly backstage and was hugely popular among the hardworking models without trust funds who were earning their standard fee of a coupla hundred bucks.
I'm also guessing that she's very possibly had her implants removed or at least downsized since they starred in a sexy show all of their own. (An aside: I found it interesting that the most enthusiastic forwarders of Paris's sex-tape email were women. All three copies of the link that I received came from chicks. Oh, and two more from gay boys.) Maybe making a porn tape is the new black?
Leave a message after the drone
I HAD to record a new voicemail message for my phone this week but as I started to prattle the usual "Hi, you've called Mia but I can't take your call right now so leave me a message after the beep and I'll call you back", the absurdity of explaining how to use voicemail suddenly occurred to me. I mean, like someone's going to say: "Hang on, tell me again, when do I speak? Before or after the beep?" It's like if every time you went to use an ATM you had to listen to it tell you: "Hi, I am an ATM that stands for Automatic Teller Machine. If you press the right buttons, I will give you money!"
Par pvccorsets le mercredi 03 août 2011


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