Monday, July 04, 2005

Style Over Substance

I'm not sure if anyone reads the Sunday Times regularly but they have a supplement called "Style". It breaks down like this:

1. Front Cover - usually some attractive model wearing a 1950's swimsuit which is supposedly back in fashion or a celebrity middle page interview where they wear expensive clothing surrounded by a collage of images that represent said persons profession. This will also come with an attached headline worthy of a Sun front page.

2. Inside front index page - The opposite page will always flog hair and beauty products (a given since this is of course a glossy written by fashionista's). The index itself will show a well-groomed model wearing uber-stylish clothes that would only look good on 1.32% of the population not including the model that is actually wearing it.

3. Page informing you what is hot and what is most certainly not cool - the latest fad given in diagram form with brief description of why it is the latest must-have with no actual clue as to why it's hip except that's what all their rich cooler friends are wearing.

4. Page showing you what was the daddy-o in 19XX. Watch this space - it'll be next year’s winter fashion.

5. Interview with front cover celebrity - This obviously depends on who is being interviewed but there's always a quote in large font depicting the most lurid part of the conversation of an almost otherwise straight-forward and non-indulging Q&A over lunch in a fabulous hotel restaurant just so you can fill the first 4 paragraphs and final narrative about what said celebrity ate.

6. Page showing you the must-have fashion accessory by Hoity-Toity for £129 or from Tesco's for £9.99 with 2 for 1 offer on bog roll.

7. 10 pages of clothes that you wouldn't be seen dead in or wouldn't wear for depicted use. On a beach frolicking in the sand with £255 Dior sandals and getting seaweed in your £295 Armani swimsuit but it's OK because your child is wearing £90 GAP jeans and a £185 Harvey Nichols printed top.

8. Random article about something. Last weeks suggested that "the bush is back" and pubic hair was in. How do they know? Employ people to stand beside you in toilets? CCTV in cubicles?

9. AA Gill reviews a restaurant - He never gives anything over 3/5. He spend the first half of the section talking about anything but food or the restaurant in question, then insults the food and in the final paragraph culminates both in mocking riposte.

I've glossed over the main sections of the supplement but the rest is invariably stuffed with OTT extravagance which only £100,000 a year Londoners could make use of.

And yet I read the damn thing every week.


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