Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fashion Journalism: Feature Article NOTE WHEN READING : Images ARE included in article

Mr. Blackwell’s Right to Critique

Celebrity Fashion critic Mr. Blackwell has been critiquing or should I say “shattering” his select styles of our celebs and fashion icons since the 1960’s. His recent death at the age of 86 had me quite displeased at the fact that I along with many others would not get to hear the sometimes hilarious and outrageous comments only Blackwell had the guts to say out loud. Whether we agreed with him or not he made us listen to what he had to say about celebs wacky styles. He was a topic of conversation and opened many doors for creative criticism to learn from as well as comedic relief. He made us feel that we weren’t the only ones thinking that Björk looked like she belonged in a children’s story book at the Oscars in 2001. Some of our most iconic celebs can be found on Mr. Blackwell’s lists such as Madonna, Cheer, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, and Angelina Jolie. But who is to say what’s hot or not these days? What is really in style…long coats or short ones? Solid tights or decorative tights? Hair up or hair down? Shoulder pads or rounded shoulders? With such a range of creativity and inspiration at every corner, who is to say that something so graceful and serene as a swan incorporated in an evening dress isn’t beautiful?
We know that opinions vary because I’m sure somt thought that Björk pulled this dress off with ease. Her little frame allowed it to not look so much like the catastrophe it was described as. I’ve asked some George Brown students to tell me what they thought about whether or not there is a definite line as to what is and isn’t in fashion in 2008. I asked regular students what they think should not be worn under any circumstances as well as whether Mr. Blackwell has more of a right to have his opinion on an outfit count.

Lisa said: I don’t think there is a line as to what’s in fashion or not. Living in Downtown Toronto you see clothes that may look a little wacky but there is something about those people that can be attractive. I don’t think that Uggs should have ever been invented. Mr. Blackwell had witty comments that were entertaining but I don’t think his opinion counts more than anyone else’s.

Maria: There is a definite line! I don’t want to see another thong sticking out of TNA track pants ever again! Who’s Mr. Blackwell!?!

Joanne: Mr. Blackwell was usually right when he said silly things about celeb styles but I think that they have the money and the status to pull it off. It’s like he didn’t have a very open mind to new inventive designs.

Theresa is in the fashion design program at George Brown and here is what she had to say: I have never been so bored with fashion in my life. The late 1960’s was the place to be. Clothing was creative and colorful and you didn’t have to live in Mexico to wear more than one color at a time. Clothing represented freedom not conformity like it does today. Mr. Blackwell’s comments are interesting but limit creativity. I would not like it if I were a celeb and wanted to be creative with a new dress for an occasion but was scared that I would show up on the Mr. Blackwell’s Worst Dressed List for 2008. Even though I’m all about freedom of creativity there is a line that can be crossed for everyone when it comes to style opinion.
Here are some of Mr. Blackwell’s famous Critiques…Lets see if you agree!
Mr. Blackwell said this about Mariah Carey in 2000: "Her X-rated baby doll disasters are laughably low-rent."
Agree or Disagree?

He also said this about Amy Winehouse: "Exploding beehives above…tacky polka-dots below…she's part 50's car-hop horror."
Agree or disagree?

He said this about Kelly Clarkson in 2007 as well: "Her heavenly voice soars above the rest…but those belly-baring bombs are hellish at best! She may be the queen of "Pro-Active” - but that wardrobe looks downright radioactive!"
Agree or disagree?
At the top of his list in 1969 was Anna Magnani. Blackwell says: "The female counterpart of Emmett Kelly. One of the most distinguished actresses of our generation, who suggests Eleanora Duse playing in a Shakespearean tragedy wearing tramp clothes."

Agree or disagree?

Mr. Blackwell’s insight into famous people’s aspirations to be noticed may have seemed like a constant shut down but he did have good things to say as well, just not as often. His harsher more witty and funnier comments are what interested people and that’s exactly what he gave us! Is it ourselves who put restrictions on clothing choices or is it what people will think. Maybe everyone really is thinking exactly what Mr. Blackwell was thinking. If there weren’t people like Mr. Blackwell maybe we would have a more creative selection of clothing to be worn and bee seen, but again, without his insight we may all be walking around with bird heads around our necks and large feathered skirts for evening wear!

1 comment:

laura laxson said...

This one is so funny. I like how it incorporated students from George Brown and I just love what he has to say about celebrities; what a way with words he has.