Thursday, 10 July 2008

Victime de la Mode

Most people agree that there is nothing less fashionable than a fashion victim. But what exactly is a fashion victim (or une victime de la mode, if you want to make the term sound more fashionable...)?

The archetypal fashion victim, in my head, is runway thin, wearing a big fur coat on a swelteringly hot summer day and stiletto heeled leather boots to catch the bus. Every aspect of her aesthetic is entirely based on fashion, with absolutely zero regard for practicality. In this way, she has become a victim of fashion; sacrificing good food, animals, her health, getting places on time and comfort all for the sake of fashion.

With such a definition in mind, I was a little bit of a fashion victim yesterday, when the only bottoms which looked right with the top I wanted to wear were a pair of tight black trousers. These trousers are so tight that my friend thought they were leggings, despite knowing that I categorically do not wear leggings. They are so tight that after several hours I have to unbutton them at the top, so that I can breath. These tight trousers noticeably reduce my flexibility so much that after a while walking, my calf muscles begin to hurt.

Yet I (nor anybody else I know) would never want to see myself as a fashion victim. Despite the fact that a fashion victim might have highly coveted figure which looks oh so cool on Sasha Pivovarova, those sky-high YSL Tributes which any sleb worth their salt has been snapped in and a trillion 'investment' Birkins, she is the epitome of uncool. She is a slave to the trends, zapped of any personality by the strict laws of Fashion Magazines. She has no awareness of which 'trends' suit her body shape, only a vague idea that a belt at the waist is totally flattering for absolutely everyone.

But isn't this idea a little bit old now, isn't it getting a little bit stale? Aren't we all fashion victims in one way or another; maybe because we wear too-tight-for-comfort trousers because they're the only ones that go, or maybe because we're secretly obsessed with Trinny and Susannah (sorry, I mean Gok). Maybe we have a slightly unhealthy addiction to buying Grazia, or perhaps we pop onto the TopShop website a little too much. So when I saw this absolutely fantastic poster for road safety in France, I loved it, because it completely renews the definition of fashion victim for me.

Are you willing to die for the sake of fashion? No? Then pop on your reflective safety jacket, and don't become another victime de la mode (come on, even Karl agrees).


  1. I don't know how often I've seen a real life fashion victim, but I often think that if someone went through essentially any magazine and bought things at random, they would be described as such. I think it has to do with thinking about what you're wearing, and dressing your identity.

  2. I loved this post. I have a pair of skinny dungarees that are so tight now because of my weight-lifting that they're treggings. I hate wearing them.

    This is the first sensible thing I've seen the Kaiser do in a long time.

  3. I am like you . . .jeans so tight they hurt. There's just no other way when it comes to skinnies - the more they suck you in, the better you feel. When I take mine off, I have those seam indents on my legs :)

  4. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who wears too-tight jeans. Although hopefully I'll replace this pair soon because really, they're too tight.

    (couturecarrie I get those too shhhh)