W: Inelegant ‘Paper Bag Princess’

fass_mcdean_01_hPhoto: W magazine
Dior’s stretch wool and alpaca coat, to order, 800.929.DIOR. Mikimoto necklaces and ring; Missoni leggings; Comme Des Garcons shoes.

I gave W a standing ovation for their ‘Sanctuary’ editorial, but their newest spread styled by Alex White and photographed by Craig McDean for their September issue, ‘Paper Bag Princess,’ culls high fashion and (for lack of a better term) homelessness. Wouldn’t you agree that W‘s deck, “Street style meets high fashion,” is tactless and beneath W? The real homeless of New York City lying on cardboard-box-cum-sleeping-mats desperate for sleep in 40 degree Fahrenheit, can not even afford a pair of jeans from Walmart.

fass_mcdean_05_hGiorgio Armani’s rabbit fur coat, at Giorgio Armani, New York, and silk and nylon dress, at select Giorgio Armani boutiques. Viktor & Rolf necklaces; Chanel shoes.

I’m sure that they would agree (if they’re able to afford a copy of September’s W) that the cliché, ‘rubbing salt into open wounds,’ best explicates their resentment — I’ve yet to see the homeless in Giorgio Armani’s rabbit fur and Chanel shoes. These made up W princesses dawdle in duct taped high fashion shopping bags appear to embrace the penniless subculture. But I’m not convinced, having seen more and more 20 somethings begging on the streets. Maybe I’m taking this message too literally — although I can’t seem to figure out an alternative. I’m sure someone will make the case that W is going green, but I’m 110% sure that’s just not their intention.

fass_mcdean_07_hLanvin’s wool coat, silk velour gown and fur and wool scarf, at Barneys New York, New York. Lanvin hair comb, headpiece, pin, necklace (worn as belt) and bracelet.

— Francis Bea

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Filed under Critique, Fashion Editorial, W

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