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March 23, 1990 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

2

WEEKEND

"It is an attitude," says designer
Ralph Lauren of the look he
creates, "a sense of freedom."
Now you can smell like
freedom for just $300 an ounce.
Lauren launched a formidable
project this spring. It
started as a new
}perfume -Safari-
but has grown into the
first perfume "around
which a designer has
created a whole world'
that includes
womenswear,
menswear, jewelry,-
accessories and home Phil
'furnishings, all
reflecting the Safari Cob
lifestyle," according to
a company press release.
(This has to be important: when
t the company heard we were doing
a fashion issue without an article
on Safari, they sent a bulging
press kit by Federal Express...)
Ralph is making quite a splash
with his big new idea. In fact, his
design efforts here are not

r i Woman
restricted to inanimate objects of
consumption. Ile also "defines
the Safari woman and her
lifestyle," the release says.
A recent 11-page advertising
spread in the New York Times
Magazine gave some
idea of who this
woman is that Ralph
has done us the favor
of creating.
The spread is the
story of one woman's
adventure in "a world
without boundaries,"
in which she lies
ip around on various
beds - wearing
en kinky outfits and,
presumably, perfume
- all in a unique and limitless
(discreetly savage?) world of
abundance: colonized Africa.
This must be what they mean
when they attribute Ralph's
success to the "successful blend
of innovation and tradition." In
this case the "innovation" is the
reglorification of colonialism

(heck, now that Communism is
out, colonialism has a new lease
on life) and the "tradition" is the
same old same old: wealth and
decadence.
True to the fantastical nature of
the concept, the spread features
beautiful images of the young
model lying prone or posed by the
pool of a classic colonial estate.
Actual "savages" must have gone
out of style after all, so the exotic
African wilderness is personified
only by a lion cub, an elephant
and a rugged hunting dog.
U..
And what of the woman?
The press kit describes the
"Ralph Lauren Woman" as
"active, independent and assured
- the image of a woman who
possesses innate elegance, based
on understatement and
femininity."
The model herself is never
identified. She is included among
the articles on display - the
perfume, the make-up, the
clothes the "accessories" - the
objects for sale. There are no
pictures of men in the spread.
As the viewer of the pictures

however, male or female, we
become the men in the scene.
She's looking up suddenly from
the bed, she's staring wistfully up
from the bed, she's posing in front
of the pool. We've just walked
into the room, we've just gotten
up from the bed beside her, we're
evaluating her painfully-thin body
in the harsh sunlight.
"As long as women continue to
be sexually objectified they'll
continue to have a more intense
concern about their bodies," says
one sociologist - call her Jane -
who's also a member of
Overeaters Anonymous. "And
that will mean making their
bodies smaller, because that is
defined as feminine - making
them more appropriate sexual
objects for men."
When Ralph says his woman's
elegance is based on
"understatement," the
implication is clear: they're thin.
The passion for thinness has
severe consequences. Thousands
of women in the United States,
Western Europe, Japan and an
ever-increasing list of other
countries suffer from eating

disorders - self starvation,
binging and purging, or some
combination of the two - which
often result in death.
Joan Brumberg, in her book on
anorexia nervosa entitled Fasting
Girls, notes that the disease is
found mostly among middle and
upper-middle class women in the
major capitalist countries. And
while the disease itself is not new,
there has been a marked increase
in its prevalence.
"[B]road social social and
cultural forces," she writes,
"particularly the intensification of
messages about the female body,
have prompted the urgency of
appetite control and generated a
new experience of the disease in
the twentieth century.
"Why is the anorexia nervosa
'epidemic' restricted to societies
like our own?" she asks. "Why are
we experiencing more anorexia
nervosa today than we did fifty or
one hundred years ago? Why is it
that adolescent girls and not
adolescent boys engage in this
form of development struggle?"
Jane suggests eating disorders
- addictive relationships with

i

Fashion advice from Alex's secret stand-in

What do I know about fashion?
Ifit doesn't smell you can wear it.
That's my fashion motto. Of course
this rule can be amended ifyou have a
can of Right Guard around, but that's
another story.
What I'm trying to say is
I'm not one to talkabout
fashion. I wear what I
wear because a) it fits b)
it's comfortable and c) my
housemate Peter hasn't
taken it.
However, I have a
friend who always looks
like he'sjust stepped from
the pages of GQ .
My name isn't important, just
know I'm a shallow empty
bastard. But you can't see that
because it's hidden beneath a
subtly masculine, charcoal grey,

light wool, pinstriped suit.
On one end of the ensemble are
a pair of beaten and scratched,
black wing tips. A cow died to
make those shoes and I just don't
care. Cigarette smoke curls

lex
bo~dut
awn

through some
stray hairs that
have somehow
broken away
from the
multitude of
their peers
which run
straight back
across my
skull.

going out tonight and I'll be
noticed.
Actually I'm kinda a dick, but I
look good, and that makes up for a
lot. She may hate me tomorrow or
a week from now, but for now I
have her attention.
Fashion sense. You would be
amazed at how just looking good
can endow you with charm,
elegance and sensitivity; even if
you aren't actually possessed of
any of these qualities.
As human beings we are all
amazingly shallow when it comes
to appearances. We all want to
look good and we all want to be
seen with people who look good.
If you think I'm lying,
remember this article the next
time you show your friends a
photo of your current lover
(sensitive, non-gender specific

word for the nineties man) and
explain that, "...It's a really bad
picture." Unfortunately we
weren't all born with the requisite
gene structure that will enable us
to look smashing while rolling in
sewage. That's where a marvy
fashion sense can be endlessly
helpful.
Fashion is much much more
then how you dress. It's what
you're wearing and when you're
wearing it, and really, it's how
your hair looks while all this is
going on. Money helps but is not
necessarily a factor.
You may shell out a ton of cash
on cowboy boots with fringes,
stirrup pants and floor length
champion sweatshirts, but you
will not look good doing this.
Ever.
A fashion sense is not dictated

by trends. Mostffashionable gear
looks like hell. A fashion sense is
nothing more then knowing how
to look good.
Subtlety is key. There are those
who say one's clothes should
reflect one's personality. But if
you are a loud and boorish ass,
why telegraph it with your shirt
selection? The fact is that natural
fiber products in relaxed tones
just look better. This isn't a
question of relative opinion, but
an absolute aesthetic truth. Make
up should also be light if used at
all. Women really do tend to be
much more beautiful naturally.
Putting a lot of shit one's face
looks just like that. How many
women are attracted to men with
really heavy eye shadow?
, Don't be trapped by norms and
old ideas. Really, really long,

food - are the result of the
alienation people experience in
accumulation-oriented societies:
"People end up substituting one
thing after another as a way to
mask the poverty of their
experience while they concentrate
more and more on the
accumulation of money and things
- which is itself an addiction."
U..
So Ralph Lauren also sells a
line of boys and girlswear. The
boys' clothes are "durable enough
for the schoolyard," while the girls
get "a natural and effortless
juxtaposition of lace and tweeds,
flannel and velvets. This is
clothing for little girls with a sense
of style."
Girls are required to start young
in their competition -
competition against each other in
the race to achieve the
unachievable "beauty" of the
emaciated models whose smiles
spread across the pages of the
every magazine.
A tiny minority will "succeed.'p
Most will spend their lives in an
endless struggle. And too many
will die young.
unkempt hair looks great with
conservative, preppy styles. And
wearing it high and tight adds
dimension to otherwise trite earth.
doggy clothes. Mod looks are
great if they are kept elegant.
Black is always good because
everyone looks good in it. Even:
the shallowest twit will appear to=
have some depth in a black turtl,
neck.
Remember, looking good is
swell fun and a great way to mee,
folks. If you're not sure what -.
works, ask someone whose
opinion you trust. But find your
own style/styles. Some folks just-
can't wear Birkenstocks
4 %
I..
9'!
'pp..

In the corner of the room my
coat lays crumpled on a chair.
Nothing so trite or ornate as a
trench coat either. Its a simple
four piece construction in tan.
Understated and immaculate. I'm

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'I

IZZA BOBCOUPON'
1 Taco Salad and -
1 Large Pop for just I
1$5.00! exp.5/7/90 I
WE
DELIVER
814 S. State
- 665-4517-
i cro S
Italian Restaurant
HOMEMADE PASTAS & PIZZAS
NOW SERVING BEER & WINE
OUTDOOR CAFE
665-0444 - Take Out
300 Detroit St. at Catherine
(across from Farmer's Market)

PARTHENON
~~Z~FINE GREEK FOOD
.VgII _WIIll GYROS b SHISH KABAB
j~jj~~5UI4~ SANDWICHES
-CARRY OUT SERVICES
CHICKEN "STEAKS. -PASTA
LAMB CHOPS - LAMB SHISH KABABS
MOUSAKA ."PASTITSIO DOLMADES-" SPINACH PIE
GREEK SALADS & PASTRIES- COMBINAT1ON PLATES
FULL COCKTAIL MENU
226 S. MAIN at "'"r"s"t1i '"l1 "',no
Liberty.- Ann Arbor CALL 994-1012
Campus Donuts
T Days a Week The Friendly Shop
Attention Fraternities and Sororities
Discount and delivery for large orders.

r

the mandarin
CHNESE RE5TAURANT
Enjoy the JIY g
luxury of a
Chinese atmosphere
625 Hilton Blvd.
off State Street
747-9500

Chinese Restaurant
Shrrrjuli-itt . in .S)t-Chtt(1tt
Fanily Dinini' or Cirryount
Food: 8 out or 10
Service: 10 out of 10
.\t rmephet-e: 8 out of 10
A1111Atr-t Nc,
W~e deliver after ; p.mn.
707 Packard 668-2744
1/00 E. Catherine at Glen-761-8996
Open 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays, 6
a.m.-3 p.m. Sat., 7 a m.-2 p.m. Sun.
Serving breakfast all days and lunch.
Featuring homemade bread and raisin
Favorites for over 30 years.
RATED ***
for dinin excellence by Molly
braham o the Detroit ree Press

Mexican Restaurant
794 Draft Beer!
$1.19 Margaritas!
Express Lunches 54.25!
Open Mon-Thurs, 11-10 Fri-Sat, 11-11
Now Open Sun. 12-71

presents the
Movie Goer Special
$19.50
2 choices 2 Beverages
of entree (soft)
2 English Fries 2 Movie Tickets
Good Any Day-Any Time! Tip Not Included
Briarwood Mall 668-7500
JAPANESE RESTAURANT
(formerly Donburi)

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Ann Arbor - 222 N. 4th Ave.
663-4080
Ypsilanti - 2649 Washtenaw
434-2884
LASp Jj

4

215 S. State

Japanese fast food service
featuring Sukiyaki, Teriyaki
Appetizers and Daily Specials
P'rice range is $2.88 to 53.31.
Irs. are Mon-Sat I1am-9pm
closed on Sundays

663-7403

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China Cate

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