Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bubble trouble

After seasons of bubble looks, the WSJ (www.wsj.com) suddenly announced that "the bubble is back" in the latest weekend journal. Then the article went on to talk about how difficult it is to make the bubble look flattering or to make it work for office outfits. Are you kidding me?

It was not the first time the Style page on the WSJ shocked me. The bubble skirt article looks so outdated that I thought that I got an old newspaper (then the H-P article on page one confirmed that the paper was current). The column on the WSJ style page is simply too conservative and too fashion backwards.

How does that happen?

Apparently, the writer of the column looked at the wrong sources. Diane Von Furstenberg, Rachel Roy, and Adam+Eve are all so called contemporary designers who do not create trends but are trend followers. They normally capitalize the successful styles from the high end designers a couple of seasons after the trends are around. Marc by Marc Jacobs' look was used in the article as well, but if the writer looked at the Marc collection from last year, she would have realized that the bubble looks had been around for so long. To make it worse, most of the quotes from "experts" and "stylists" are from women in Des Moines and Denver where the majority of the women still wear "mom jeans". How could it not be fashion backwards?

In addition, the writer consistently looks at trends from an "average" woman's perspective. The fact is that there is no "average" woman. Macy's "regular" women don't buy bubble skirts because those bubble skirts sold at Macy's are not well-made, not because women refuse to take volume. If the writer visits the Marc store or Neiman Marcus' contemporary department to look at the sales, or takes a walk down on Madison Avenue, she would realize how mainstream this look has become. Did she just ignore the fact, or forget to do a little bit of fashion research?

The article ended with with a quote from a 29-year-old female New Yorker who refused to wear the look to the office. Come on, I work at downtown financial district, and I wear bubble skirts all the time and I saw bubble skirts all the time. How could you use such a biased quote to end an article with such a large audience? The only principle the readers need to know is to balance the look instead of refusing a trend without thinking. I have been wearing bubble skirts to work for at least five seasons, and nobody said it was inappropriate. In fact, I get positive comments all the time regarding my bubble skirts (the record is six times a day on my Marni skirt, with four in the elevators in my office building).

The WSJ is always forward looking on the financial markets. Unfortunately, the style page failed to do the same and even became a victim of a male dominated industry. Women working on Wall Street should have our own agenda and fashion sense instead of following the "normal" and "average". To empower the female on Wall Street, the style page should look at the fashion forward designers (Marc Jacobs in NYC and most of designers in Paris) , and help people to incorporate the latest looks to everyday outfits. Articles such as the bubble skirt one, only ridicules itself as a style page on a major newspaper. WSJ, it's time to change. Either the theme of the style page, or your columist.

5 comments:

wholesalefurniture said...

I'm doing a paper about the
merchandise liquidation
and got this post. Its not where I was looking for but it is a good article for my Finance class... Very professional blog.

Anonymous said...

I work in banking as an attorney and received 6 compliments on my bubble skirt the other day. Its been in style for ages, I don't know why the WSJ wrote such a ridiculous article!

Cartel said...

Most recent issue of the New Yorker (sep.25th) has a nice piece of article on Diane von Furstenberg, who was a fashion front runner back then. And the article claims that she is back.

Anyway, yours is a very well-written article!

Jing said...

Thank you for the comments!I now know that I am not alone:-)
I just saw one more in one of the magazines I was reading. It goes like this "pants are very trendy in this season, but miss XXXX has worn pants for the past years". Sounds like none of us wore pants for the past yrs except for miss XXXX?!

ABON said...

I am a student living in Taipei.
I had my first bubble skirt last winter.
Now it's everywhere in Taipei streets.
Btw,I like your review.