The book division of Harper’s Bazaar has published a silly and poorly conceived “fashion” book called “Fabulous at Every Age.”
A hodgepodge of photos is stuffed into confused layouts and accompanied by rehashed and half-baked tips (e.g. make sure your shoes look good with your pants). The “tip” never discusses what style shoes and pants work together. Chapters on belts, jewelry, pants, jackets, skirts, shoes and bags are divided into age groups—20s through 70s—which advise women what is appropriate and hip for their age.
Choose a metallic clutch in your 30s but a wear black satin clutch in your 60s; stiletto heels with open toes are perfect in your 30s, but switch to ballet flats in your 50s; well-worn, rolled up jeans are cool in your 30s, but classic gray trousers are for 70-year-olds. You get the picture. And did you know that the 20s is the time to experiment and wear leggings?
Hmmm. I’d better throw out my worn jeans, metallic clutch, leggings and big rings (those are for women in their 40s, the book says). I must also stop experimenting.
Given the mentality of the editors, far more pages are devoted to 20, 30 and 40-year-old women than to FOF women. FOF women get one-half page and the photos are the size of postage stamps in the chapter on pants. Furthermore, haven’t we seen enough of Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker in every gossip and fashion magazine during the last decade? Who cares what they’re wearing? Besides, most of them have more money than talent—or style.
When I was an editor on W in 1981, fashion magazines were cool and entertaining, filled with great advice and trends. Now they’re tired. And tired fashion magazines that publish books like this are grasping at straws to keep their brands fresh and relevant.