Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All the Pretty Clotheshorses

I've often wondered about the particular sort of media magic that conspires to create style stars out of rising actresses. The phenomenon often results in a new career for the anointed girl: suddenly she is no longer expected to act or in some other faculty appear in films, but instead she just graces red carpets and perches on the front row at every international fashion week for the style blogosphere and glossy press to photograph and gawk at. Her calling card is What She's Wearing, and the most coveted poll positions seem to go to the fashion 'it' girls who ostensibly don't employ a stylist.



The trajectory of said girl's career is usually quite formulaic and can be traced through simple repeatable steps, the order of which can vary:

1. Appear in B or C list film, usually aimed toward a youthful, female demographic.
2. Date young, rakish male costar/actor/musician or combo of all three.
3. (Optional) Appear in subsequent forgettable films.
4. Start wearing really killer designer clothes and perfectly curated 'street style' ensembles.
5. Hang out with Karl Lagerfeld.
6. Be photographed as Karl Lagerfeld arm candy.
7. Launch some sort of clothing line/design collaboration/branding effort that doesn't really seem in line with your personal style, but we all sort of shrug and forgive the transgression. You've got to pay for all of those wardrobe changes, after all, and acting ain't doing it.



Eventually her identity as a clotheshorse totally obscures the B or C list film that shot her into the limelight from obscurity to begin with: she is just there, an established character on the scene -- her presence is anticipated because her sole role has become wearing clothes well. However, I'm always left with a vague distaste, the wool has been pulled over my eyes by fashion publicists: I search in vain to recall why I started caring to begin with.

Of course, there is the odd exception: the gal who the fashion flocks adore whose career happens to be humming along:



And then there's the freshly-anointed:


Emma Stone seems to be the newest object of affection for the image-makers. Will be muy interesante to see if she transcends her 'bro' and teen movie origins to become more than just a pretty clothes hangar.

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