September 25, 2008

Please Get Your Reality TV Off My Fashion

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Well, good morning, it is Thursday, the college version of TGIF, at least for most Hotelies. First, I’d like to take this very public opportunity to say, I MISS YOU CORNELL! I miss all of the Nell. My friends, J.O.’s, all of my frenemies (KIDDING), Wegman’s, The Island gym (but not the parking lot) and last but certainly not least, Statler Hall. I miss you, I miss you, I miss you and no worries, I will be back soon.
Since I’m sure you miss me, too, and want to hear all about my life: my Madison Avenue lunching and 3 p.m. shopping routine has picked back up right where I left it before college. I’m back to my sixteen-year-old gay self, aspiring to be the mother of a gossip girl, a lady of the house (more like townhouse) and weekend hostess in the Hamptons. Sorry Spring Lake, New Jersey — I have enjoyed you almost every summer since my birth, but you just don’t suit my future Betty Ford lifestyle.
Now you might not care about my future as a wealthy housewife with a successful business on the side, but it just so happens to be related to this week’s topic: “Just because it is expensive does not necessarily mean it is stylish.” Although I have always been aware of this reality, it didn’t hit me until I started spending so much time on the streets of the Upper East Side. Although I love my home, it is a breeding ground for those who strive to be “trendy & stylish” — many of whom have a big misconception that money buys taste.
Side Lesson: PR is not going to afford you the Hermès bags and Jil Sander shoes that your heart aches for. Moment of silence, please.
Now confusing designer labels with style is not a new concept, but I realized that this problem has been magnified by a modern day sensation: reality television. It’s the Bravo and Pratt/Montag phenomenon. Hollywood and Social Circles are no longer run by people who were fabulous and magnificent for a reason, but by those who just happen to be ridiculously stupid enough to make us laugh or who live in a county that just happens to be named Orange County. These new celebrities have no taste and just one interest, being flashy. The Nan Kempners of the world — who were known for real Couture — seem to be extinct.
Reality TV promotes Labels, not style. If anyone else has a guilty pleasure of watching BRAVO! shows, they would find it apparent that a majority of our reality television stars have no clue what they are doing. A clear illustration is when Romana’s daughter attacks her mother for her not-so-flattering outfit; Romana’s comeback: “It’s Dolce & Gabanna.” Exception to this rule: Project Runway and possibly the Zoe Project, but only time will tell.
Reality stars are even hitting the design tables and creating clothing lines. Such celebrities include Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, and Jessica Simpson. Now even though Lauren Conrad’s line is the most clean cut and practical of the three, it is still not innovative and creative enough to have come from a true designer (it hurts to say that since I am team LC). Even Jessica Simpson was criticized for not wearing her own line very often, and I believe there were even threats of a lawsuit!
So let’s take this moment to learn from others’ mistakes. Don’t assume that because it is expensive, you will be on your way to stardom. That would be making an ass of u and me.

Martin Ambrose is a senior in the College of Hotel Administration. He may be in hiding, but his opinions on your fashion choices will still appear alternate Thursdays.