Monday, June 8, 2009

More Dash than Cash?

I buy British Vogue every month, religiously. I don't ever miss an issue unless my life is in some serious turmoil and even then... Plus, I prefer it to the American version for reasons beyond my understanding and eloquence at the moment. Maybe one day I'll figure it out and if I do, I'll let you know.

British Vogue reintroduced their "More Dash than Cash" feature in the April '09 issue. Alexandera Shulman, the editor, sort of tries to make an attempt at explaining the return of this feature in the editor's letter, but not really. She writes:

"When I was a teenager, I would spend hours poring over the more Dash than Cash pages of Vogue. Not only might I conceivably have been able to afford the clothes but it was the styling of the models that particularly en gaged me - the twist of a headscarf, the roll-up on a trouser - lever tricks for free. I remember still the bliss of discovering that a coat came from the army surplus store du jour, Laurence Corner, and would only set me back ₤5 - the combination of talents of Vogue's then fashion team and photographers such as Terence Donovan (red: Robert Palmer - Addicted to Love video) made it so utterly desirable. I hope that our revisiting of "More Dash Than Cash", on page 103, will be as enjoyable this time round, and provide not only some inexpensive clothes to scoop up but some aspirational styling details as well. with editors Miranda Almond and Emma Elwick working on the looks and imaginative tips and creative director behind the lens, they've made me take a fresh look at safari chic. Certainly the days of more cash than dash are over , don't we agree?"

Seriously? Sure the economy is on a downward curve and most people a scared out of their minds.... But seriously?

Dear Editor,

Certainly the majority of Vogue's readers have always had "more dash than cash". And frankly it's a bit irksome to read that this feature is being reintroduced now that some of the elite find them selves on "our" side of the fence.

I found out (on that this feature has been in the magazine of and on since September 1974. A little more digging turned up some interesting information. Let's just say, I see a link between the initial introduction and subsequent reappearance of this feature and times when the British economy was, shall we say "troubled".

How sad! How sad and elitist of Vogue to only run this feature when a small group of their readers, women who (in good times) can actually afford the clothes featured and advertised in the magazine, can no longer do so. Surely Vogue understands the aspirational character of the magazine. Most women buy Vogue to escape, to dream, to be inspired. A feature like "More Dash than Cash" offers them information as well as inspiration on how to create the looks they see in the magazine on their own budget without having to save forever or put themselves in (credit card)debt.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad to see the return of "More Dash than Cash". And I am well aware of the fact that most women who can't afford designer clothes, can find their way to the nearest Zara or Topshop without the help of Vogue. But in the past 3 months since this feature has been running, I also see a lot of items in the "More Dash that Cash" pages from stores that most women, might not have thought of to look or shop at.

I just hope that "More Dash than Cash" is here to stay.

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