Regular readers know I take a commuter train into work. Folks have asked me to describe it and I often feel like a tree being asked to talk about the weather. I mean, no day is like any other. There are changes to atmospheric conditions, air quality, moisture, noise levels, pollution and climatic conditions.
Ever since smartphones arrived, most folk surrender to the phones and I am left looking to find a few folks like me who read a book in the old fashioned manner. The trains have been getting more and more crowded too, and to see folks standing from the first station is not uncommon.
So, obviously, one day when I walked into the train, and not only found a place to sit, but also a thick-ish Vogue magazine lying on the seat, I was happy. It seemed like an empty day to commute into the city, and I called my brother. I try to avoid making phone calls on the train (There is an interesting blog absolutely rattling in my head about phone calls, and one day I shall have to simply shake myself like a dog stepping out of a swimming pool after being flung in, and let the contents spill out, but till then read about the Hippoceres Effect).
I must confess that Fashion is not my area of interest. I have been known to wear clothes stitched from curtain cloth and fit like pillow cases. So, I was obviously intrigued to see what appears in the Vogue. Vogue, I hear, is like the Taj Mahal of fashion magazines and so on.
As I was idly swapping stories with the brother while thumbing through Vogue, I noticed that Fashion must be a terribly sad and serious business. One did not have to be perspicacious to notice that. It is no surprise that folks like me don’t set store by it. All the women models looked they had been through the most trying times in their lives. They looked abused, beaten, sad, morose or downright pugnacious. The men looked unshaven, querulous, cunning or sulky. Some of them wore torn jeans (I have been told that these are called Distressed Jeans – it certainly distressed me.)
And the poor things all looked like they could use a good meal. I am glad to see I am not the only one who thinks this way.
The book had about 400 pages and there were no smiles there. Talk about sombre reading. If it were not for the fact that I was chatting merrily with the brother, I should have sobbed. The torn clothes, the misery in their eyes, the tortuous moments captured on film. Heart-rending I tell you.
You know, how you smile when people point a camera at you? In fact, I smile when I am taking a picture of somebody. None of that. There were even shots of a wedding where the bride looked she was going to be pelted with stones in one direction, and chased by a pack of wild wolves in the other. Not the radiant happiness one likes to see in brides in other words.
I pointed it out to the brother that none of these models looked happy and he wisely said, “Well, I don’t think they are supposed to be happy – they are going for the Sultry look.”
Maybe one day in the far future when people can split their time amongst different careers, modeling days could be the days one feels like a distressed jean trying to clothe a hippo’s legs.