Required Reading: The Best Fashion Writing of 2013

The Year of the Twerk was a busy one visually, a veritable feast for the ears and eyeballs that skipped the appetizers and went straight for dessert. There were the selfies, designer shuffles, the VMAs, and the hideous handbags. Fashion was a literal puppet show. Even think pieces were penned in 140 characters or less.

But when the dust clears over the pop culture landscape, there are plenty of valuable nuggets of sentiment you don’t have to scroll down your Twitter feed for. Here are a handful to bookmark now and appreciate when your eyes eventually refocus tomorrow afternoon.


‘Galliano in the Wilderness’ by Ingrid Sischy (Vanity Fair)
John Galliano’s first-ever sober interview lead to the sobering profile everyone was talking about. If the July 2013 issue of Vanity Fair was the MTV VMAs, this piece was the moment the star formerly known as Hannah Montana gyrated over the crotch of Robin Thicke.

‘When Did Fashion Become Porn?’ by Caryn Franklin (i-D)
i-D’s slick new website was unveiled along with this ever-relevant investigation of the pornification of men’s minds and women’s bodies. It also adds another angle to the Terry Richardson debate — albeit not explicitly.

‘Big Girl in a Pretty Dress’ by Ragini Nag Rao (Rookie)
“The sound of the shutter clicking is music to my ears. It sounds like all the fucks I do not give to the people in this world who ever made me want to hide.”

‘What Can Jay-Z Do About Alleged Racial Profiling at Barneys’ by Robin Givhan (Washington Post)
Robin Givhan voiced her initial thoughts about the Barneys racial profiling incident(s) on Facebook, but later delved into the deep end of the question even Jay-Z himself couldn’t answer properly. Her resolve is that he should have given the department store the cold shoulder, but the whole thing is worth reading.

‘Fashion Should Take Plus-Sizes Seriously’ by Michael Kaplan (The Business of Fashion)
Ignoring the plus-size fashion market is not only socially backward, it’s a missed business opportunity. Lululemon execs should probably give this a read.

‘How a Coat Can Make You Look Richard, Smarter and Thinner’ by Alice Gregory (Into the Gloss)
Alice Gregory beautifully and hilariously captures the feeling of finding the perfect piece of clothing, even in the face of appalling SEO-ed eBay listings like “MINIMALIST Slim Fit Car Coat//walking coat//light camel color//elegant chic jacket”.

‘Petra Collins On Censorship and the Female Body’ by Petra Collins (Oyster)
It’s not specifically about fashion, but Collins’ points about the female body in its unaltered, natural state are worth keeping in mind when you’re immersed in an industry where this is totally kosher.

‘The Circus of Fashion’ by Suzy Menkes (New York Times)
How the fashion pack morphed from black crows into peacocks — and the differences between stylish people and show-offs.

‘Racism on the Runway: How Bethann Hardison’s Diversity Coalition is Changing Fashion’ by Hayley Phelan (Fashionista)
A breakdown of an issue that won’t stop being relevant any time soon.

Fashion, Feminism and Miuccia Prada’ by Tanisha Wallis (Columbia)
An ode to Prada’s subversive girl power from a feminist who bakes pies in frilly aprons.

Related links:
That Was Way Harsh: The Four Most Crushing, Cutting Reviews of 2013
5 Beauty Trends That Inspired Us to Fake It in 2013
Supermodel Superlatives: Class of 2013

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