Words from a Guest: Fashion Critic Jeffrey Felner
disclaimer: opinions expressed in “Words from a Guest” do not reflect the opinions of fashion + class & jet lag and solely belong to the guest of above said.
In this new millennium, it appears that the only credentials one needs to have in order to be a “judge of fashion” is to wear clothes. Reality shows, which have taken over prime time TV, offer up an amalgam of these so called judges who take the form of a former model (with way too many hair extensions and self-aggrandizing attitude), a tall blond model (whose only knowledge of the fashion industry is that she wore clothes on a runway and has a good rack) and a man who was plucked from oblivion (and given a soap box to preach anything from what to wear, what is good fashion to his own sexual preferences).
As far as I am concerned, none of these people are qualified to be a judge; think of it this way…if you go to church every Sunday, are you a priest?? If you wore clothes on a runway, does that make you a fashion authority or a walking hanger? These people have no history or knowledge of fashion and that means all they have are opinions based on their own feelings. There are countless nobodies who have surfaced as so-called fashion authorities and are spreading the “tabloid and celebrity “ of fashion rather than taking into account that this is a business and a profession.
The same holds true for those who blog on the subject of fashion and those who call themselves stylists. Just because you have a keyboard does not mean you are qualified to critique fashion any more than if you have a calculator that you are qualified to balance the US budget. There is no legitimacy to a reviewer or stylist who has never truly been part of the fashion business other than to say “oh I love Dior!” It’s a disgrace to glorify a 12 year old who loves fashion…instead of making her a media star why not try to educate her. The same holds true for some stylists who are nothing more than glorified salesgirls. The media including the press has diminished the stature of a business that was once held in high regard by many.
The solution is why not find people who are “fashion educated?” ; who can speak “to” fashion by using intelligence, example and history rather than some half-baked opinion. Without a past, there cannot be a future in any profession. We who appreciate fashion are lucky enough to have well documented proof of the evolution and revolution of fashion.
Instead of having stylists and barely educated people offering their opinions, why can’t there an intelligent alternative to “tabloid’ fashion.” Instead of having some two bit editors searching for their 15 minutes in the limelight, can’t you find one human who possesses knowledge and wit and personality? Surely in a business that breeds fashionable and tasteful people, there must be a few who would offer a more concrete and credible standpoint.
– J. Felner
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(picture via Irving Penn)