Is fashion too gay? I know, I know, that is like asking, "do Americans love Jesus too much?" Like, maybe they do, but in general neither side is attempting to carbomb the other into submission and that is why Toqueville loved it here! But speaking of French transplants: many in the publishing world believe that Elle, America's second-biggest (and first-best) fashion magazine, has gotten "too gay" under great helmsman Joe Zee, who succeeded longtime "director" Gilles Bensimon, a lecherous Euro modelizer (who once was married to 'Elle' Macpherson!). Gilles was pushed out of the magazine in a protracted power struggle with Editor-in-chief Robbie Myers* that famously culminated in the firing of style director (and least gay person on Project Runway) Nina Garcia, and in came Joe at the beginning of last year. Gilles, who basically defined the magazine's look after 22 years in the job, liked to celebrate the "Essence of Woman"; Joe, a refugee from the male shopping rag Vitals, is more of an "Essence of Faghag" type. Opening arguments after the jump!Here, boiled down, are the arguments pro and con, which I gleaned in the process of chronicling the Anne Slowey-Nina Garcia Project Runway Stylista saga a couple weeks ago. As a non-consumer of fashion, I don't have a very strong personal opinion on the matter, but I bet I know someone who does! (Ha ha ha, well, my boss duh.) JOE ZEE'S ELLE = TOO GAY. Joe Zee is too gay. He is so gay he immediately brought in his gay boyfriend to work as the web editor. He thinks everyone should dress like Mary-Kate Olsen and he only likes gay celebrities like Mariah and Lindsay, except he is probably over Linds now that she is actually really gay. Everyone who loves him and thinks he is so nice is just fooled by the fact that he is a gay man and everyone knows gay men act nicer than straight men but deep down they are STILL MEN. Also he has ADD and is a self-promoter. When Gilles and Nina and their crew were running things, the magazine was classier and not so trendy and the halls were filled with the sounds of cool accents screaming at one another. Now everyone screams in American. Gilles' style was more timeless and feminine and less consumerporny and that's how it differentiated itself from Vogue. And seriously, why do you think Gilles is Tyra's favorite photographer? JOE ZEE'S ELLE = JUST GAY ENOUGH Whatevs! You are in America now, and in America people who like fashion (Marc! Tom! Christian Siriano!) are GAY. Like is it just through some bizarre series of unrelated circumstances that Elle resurrected its whole business thanks to its appearance on the gayest show on the gay network? And where do you expect all those mediagays to work, anyway? Men's magazines???? Hahahahahahahaha sorry, but the Fashion Week galas are just slightly better in women's! Oh, and Joe's boyfriend can actually code HTML, which is just a little more than slightly more qualified than we might say for that ex-wife Gilles made "editor in chief" of Elle Accessories! In any case, the rising generation of fashion consumers is a bunch of Fashion Spot-posting Project Runway marathoning MK-idolizing Santogold-muxtaping Andy Sachs wannabes with just the sort of warped priorities that sell fashion magazines, and you know what? When that generation invariably arrives in New York to waste its twenties buying boots and learning the hard way that there is no such thing as a free bump, it is going to need some real friends and guess what THOSE FRIENDS ARE ALL GAY. Okay everybody, recess! We'll follow up with some exhibits from both sides once we're reunited with our scanners.
*Robbie Myers is famously a very nice and smart person who is hated by no one I know. It is hard to be that type of person in this business I think. Just putting that out there! Also: I am sorry to those of you who found this post in poor taste. I don't actually think it's so much of a "gay" matter as a "generational/camp" one but again, what do I know? Nothing apparently! Anyway XO to all my (super-constructive) critics.
Further Reading: How Reality TV Turned Anne Slowey And Nina Garcia Into Rivals [NY] Just How Creative Is Elle Creative Director Joe Zee? [Jossip] Is Joe Zee Ruining Elle? [Jossip] Elle Has A Little Work Done [NYT]