Meet Eric Gaskins, aka Fluff Chance, the man behind the blog, The Emperor's Old Clothes. He used to be a designer until the soulless world of fashion, led by Anna Wintour's boney cold shoulder, gradually sucked the life from him.

Gaskins started out in fashion in the 1980s and enjoyed some moderate success along the way (He had dresses featured on the covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair), but for the most part he toiled in relative obscurity, something Gaskins now claims had nothing with lack of talent you see, but more was the result of working in an industry that rewards flamboyance and self-promotion, something he says that his lack of ego and self-confidence would not allow him to do.

"I didn't realize then how important it was to relentlessly put my name and face out there," he said. "I came from a place where your work was supposed to speak for itself."

And, of course, one hasn't been fully shunned by the fashion world until they've been dissed by the industry's Ice Princess.

For years, Mr. Gaskins had been able to maintain his business by word of mouth, sometimes making a small profit, but he was never embraced by the establishment. Twice he was introduced to Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, and both times, he said, she ignored him.

So when Mr. Gaskins finally became disenchanted to the point where he just couldn't take it anymore, he decided to channel his frustration through a blog, just like everybody else does.

"I wanted to write a story about the other side of fashion," he said. "It has become so cosmetically altered today that it is unrecognizable, due to celebrities and ‘Project Runway.' In essence, they have taken what was a pure art form, and they have perverted it. That's what they feed the public, and that's what the public absolutely gorges on. And maybe the fashion industry doesn't want people to know about the reality, because it keeps the dollars coming in and the ratings high as long as everything is a fantasy.

"Nothing is communicated to people about the price you pay to be in this industry. It is a very, very dear price. Fashion has been turned into a game."

So you see kids, the lesson here is that fashion kills, and Anna Wintour is its most vicious assassin. Or something.

How Do You Like Me Now? [New York Times]
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