What has happened to looking good? Honestly! Before my trip I was excited although there were red warning signs. Hillary Clinton announced she only wanted to; " …sleep, have fun and relax ... I am sick of having it all."
At the airports every man dressed in black nondescript baggy pants, quilted jackets and yes baseball caps. (Is every guy over 30 losing his hair?) Ms Edna warned me that Los Angelitos are indeed depressed and into "survivor mode" and don't want to dress up for much of anything. I understand "understatement" but truly "the look" borderlines ... SLOB!!!
Is this from restraint and fear or simply lazy and disgusted. I witnessed it first hand at the restaurants. The restaurant was regal but the patrons were not! Most guys arrived without a decent jacket, in jeans and big open shirts worn outside their pants. They were practically donning flip flops. The women looked "overcompensating" in the Kardashian signature band aid-spandex- micro-mini dresses displaying very large asses and rub-a-dub thighs. What is wrong with this picture?
A fashion editor explained to me that celebrities are responsible for setting the visual bar so low. It seems that most of them have decided to "dress down" — a kind of reverse snobbery. Call it "Dirt Bag Chic." Is the message "Love me, love my dishevelment, and I am one with you?"
We have Brad Pitt showing up looking well, unprepossessing. Who cares about his strong jaw and low body fat! Suck it up Brad, you think Chanel paid you a gazillion dollars to make those ridiculous adds because they loved your performance in "Money ball”? Go home, do the whole shower and shave thing and have one of your two-dozen children iron an outfit for you. You do not run with a biker gang. Get over it.
But now almost every guy looks like a homeless person with four-day-old beard growth and even scraggly neck hair. Is the "Wolverine" thing really such a turn on? This whole look is not some relapsed punk trend. It is simply a mess. And it is epidemic.
In a five star hotel on Sunday the men and women and children all looked like the street garbage bags. They were bunked out on the floor and couches dressed in layers of duffel bags. And forget visuals impressions at any given airport or plane cabin.
I can imagine poor Bill Cunningham really having a tough time of it doing his infamous street photography.
On a fashion side note ... Balenciaga! appointed 28-year-old Alexander Wang as their creative director. He is known to have made 60 million dollars designing "high end" T-shirts and sweats. The New York Times called the announcement "The democratization of fashion which leads to a gradual decline of luxury."
And they reported some fashion industry moguls seeing it as "... the watering down of creativity in fashion."
Now that the new luxury is no luxury and everyone is dressing in their pajamas it all seems so, nothing.
Okay so we can forget about "dressing to the nines ..." but how about looking "presentable?" I'm all for understated chic but does it have to look so disgusting? Obviously it is a sign of a new cultural low. Obviously as more people end up dressing in comfy T-shirts, sweats and lounge wear as their daily garb, so goes our personal self regard. It's become a big "Why Bother."
Sadly, we've all gone visually unconscious.
Which leaves me to sing Paul Simon's plea, once again, "where have you gone Cary Grant—I turn my lonely eyes to YOU."