Vogue is arguably the world’s most famous fashion magazine, known for its profiles of actresses and politicians as much as being weighed down, literally, with ads for designer clothes, shoes, makeup, and accessories. And sometimes that need to sell the reader/consumer expensive things — the publishing industry term is “aspirational” — can be more important than content. Case in point: a post published on Vogue.com on Friday, June 12, entitled “Want Him to Propose? Here’s What to Wear.”
Even past its cringeworthy headline, this post is a mess. The first few paragraphs are addressed to a reader, an unnamed “you,” who is going to a destination wedding with her boyfriend. The specifics, though—holding hands at baggage claim, a neon chuppah—seem to be the real experiences of the post’s actual subject: its author, Liana Satenstein.
“So you trot back to your separate apartment, lie in bed, watch the fan spin, and wonder: “What am I going to wear to this wedding so that the love of my life can see just how great I am and one day, pop the question?” We all know that fashion is made to set a mood: So how do we set this one?” Satenstein wonders aloud. It turns out, there’s plenty of expensive stuff here that a woman with a credit card and a lonely heart might be convinced to purchase: an $8,300 Givenchy dress, a pair of $1,100 Valentino sandals, and a barrette—yes, one single barrette—from Rodarte, which costs $620.
As Satenstein writes, some men aren’t that some men might not be the marrying kind — “not even Alaia, the patron saint of ‘Oh wow’ dresses can help you here.” For them, you should opt for lingerie, perhaps in the form of a $13,860 Mary Katranzou slip. That’s right — a thirteen-thousand-dollar slip. Something you will be wearing underneath other, less expensive, clothes.
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But money is no object when you’re trying to get your significant other to pop the question, right? I mean, why talk to your partner openly and honestly about your expectations from this relationship when you could attempt to telegraph them through luxury clothing? Or through cute shoes? Or a few cartons of ice cream? (The ice cream does look delicious, though. And only $10!)
We would expect a piece in Vogue to be, first and foremost, an excuse to show pictures of pretty people in pretty outfits. And of course during summer wedding season, readers are wondering what to wear. But we’re still pretty unclear on what a $620 Rodarte barrette has to do with encouraging your partner to enter into a lifelong union of love and respect. Alas, that’s probably something you wouldn’t be able to find in a fashion magazine anyway. Unless, of course, you’re the author’s boyfriend and you’re reading it. Take the hint, dude.
Read more from Lilit Marcus. Follow her on Twitter.