INSTEADitors Pick

Anthony Thornton

INSTEADitors Pick by Anthony Thornton

Do we really think Stefano Tonchi wears his shiny grey suit with an impeccably pressed Thomas Pink dress shirt to his local park? Or that Lynn Yaeger shuffles around her apartment wearing her trademark cupid’s bow lip and graphic cheek? They’ll never let us see them in anything less than impeccably assembled. Maybe these and other fashion journalists secretly want to go into stealth—or even sleep—mode sometimes. Establishing a visual identity while constantly interpreting and analyzing runway presentations for a living must be a daunting task. Often the reader is left to wonder if style scribes live and die by their assessments or if they simply adopt a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. Should consumers and creators alike lambast arbiters of taste who can’t cobble together a round-the-clock innovative look?

Not that those outside of the industry and who, in this case, happen to share a name with a prominent arbiter of taste should escape observation so easily. Let us imagine a world in which a style writer dons a fleece vest as confidently as his identically named counterpart would a well-tailored suit. Could we see Tonchi wearing Old Navy or any style writer, say, making himself or herself available to the public via a social networking site? The individuals below represent an alternative solution to the industry’s reputation of elitism and unapproachability. These literal icons replace iconoclastic ensembles and in turn make accessible the oft-shielded vulnerability of the critic in question. Hierarchy is stripped away as democracy takes precedence on social microcosms like Facebook. Heart-of-gold alter egos of their traditionally glamorous counterparts these users are not, but simply reminders that the consumer is as vital as the critic in the realm of style.

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