As I write this, we have just finished watching our friend Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' excellent documentary about aging models: "About Face." Tim was the director of XXX, a documentary about porn stars that Whitley appeared in.
I grew up with these ladies, thumbing through the pages of fashion magazines, while wondering if I would ever look anything like them or be able to own the stunning clothes they were photographed wearing.
As I saw those ladies swirling around the photography studio in high fashion frocks in Timothy's film, I got the answer to both questions: No, I won't ever be as beautiful as they are (even though one of the models, Carmen Dell’Orefice, is now over 80--but still beautiful) and no, I won't ever own clothes like that (but now, thank goodness, I don't WANT them).
I got to thinking about fashion where I live: There are ball gowns in the windows of the boutiques around here, but I can't figure out who buys them--everybody I see wears jeans and tee shirts. The LA uniform that you can always spot at the airport is: baseball cap on backwards, tee shirt with name of a rock band on it, baggy shorts and flip flops. And now that plastic bags have been outlawed, the Angelino will often be carrying a shopping bag as well.
I just realized what the fashion image is around here: The image of a HOMELESS person! This is a very "P.C." part of town, where a lot of homeless people sleep out on the beach, so I guess this is sort of a sartorial comment on that.
It's a lot different than wanting to emulate Isabella Rossallini, Jerry Hall, China Machado, Marisa Berenson or Carol Alt.