Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fashion Police Brutality

You might not know it to look at me, but I love fashion. Always have. As a little girl my favorite pastime was playing dress-up, and I saved my allowance to buy issues of Vogue. There was a time I dreamed of being a fashion designer, but my attempts at sewing resulted in a black and orange swimsuit that fell apart almost instantly, by which I mean in the water with me in it. The boys were pleased, but I gave up sewing forever, and my dreams of a couture life were dashed.

Today, my style is all about comfort and trying to minimize what has multiplied over the years (chins, rolls, etc.). Oh, I make the odd attempt at glamour, but I usually fail catastrophically (fabric softener stains, I'm looking at you). I do, however, still love fashion.

Enter The Fashion Police Files, one woman's perspective on what the A-listers are wearing.

Sigh. Where to begin. Ok, the minute I saw that this was a Live Journal blog, I knew I was in for it. Live Journal, to me, is for 13-year-olds who are too geeky for MySpace. I just can't take it seriously. Granted, I don't frequent many (ok, any) Live Journal blogs, but my experience with them leads me to believe that functionality is nonexistent and design is problematic.

This blog just reinforces that belief. It's godawful ugly. And listen, if you're critiquing how other people look, you really should do so from a place of pretty, right? I don't mind the lacy gray background, and I love purple, but the purple is too bright, the font is boring as hell, and reading white text on a dark gray background makes me go all Le Chiffre with the crying blood. Wendy, your center panel is too wide. Readers need shorter lines, dark text on a light background, and font size larger than roach turds. And what the hell is up with your tabs at the top? I never would have known they were there if I didn't get so frustrated with your lack of navigation that I went searching for them. They are invisible (on Firefox and Safari, at least) unless you roll over them. Yeah, that's all kinds of helpful.

Wendy uses those click to read more links, which I hate. I'm here now, I want to read it all in one fell swoop, don't make me click again or I'm liable to just go away. What's more, when you click to read more you wind up on a white page with no design to speak of, and that's a cop out. I don't know if Live Journal forces this or what, but it's further proof that Live Journal is blogging for preteens. Although that might be giving preteens a bad name because I suspect they could find a way to make Live Journal work, what with all their hacking and frying their brains on computers rather than getting outside for some sunshine.

Now, the writing. There are far too many of these !!? (apparently Wendy is as excitable as squirrels on speed), and they're all preceded by a space, which is bizarre. Also, Wendy pulls a Tinkerbell and sprinkles her sentences not with fairy dust but with commas. The thing about commas? They, don't just go, any,where. And I'm not even going to go into the whole ellipses thing again. Y'all know how I feel about that. But now we have a new grammar crime: random capitalizations. Is German your first language, Wendy?

Most of the writing involves illustrating what is already illustrated in the pictures. Unless you're making your blog ADA-compliant, we don't need a running commentary on what the pictures look like. We can, you know, see them.

Frankly, what I liked most (relatively speaking) about this blog were the pictures. The commentary that went along with those pictures was rambling and far too long, especially considering all the random grammatical weirdness. There were some bits I liked: "ravishingly awful," "you can have too much blue and purple animal print, you know." But the good parts are so ever-loving hard to get to.

Look, this is an audience-specific blog. I'm guessing no one who reads Ask will give a damn about this blog, but people who like to look at pretty (or terribly, unutterably wrong) pictures of fashion might. And if you want to cater to those people, get away from Live Journal, get a real blog with a pretty design, lay off the detailed explanations of each dress/outfit, tighten up your writing, get a grammar refresher course, and start all over. I'm pretty sure, given your background, that you could do a lot better. Clearly, you have the experience to back up your opinions. Your critiques are insightful and informed. But you lose us (well, me -- I can bet most others gave up long before I did) with all the crap. As it is, this blog is a hot mess and guilty of crimes against the blogosphere (I can't believe I just used that word).

For your truly terrible, hard to navigate, impossible to read design, you get

I mean, really. You want to cite others for poor taste?

For the concept and the writing, you get

Others are doing it better.

Because I liked some of your commentary and really did enjoy the pictures, you get

And now I want to watch hours and hours of Absolutely Fabulous. Oh, who am I kidding? I always want to watch hours and hours of AbFab ("Lacroix, sweetie").


  1. ???, !!,..., ...!!, !!~,/??,,::"?" is she trying to write or send a message via Morse code?

    Nice pictures though, I like the Best Of, Worst Of Lists, oh, and the trollopy hats, we need to wear hats more.

  2. You're a patient woman.

    Seriously, what was the fucking point?

  3. Looking forward to more of the same.


  4. I liked looking at the Ascot hats. Ashtray hat? Dead horse hat? Nice.

    But I didn't read any of it.

  5. I liked the hats. But, as for the rest, this is all something that gofugyourself.com has already done more of, and better.

  6. I'd rather listen to Hellen Keller try to speak than have to read this purple pustule.

  7. You know, I kind of am a patient woman. Except when it comes to chocolate. And the release of James Bond movies.

    And I do want to give these people who submit the benefit (or brunt) of my full attention. I don't want to go off half-cocked. Which is pretty much a good rule of thumb -- always have a whole cock.

    Even though there is a lot wrong with this blog, the writer has been awfully gracious in her comments and in an email to me, so she gets points for that.

  8. Agree about the images, they make the page. She seems to have lapsed in her interest in her own blof there for a month or so. Not sure, then, why I should be particularly interested.

    Good review.

  9. hey... your blog submission page has some errors.

    if you forgot to put the submit button accidentally, then its fucking hilarious. If its done on purpose, then its just sheer evil...and fucking hilarious too.

    But fix it soon.

  10. I couldn't take it. This blog didn't feel like a blog to me at all. I didn't see a single thing I couldn't get on the other fashion patrol sites every day without the crazy colors and navigational nightmares.

    I guess I'm still stuck in feeling like blog = personal, website = everything else.

  11. I love Absolutely Fabulous. Love it.

    That is the extent of my comment. I haven't even looked at the blog yet.

  12. Angel, I definitely agree about the personal aspect. I should have said something about it in my review.

    Chick, I actually did go home last night and watch AbFab.

  13. Awful.

    I used my visceral-reaction to this blog as way to test my own reflexes: once there, how quickly could I click away?

    0.04 seconds is my record, and now my hand hurts.

  14. Holy fuck, how did I miss Hershey's presence? I didn't. Hey, cloud fucker, thanks for showing up so late. Kill your roommate yet? Oh, and I think you are banned from submitting indefinitely.

  15. Key, didn't you review that dude ages ago? Why does he have it posted on the 8th? Did someone put me in a Delorean without my knowing it?

  16. The best part about it is the slew of comments that he enjoyed... fuck, people actually read these things?

  17. Not when Ryan leaves them. Yeah, he got reviewed a long time ago. So, if I can borrow my dad's Delorean, wanna go for a ride?

  18. Calamity
    Well, I did ask for a review and I certainly got one!

    There were quite a few good points that you raised which I will be taking serious notice of, in the future, not least of which are the lazy habits I have inadvertantly got into with punctuation. ( See - no ellipses, and only one exclamation mark! )

    Also, I have paid a good deal of attention to your comments about the layout colours and the invisible links.
    I have tweaked the layout, changing the posts to grey text on white, (much lighter and prettier)and making the links visible in the menu bar.

    The link-through to another page has to stay, I'm afraid, as this reduces the length of the post when it appears on other people's friend's pages. This is a point of good manners, as my posts are pretty long usually, and picture/comment heavy. Therefore, if it is a question of keeping one person happy (you) or 560 people happy, than I'm afraid they win!

    The boring white page that you go to, when you click the link is what you get from Live Journal when you don't pay them a penny, so that's my fault for being such a cheapskate!

    Thank-you for some useful insights into what other people might think when they come across my little corner of the internet - the reason I applied for this review was to get precisely that !

    However, I plan to ignore most of the embarassingly rude comments above me in this comments list -"purple pustule" indeed!


  19. Wendy: much like I intend to ignore the existance of said 'pustule'. In fact, thanks to Ask, I now know what herpes would look like if it was a blog. I know you're ignoring this embarassingly rude comment, so I will leave you with this: You got lucky, Calamity is the only one around here with a single molecule of 'give a shit'. The rest of us eat feelings for breakfast, Vile Violet.

  20. Rude comments are kind of the point. Well, aside from that whole glossy "solid, constructive feedback" charade.

  21. I gotcher "feedback" right here.

    [points at embarrassingly-rude crotch-area.]

  22. My brain has started to bleed from trying to think of a pret-a-porter gag

  23. Yes, without rude comments, Wendy, you would never know what the rest of us think about your blog.

  24. 7 paragraphs in Wendy's comment, 6 of them end with an exclamation mark: I have an exclamation-mark tattooed on my arm that doesn't seem as intrusive as Wendy's overusage.

    Honestly, people actually submit their shit here and complain abaout swearing? She's lucky she got here before this turns into one of our patented disgusting-shitfuck-comment-threads that drives comments into the hundreds while we break our brains being as repulsive as possible...so, Wendy, think yourself lucky both with getting Calamity, and getting here when you did.

  25. This is a recurring theme, and I'm becoming self-conscious(er). Do I need to ramp up the anger? Embrace my inner bitch? Seriously, y'all, I do not live in a world of needlepoint and cat posters. Really. Really really.

    How did I get to be "the nice one"? Hanging out with the evil, I suppose. I must remember relativity.

  26. You're conscientious, Cal, and kinda professional... that, around here I guess, means "nice".

    It is funny, though, how the stereotype of you as the "nice one" has been cycling through the comments. 'Course, I thought you despised me when we first started, so who am I to judge such things?

  27. You know, as bad as it was, it was better before Wendy turned up to defend it.

  28. How did I get to be "the nice one"? Hanging out with the evil, I suppose. I must remember relativity.

    You only LOOK nice by association because the rest of us are all ass pustules.

  29. Seriously, cute maggots are still maggots. Or something like that.

  30. I have enjoyed Wendy's blogs for quite some time now. She posts with humor and grace. Both of which I feel your critique of her site lacked. I will continue to read her site. I will never return to yours, but will leave it for people who seem to enjoy ridiculing others for the sake of, apparently, making themselves feel better about themselves.

  31. I will never return to your [site], but will leave it for people who seem to enjoy ridiculing others for the sake of, apparently, making themselves feel better about themselves.

    We JUST got through with calling ourselves evil fucks, you anonymous douchewad; if you're going to hurl half-baked invective, at least try and have it pertain to the matter at hand.

    Other than that, super comment...

    [thumbs up]


Grow a pair.