When the movie Zoolander parodied the cluelessness of fashion’s elite with the fictitious hobo-themed line “Derelicte,” it seemed like an amusingly exaggerated comeuppance to wealthy designers who appropriate and profit off of the cultural markers of those less fortunate. Any fashion person with an ounce of self awareness might chuckle at the satire and try to do less embarrassing things in the future, but the joke seems to have been lost on Antidote Magazine, which un-ironically copied the idea for a recent homelessness-themed editorial.
At a point in U.S. history when financial inequality is the highest in the developed world and people are finding it harder and harder to hold onto a middle class existence in which all their basic needs are met, this seems like kind of a “let them eat cake” moment, no? It’s not enough that magazines are full of luxury goods that 99% of people could never dream of owning, now they’re going to actively mock the poor. What’s next guys, an AIDS-themed editorial? How about you dress up some models to look like starving Ethiopian children? They’re almost skinny enough already, so it would be totally easy!
Like Jenna Sauers at Jezebel pointed out, it’s entirely possible for fashion to take on serious issues in an intelligent way, but this editorial does nothing of the sort. Let’s hope this fresh burst of WTF doesn’t make me do anything stupid down at Occupy Wall Street this evening.