Is there anything more offensive than "working class" fashion?

Posted at 3:40 PM Apr 06, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

The New York Times "The Moment" fashion and design blog is officially the most offensive thing I can think of right this second. In a post early this morning, some asshole named Rosecrans Baldwin writes about how blue collar fashion is all the rage! Is it any wonder that our economy is in the state it's in when America's creative class nobility reads and writes things like this?

"No reason, though, to invoke big words like class and gender in what can just be fun-with-aesthetics."
Yes, Rosecrans, there are plenty of reasons to "invoke big words like class and gender" in your article about blue collar fashion when we're in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I know it's hard to see me talking from your dressing room over at Barney's, but try and get a glimpse: there's nothing chic about actually having to buy your clothing at Wal-Mart because you cannot afford anything else. You call it "fun-with-aesthetics." Many people call it "having money left over to buy food."

Look, I know this was a dinky one-off blog entry about a fashion trend. But this "no reason to invoke big words" crap cannot be allowed to fly in this economic climate. Rosecrans, you could have written something about how the emergence of a now-obvious, once latent class hierarchy in America, brought on by recent economic disasters, is changing design! But no, an interesting, thoughtful exploration of that idea would have been a good reason to "invoke big words like class and gender." And as we can see, there is no reason to do that. 'Cause you said so. But hey, since newspaper jobs are totally solid right now and there's no way you could be out on the street in a couple weeks, keep talking about how totes trendy plaid flannel is.

Time was, I wouldn't expect some brainless fashionista at the NYT to be sensitive to issues about class and economy and income and luxury excess. I understand that people who believe that things like great design and couture clothing and $5000 handbags are important need a little sandbox to play in while the rest of the world keeps things chugging along. And even now, I think asking said brainless fashionistas to really explore issues of class would probably be a stretch, since taking fashion seriously eats up more brain cells than a decade on ecstasy. But my god, can we not make the effort?


Lindsay Graham said:

Hmmm. Rosecrans is a friend of mine. I think I even recommended his excellent website ( to you when you were thrashing about, looking for good books.

andrea said:

Hrm. I like TheMorningNews, and I didn't realize he was affiliated. Now the assholery makes even less sense.

© 2014 Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy