Sunday, April 11, 2010


This caricature was accompanied by an article, "The Upstaging Of High Society," in a 1995 issue of The New York Times. The article discussed the lost interest in high society, and the increasing obsession of models and actresses. The author, Dan Shaw, states "Town & Country, which used to have a policy that only real women (i.e. socialites) would appear in its fashion stories and on its covers, now puts run-of-the-mill fashion models on its covers." At this time, the media was beginning to devote more and more space to Hollywood.
This caricature is an interesting representation of the ranking of society/the media's valued influences; the faces of the socialites of the time are all placed on the lower branches, representing their decrease in value, as the model, Kate Moss, is placed on the highest branch, representing her increased power and influence. This caricature is an interesting mock up of the idea of the fashion plate; all the people, although having human faces, are drawn as birds, and given pearl necklaces. They are all arranged accordingly on a tree, for their 'photo shoot' as a photographer is arranging his shot.
When fashion plates first became popular in the media, they were seen as representations of high society women. These women had the most power and influence over the societal trends of the time. They helped define the proper way women dressed, acted, and the activities they should carry out. They were pictured in photographs and illustrations of popular magazines and news papers, serving as a template for everyday women.
When i think of the 'fashion plates' that exist now, I would say that they mostly consist of some kind of celebrity influence. Famous faces of pop culture fill a majority of front pages of magazines sold. They appear in pictures throughout fashion articles, showing us what to and not to wear, setting the newest fashion trends and having a great influence on the items made and sold throughout stores.
For my caricature i am interested in using the idea of a fashion plate, in order to show the way our societies values and ideals have changed throughout time. This article and caricature are great examples of the shift in the value and influence of Hollywood on the media. It is interesting to see the transition of values of the media, once pictured "real women" of society, replaced by fake, idealized celebrities of today.

1 comment:

  1. I'm wondering what you mean by real women? COuld you list some female figures posted onto magazines that were well rounded and cultured? I don't think you can call these models shallow if your going to just associate them with an industry that appears vain. I honestly know nothing about Kate Moss so I can't judge her intelligence based on only her thin figure.

    This a society that loves celebrities and concuming pop this something to be mad about? I'm not sure.