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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Khuri’

West’s Spring Fashion Issue

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West magazine ran its annual Spring Fashion issue and while the results were more appealing than in the past, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Elizabeth Khuri explores the art of Rodarte, although it would be nice to read about the Mulleavy sisters that didn’t go on about growing up in Pasadena. People have to grow up somewhere. Autumn de Wilde’s photos are fine, but a video would have been far more interesting than a slide show.

Barbara Thornburg’s video piece on shopping with dogs is a textbook example of how not to do a video piece. Called both Shop Til They Flop and Shopping with Cleo, the producer gets it wrong right from the start. The vo says “Cleo is a long-legged blonde who loves to shop” as the camera starts on her paws and tilts up to the head, thus spoiling the surprise and the joke, all at once. Starting on human legs and traveling up to a handbag pooch would have been better. Turning off the camera would have been best.

Cleo is said to love shopping, but has to be dragged into a store. Thornburg’s vo tone is mournful and slow (although she’s funny when she’s baby talking about Dolce & Gabbana). The art of the montage has evaded the LAT’s multimedia staff yet again. The pooch-in-the-streets are inadvertently hilarious, like the woman who takes her dogs to Her-maize. Ultimately, why does this exist? It’s not strikingly visual, it’s not funny or witty and it’s not informative.

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West Magazine: Why This Rag is Lame

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West magazine, just in time for the Martin Luther King holiday, offers a cover with a photo of rapper/actor/author Common, proclaiming Why This Man Is Hip. Inside, the the hapless Elizabeth Khuri asks him some high-school paper questions: “Have your ever made a fashion faux pas? What do you look for when you’re shopping for clothes?”
No reader is going to learn why this man is hip from this stuff. And then Khuri tries to get relevant, asking about his new film, Smokin’ Aces:

The movie is rather violent. Would you let your 9-year-old daughter see it?

No. It’s rated R. Maybe she will eventually see it, but now she’s too young. I really love the film, but I don’t think it’s a children’s story

What’s he supposed to say? What did she think he’d say? Was this just thrown in there so we can marvel that a black rapper protects his young daughter? (See–he’s not a thug….) After all, the lede was

Common doesn’t fit the hip-hop stereotype.

Never underestimate the cluelessness of West editors.

And then there’s a piece on Dr. Grillz. The writer, Qevin Oji, calls up the dentist, Jay Oh, and thinks he might be Ethiopian, but turns out to be Korean. Oh. Oh, 0h! Supposedly, these bejeweled mouthpieces are authentically part of African-American culture:

gold-capped teeth hearken back to our Southern relatives, to the days when folks couldn’t afford to seek professional aid for cavities

Right–because gold caps cost pennies. The history of grillz is pretty much open for debate; the thought that greedy jewelers might be have found yet another way to part newly-rich rappers from their royalty checks isn’t explored. We’re amazed West didn’t include a photo-shopped essay on how civil rights leaders would have looked, if only they’d gotten grillz. Oji himself is a really interesting guy–FBLA would rather have read about him than dental jewelery.