Good morning, class! Please put your books away and take out a pen and a sheet of paper. I hope you’ve been doing your reading, because it’s time for a quiz on this week’s assignment, “Fashion Foolery,” from the February issue of Elle.
1. The article’s subhead says “Mixing high and low is totally on trend.” This purported “trend” is:
a. A good thing, because many women are reducing their clothing expenditures
b. Irrelevant, because many women’s finances never allowed them the option of buying high-end clothing in the first place
2. Author Joe Zee writes, “All other fashion outside this rarefied world was considered—good heavens!—mall clothes: the poorly dressed black sheep of a very chic family.” In this sentence, “mall clothes” refers to:
a. Apparel from retailers such as J. Crew, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom
b. Aesthetically bankrupt clothing whose sole virtue is protecting its wearers from the elements
3. Zee claims that in 2004, “things went topsy-turvy.” Which of the following events does Zee say happened that year? (Choose all that apply.)
a. Facebook was founded
b. Karl Lagerfeld’s partnership with H&M “single-handedly ushered in a new fashion era”
c. Edvard Munch’s The Scream was stolen from Oslo’s Munch Museum
d. George W. Bush was elected to a second term as president of the United States
e. Lagerfeld’s H&M collection, priced significantly higher than the retailer’s regular line, made it “cool to love cheap clothes”
4. From a fashion magazine’s perspective, what would be a primary reason for promoting inexpensive clothing labels? (Again, choose all that apply.)
a. Inexpensive clothes and pricy ones are often of similar quality
b. In light of the current economic situation, Americans have reduced unnecessary expenditures
c. Only a tiny fraction of people can afford the higher-end brands, so Elle is attempting to acknowledge its readers who have limited financial resources
d. Photographic comparisons of high-low outfits give magazines yet another opportunity to push the designer brands that advertise
e. Belt-tightening stories are trendy right now—as soon as the economy recovers, Elle will revert to covering almost exclusively exorbitant apparel
5. Zee showed 100 people high- and low-end versions of seven different outfits. In four of those seven instances, the respondents correctly identified the more expensive ensemble. Thus, his contention that it can be “hard” to determine the difference is:
c. A half-hearted endorsement of affordable apparel
d. A hedge carefully designed not to alienate the luxury brand advertisers
Extra credit essay question: The author mentions that First Lady Michelle Obama has worn a $148 Donna Rico dress and a $420 Azzedine Alaia belt in public appearances. In your opinion, are these examples of high-end or low-end items? Leave your answers in the comments section below, and be sure to show your work!
Next week in class we’ll cover the latest editions of Cosmopolitan and Lucky. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!