Fake News of February 24th, 2012

Hi all,

The following fictional article posted in the Village Voice may be of
note to people in the NWoD venues.

If you have IC questions about it, please email me
([email protected])

Begin IC:

Attached to the following article are two photos; the first photo is
of a strikingly pale woman “feeding” off of a man dressed in flannel
shirt, tight jeans, wearing black glasses and a horrified look. The
woman herself has very sharp features, and is sporting a lovely red
leather mini dress with white crosses around the hem.

The second photo is of a chiseled, younger man dressed in a white
suit: the sleeves of the suit jacket have been cut short, revealing a
black dress shirt with large cuff square cuff links that have a photo
of St. Gemma on them, and the pants have a cargo-pant pocket on the
side.  He is standing behind a woman, staring at the camera with his
mouth open and “fangs” extended, two holes in the women’s neck with
tiny drips of blood coming out of them.  One arm is wrapped around his
“victim”, a woman with dirty blond hair, while the other is pulling
off her cardigan suggestively, revealing the “We are the 99%!” t-shirt
beneath.  The woman has her eyes closed and her face is in a peaceful
repose of what could be either ecstasy or death.

Local fashion designer Oustren VanGould’s newest collection, “Wall
Street After Dark” was unveiled last night to mixed reviews. The line
features models wearing VanGould’s latest fashions dressed as vampires
feeding off of Occupy Wall Street protestors.  The displays are
somewhere between macabre and faux-Hollywood to the point where
VanGould’s rather pedestrian effort seems wasted. Unsure whether this
was a publicity stunt based on the recent Twilight movies or an overt
political statement regarding the “99%” movement, we sat down with
VanGould to talk about greed, luxury, and why he doesn’t apologize for
either…

An interview with VanGould:
Village Voice: The fashion industry and designers such as yourself
have faced a lot of criticism for creating goods designed to appeal
exclusively to the wealthy.  What’s the value in pursuing haute
fashion as a design ethos?

Oustren VanGould: You know, it’s simply not true to say that my
designs appeal exclusively to the wealthy.  My designs appeal to those
who value luxury.  The devil is in the details: the same design
produced by a small team of workers without concern for mass
production is going to have more pieces, more details, more luxury
than if you interpreted the design to be produced as cheaply as
possible as fast as possible with appeal to the largest number of
potential consumers.   There isn’t anyone out there who doesn’t want
luxury; it simply happens that there are many out there who can’t
afford it.

VV: What about criticisms that your production methods exploit slave
and child labor in third-world countries?

OVG: Listen, anyone who wants to criticize that haute fashion as some
reserved only for the “very rich” has never considered what the price
tag would be if we made the same goods in America, and without boring
you with numbers, I’ll simply say that if I moved my production work
here, not even the 1% could afford my garments.

VV: Your new collection is very controversial – what were your
inspirations?

OVG: You know, in many ways I’m sympathetic to the Occupy Movement,
because as an artist I have to respect passion.  But America isn’t my
home and I wasn’t born here, so I look on it with a bit of an
outsider’s perspective, and that was really the inspiration.  The
clothes themselves are all about outsiders co-opting symbols into
inappropriate contexts.  Crosses on mini dresses that you’d never wear
to church, cargo pants as part of 3 piece suit, corsets as part of
swimwear.
Meanwhile, it comes back to luxury.  Vampires, before Twilight made
them all glittering teenagers, were associated with dark passions,
with sensuality, with timelessness, with beauty.  It’s a very
beautiful collection with dark colors, lots of leather, silk, fur; all
things that feel good against the body. Textures which you want to
touch, and at the same time very classic shapes and lines that will
never go out of style.  I could have been boring and put my models in
castles or Bram Stoker’s London, but I wanted to push outside the
comfort zone.

VV: So it’s not the clothes themselves, but the context which matters?

OVW: Yes, absolutely.  If I make one beautiful bespoke suit for myself
and wear it to a party, I’m an artist who has made something with his
own hands, and that’s worthy of admiration.  But if I make a dozen,
sell them for $5,000 a piece, and someone else wears it to a party;
suddenly I’m exploiting the poor and denying health insurance to the
unemployed and I should be ashamed of myself – talk about out of
context!
I wanted to put luxury right up against its critics and ask the
uncomfortable question, who is really the vampire here?  We’re all
feeding off each other, creators, consumers, protestors,
marketers….there’s no doubt that Wall Street and its ilk are feeding
off the 99%.  And I’m feeding off the 1%.  I wanted to acknowledge
that, but in a way which isn’t apologetic, because I’m certainly not
sorry for it.

<–end IC

Matt Blank, US2007039568
aDST Legacy