IWTB hosted a contest this summer inviting readers to share their thoughts about the sites for a chance to win a prize and I am thrilled to announce the winner of our contest: Justine Ariel! I must admit that Justine's words moved me to tears, I was so happy that she appreciates our genuine approach and her potent reminder, "Don't give up!" came just at the right time. Justine wins a set of four IWTB mugs (Alt, Battaglia, Coppola, Roitfeld); a copy of the book Nostalgia in Vogue; a copy of the limited edition artist's book Alt/Saglio: Quotes + Citations by Wynn Dan; and the ring of her choice from I Heard They Eat Cigarettes. My sincerest thanks to all of the readers that took the time to share their thoughts! Congratulations Justine!
Keep It Real, Don't Give Up
By Justine Ariel
I have been following I Want To Be An Alt and I Want To Be A Battaglia for some time now. But this essay is in response to I Want To Be An Alt. Yes. The difficult, the inscrutable Alt, with those smartly-written editorials and edgy photographs. With those ideals and images that — sometimes — fall short of the institutional fashion mega-star Vogue Paris. Emmanuelle Alt is trying to do something great — and that is to bring the magazine and its readers into her own vision of the 21st century. This means a lot of mistakes, but when it's good, it's really good. And for this reason, my favorite thing about the site is that you don't give up. That's also one of the things I've learned from these women through your sites. And do you know why it's great that you don't give up? Because you aren't afraid to criticize. You aren't afraid to say, "This is disappointing, I'm not sure where Alt is going with this." In an industry based so much on personality — both fashion and fashion blogging industries — it is refreshing to hear an honest opinion that critiques the work of this woman intelligently and thoughtfully. She makes mistakes! We all do. How refreshing is that? But the other side of the coin is, she doesn't give up. Your blog is inspiring for me not just because I get to see the stylish outfits and compelling editorials, but because I'm actually able to understand the endurance of the work of these women (Okay, now I'm talking about ALL of your sites). No one else is showing this, or analyzing it, in such a focused way. And this is why I keep coming back to your sites — because I know I'm going to get articles that discuss the good and the bad, from writers who aren't afraid to to speak their minds. This is important in all disciplines, but much needed in the fashion world.
That said, my favorite posts are the outfit posts. I feel like they're my treat for reading and understanding the reasons behind editorials and Alt's different visions. Because Emmanuelle Alt is just so damn chic, every time. And it's so refreshing to see that — gasp! — she wears the same clothes to different events. Whereas Carine Roitfeld and Giovanna Battaglia are known for their eclectic and seemingly endless wardrobes, Emmanuelle Alt is a woman of staples. And I appreciate that. It brings me back to, maybe, what Parisian street style is meant to be. Everyone has their uniform, but it just looks good. I don't know how Emmanuelle Alt's editorship (is that a word?) at Vogue Paris will be remembered — it's too early to tell. But change is refreshing, and, ironically, it's nice to see the same outfits for a change.
Before I get too caught up in wordplay... Please keep posting great editorials on your site! For those of us living outside of France, a subscription to Vogue Paris is a hefty $180 per year. It's great to see the little gems of the magazine (Vogue Paris: "Tresor National" for example, and the aluminum foil dress in "Couture") and be plugged in to the best of it. What would I change about the site? Well, for me, when I lack inspiration, I change the layout of my site. Maybe give I Want To Be An Alt a makeover. From going super-minimalist to making the post space wider... It might broaden your horizons, open the world!
In sum, I really think you are doing a great thing. You are a great resource for the best (and worst) of Vogue Paris — the best on the web, so please remember that! There are people out there (me) who really appreciate it. I'm being honest, I'm not just trying to win Alt/Saglio. Although that would also be great. You never know where this site will take you (even if you just go to the magazine stand to buy Vogue Paris who knows, you could meet the love of your life, and/or a puppy) — so my Alt-ian message is: don't give up! I'm a 25-year-old writer and young artist, finding a voice in photography, fashion, and film. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I wish you all the best.
Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt, Giovanna Battaglia, Sofia Coppola photos via Pure People, Getty Images, Fashion Spot.