Depth of Field and Fashion
Sports and Vogue


Sports fans and fashion fans:  The two pretend they’re unrelated.  

Fans of sports worship the moment of anatomy and athletics.  Fans of fashion worship the moment of anatomy and aesthetics.  They act as if they’re not family. Who are they trying to fool?  The swish of the skirt and the basket, the sharpness of the stiletto and the cut block, the grace of Chanel and Willie Mays — it’s so obvious.  A little family therapy might help.  The highlight real is a fashion spread is a highlight real is a fashion spread.  A feathered boa and a reverse layup are the brother and sister of flamboyance and flair.  Why can’t sports and fashion fans kiss and make up. Lebron and Donatella Versace,  Michael Vick and Alexander McQueen, The Super Bowl and The Academy Awards, all feed the same family.  Were sports fans and fashion fans were separated at birth?  One but for the distance?  

The Sports and Fashion Fan family loves the arc of distraction — fiction in reality — a frivolous escape based on a frivolous escape.

When Sports icon Kobe Bryant vogued for the May 2010 LA Times Magazine fashion shoot he, knowingly or not, framed the glitziness and shallows of both worlds. Kobe wore his game and fashion face between a white pilgrim hat and white bow tie — a striking contrast to the Black Mamba himself —  a snake who glides down the basketball court and fashion runway à la mode. 

Sports and fashion: nothing is serious.  And it’s all so serious.  How grand.

Paparrazzi swarmed over power forward Lamar Odom who fancied some of Kobe’s photo shoot wardrobe.  “There’s some unique pieces in there,” he said.    He could have been talking about the Miami Heat.  I think Miami will take it all this year . . .and so will Valentino Garavani.

Violence is what separates sports and fashion.  Fashion is so much more so. The back stabbing.  The competition and the nastiness.   What’s a hip pointer compared to a tight corset?   But fashion should ease up on Sports.  It’s not like Sports doesn’t have joie de vivre.

The word “Sport" comes from the French.  Isn’t that proof enough?  They said “desport” meaning "leisure."  In the English language, sport is defined as amusement and entertainment. Sounds like fashion to me.

The Sports and Fashion Fan Family uses the same part of the brain for their magnificent trifling amusements.  Their prefrontal cortex must be in its third overtime outputting social contrivance.  I would guess that the cravings for more runways and fairways are correlated with decreases in the brain’s ventral striatum —  the same place connected to the hunger for drugs and rewards.

Sports fans and fashion fans:  They’re all about watching and reacting.  Voyeurs with megaphones, always looking the right words of approval or dissaproval.  Oh. My. God.  Fuckin’ A.

So whether you’re watching someone watching Fashion TV or the Super Bowl, remember, for all the emotional outbursts, for all the fretting, for all the tradition, sports and fashion is nothing but kick-ass family flummery.  The important thing for the Sports and Fashion Fan Family is the acting out.  I just wish they’d try to settle their differences and live together in peace.  So, if you happen to see them, throw them a kiss and a high five.  Remember, the fans at heart, are blood.  Let’s help bring their family together.

— Nathan Callahan

First Broadcast January 14, 2011

© / Nathan Callahan / all rights reserved


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