MODE Time Machine: The Impossible Dream

By | September 8, 2009

Stack 'o Modes

Another Tuesday, another handful of MODE scans. For the record, anyone interested in these scans is free to take them and do with them as you will; obviously I can claim no copyright restrictions on these materials.

On to the scans!

MODE Magazine, August 1998 Even the premier plus-size fashion magazine had to occasionally cop to the fact that plus-size fashion sucks. Really, really sucks. Hence they were not above occasionally resorting to vintage for decent editorial content, as they have here.

The shoes, unfortunately, are unspeakably hideous, but I suppose they must have been someone’s idea of fashionable at the time.

MODE Magazine, December 1998 MODE’s “Fashion Forward” sections were often curiously positive and upbeat encouragements to find one’s own style, but not to be afraid to lift ideas from fashion icons (ideally, ones more up-to-the-minute than Alanis Morissette or Shania Twain, but maybe I’m taking the narrow view). Also interesting is the lack of “don’t”s – everything here is a “do” or a “dare”. It’s possible MODE had a subconscious effect and is the reason I don’t believe in fashion “don’t”s; I think everything is possible given the proper styling.

This particular page also suggests, “Dare to wear a head wrap, or let your tresses take a natural turn.” I, for one, can’t recall the last time I saw that advice in a major fashion publication. Click the image for a giant, readable version.

MODE Magazine, December 1998 This page is sort of a late-90s trainwreck, I admit it. The “hooded dress” on Alanis 2 is unbelieveably, shockingly ill-fitting, and the accompanying text namechecks MC Hammer, who was out of vogue even at the time this was written. BUT! The sassy fishnets, the sexy satin dress, and the suggestion to “Dare to wear knits and colors that show off your shape” were pretty revolutionary, then as now. Click for an embiggened version to read it yourself.
MODE Magazine, December 1998 I love it, love it, when the editors and writers of fashion magazines put themselves on the page. I mean this figuratively, of course, but literally as well. (I am convinced my love of this self-referential writing owes much to the late lamented Sassy’s penchant for doing the same, with hilarious and relatable results.) Michele Weston was MODE’s fashion editor, and she included this image of herself on the last page of the December 1998 issue, in the context of a short piece that starts out being about embellishment on formal gowns but which is really about the challenge of going sleeveless with big fat arms. In the same vein as the flood of positive reinforcement over Lizzie Miller’s belly-roll, seeing this tiny image of a woman shaped like me — small-bosomed, non-hourglassy, with meaty shoulders and arms… hell, that’s even my hair! — in a fashion magazine was a powerful, powerful experience, and one I still remember vividly even today. I couldn’t remember the subject of the attending article for the life of me, but I’ve remembered this picture with perfect clarity for years. Click the image for a larger version.

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