Mystery Credits and More Tricks From Fashion Mags

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In today's Thursday "Styles," Eric Wilson exposes the phenomenon of crediting clothes and accessories as "Price upon request" in magazine stories. See, mags use this phrase when a) the item is exorbitantly expensive, b) no one knows how much the item costs, or c) the item was never produced beyond the runway. We know, we know, you're shocked by such trickery from publications that routinely Photoshop models and celebrities into impossible ideals of beauty. But wait! There's more treachery afoot. One of our favorite tasks at a former publication was to compile the cover's beauty credits so readers could achieve a similar look. Only the credits weren't based on the makeup actually used at the shoot; instead, the issue's biggest beauty advertiser was touted, with colors that were similar to what the cover girl was wearing. Feel cheated yet? Of course, what gets our goat more is the ever-mystifying "fragrance credit." We can't wait for scratch-'n-sniff editorials so this will actually make sense.

Phantom Clothes, Price Unknown [NYT]