What It Takes To Be In Vogue

"Extremely thin and very well-dressed, and therefore qualified to be in Vogue" is a memorable quote from the former editor of French Vogue, first issued in April, which has returned to the chatter this morning thanks to a front-page New York Times story on Syria's image-making. Joan Juliet Buck was talking to NPR about how her notorious Vogue profile of Asma al-Assad - now inconveniently associated with a bit more bloodshed than is really socially acceptable these days - came to be.

The quote says a lot about how, with very little effort, the essentially politically agnostic values of fashion and consumption can be used to ugly political ends. This particular exploit cost the regime only $5,000 a month in a P.R. retainer - less than the crystal-encrusted Louboutins that Asma coveted.

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