Hot Trend Alert: Prison Chic, Courtesy of British Vogue

Today in "Vogue, noooooo," British Vogue is urging Orange Is The New Black fans to purchase conceptual prison-inspired designer garments. The three recommended items add up to about $1500. So chic!

The Guardian's Hadley Freeman spotted the extraordinarily distasteful feature — which seems to be part of a spread about dressing like your favorite TV protagonists — this morning. Predictably, it's not gone over well: in the words of Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman, "Ugh." A lot about this little feature is remarkably inappropriate and out-of-touch: the tongue-in-cheek remark about a prison uniform counting as "utility basics"; the reductive trivialization of the experiences of women in prison; the outlandish price tag of the designer goods — especially considering that the prison system disproportionately targets women of lower socioeconomic status.

According to Women in Prison, the female prison population in the UK increased 115% between 1995 and 2010 due to a significant increase in the severity of sentencing. Over half of the women in UK prisons report having suffered domestic abuse; one third report having suffered sexual abuse. Roughly one-third lose their homes and possessions while incarcerated. But yes, Vogue UK, by all means, encourage your wealthy readers to emulate prison jumpsuits as a cheeky little joke. That's great of you.


I guess the only thing worse than Vogue ineptly and pseudo-provocatively trying to wedge politics into its editorials is Vogue being completely politically myopic.

[H/T Hadley Freeman]