Fun Fashions in the News

The only thing funnier than Dolce & Gabbana fur hats and white pants for men are the “fashions” recommended for college interviewing by a private college counselor in New York . The show couldn’t be more hilarious, not the least for featuring fashions that The Preppy Handbook loved to mock. It personified the fever dream of those who wish they could “summer” on the Vineyard drinking ‘tinis and discussing their plans for the new yacht. Education? Not an issue; just the label, please.

The show was featured in Jacques Steinberg’s NY Times blog, The Source, and you can read the whole thing here. He’s already made fun of it, as have the two admission deans he asked about it, so I won’t pile on too much here. You have to read it to believe it.

But it does once again demonstrate the insecurity and credulity of a certain group of people for whom designer labels mean something, even in college education. They are to be pitied more than scorned, I suppose, because in their desperation they deform their children to fit the mold they think will get them into Elitist University. They read all the “How to get in” and “Secrets of” books and then do everything they say, no matter what their children want or are capable of. I imagine grasping parents poring over those books and planning out little Heather’s day from the time she’s in kindergarten. They are like the nouveau riche capitalists in the late 19th century who married their daughters to penniless European aristocrats for the titles and the lands (which were mortgaged, of course–the aristocrats were no fools). Henry James would have a field day.

Finally, it all shows how anyone with even a tangential relationship to college admission can make a fortune (up to $15K at a time, not counting the DVDs–$45.00) soaking rich rubes. We can complain about them but as long as people have too much money (hard to believe these days) and not enough sense, these independent counselors will continue to embarrass themselves and their “clients.” Shannon Duff enters the Hall of College Admission Indignities with this foray into ridiculous fakery.

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About Will Dix

I am currently writing a book about college admission. I'm interested in the intersection of the college process and American culture. I attended Amherst College in the 1970s, taught high school English and theater at The Hill School in the '80s, returned to Amherst in the '90s as an admission dean, and began the '00s as a college counselor at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. I then joined Chicago Scholars as Program Director. Currently, I blog about college admission for Forbes.com. I also help community organizations serving low income students understand the college admission process so more students can consider gaining access to higher education. I have a few private college counseling clients that I take by referral only. The views expressed in this blog are mine alone.
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