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Celebrity Mug Shot Chic

Updated on August 30, 2010

Fashion bloggers are perhaps the most tenacious of all the bloggers. When tragedy befalls a style icon, they don't bow their heads in respect and scuttle off to find someone else to shove hat pins into, no, they comment on the fashion choices of the unfortunate, tearing into them with the scavenging zest of vultures who've spotted a zebra with a broken back dragging itself across the Savannah.

When Paris Hilton was recently arrested for various misdemeanors that don't bear speaking about in polite company, she was at least dressed for the occasion, as Amy Odell of the NY Fashion Mag notes:

Mug shots are the most unforgiving of photo shoots. The downcast lighting and unforgiving camera angle highlight every sagging eye bag, sallow cheek, and oily pore that look the worst in the wee hours of the morning, when the hangover is just beginning to set in and many of the most unflattering celebrity mug shots are taken. Paris Hilton, however, is a mug-shot unicorn: She always avoids looking like she got dragged there from the floor of a wrecked Maybach, instead looking fresh and lovely, like she walked off the set of a Swiffer commercial.

Source: NY Fashion Mag

Fashion satire is not dead, though it does raise a series of questions. Should police allow celebrities a moment or two to freshen up their make up before being snapped for their mug shots? Should prison be a more fabulous experience altogether? What would be the effect on inmates if more effort was put into creating a more aesthetically pleasing experience for the duration of their incarceration?

Unfortunately, not everyone is Paris Hilton and most of us wouldn't have the presence of mind to smile alluringly in a Mona Lisa-esque pose for the photographer. Paris gets bonus points for keeping her cool during the mug shot 'shoot' after having already experienced the hell of going to jail once before, an event that got more global media coverage than the bringing down of the Berlin Wall, or the execution of Saddam Hussein.

The New York Mag fashion editors have been down this road before as well, indeed, they once ran a series of celebrity mugshots along with commentary from a professional make up artist, who cavalierly suggested that Heather Locklear would have done well to use a peach shade on her lips, as would Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie – in fact, the tone of the entire piece seemed to suggest that convictions can be made better with some peach lip gloss and a nice matte foundation.

Who said fashion had no soul?

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