"Suri Cruise, style icon"

Need a crinoline skirt to match that burp rag? An odious trend piece explains celebrity toddlers' fashion

Published August 25, 2009 5:26PM (EDT)

Actor Tom Cruise's wife actress Katie Holmes and daughter arrive at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of Tokyo, Sunday, March 8, 2009. Cruise is here for the premiere of his new film "Valkyrie."
Actor Tom Cruise's wife actress Katie Holmes and daughter arrive at Narita International Airport in Narita, east of Tokyo, Sunday, March 8, 2009. Cruise is here for the premiere of his new film "Valkyrie."

Which celebrity couple was caught "canoodling" at a Beverly Hills park last fall? None other than Kingston "Lady-killer" Rossdale, son of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, and Ruby Sweetheart Maguire, daughter of Toby Maguire and Jennifer Meyer. The canoodlers were spotted in a Radio Flyer wagon -- perhaps owing to the fact that they are both, you know, toddlers.

This crucial bit of gossip comes from a particularly odious trend piece in this week's Daily News Style section on celebrity moms -- including Katie Holmes, Tori Spelling and Gwen Stefani -- who, not content to merely capture their offspring's every developmental milestone in a photo fashion spread, have decided to launch fashion lines based on their infant's unique personal style.

The piece works as a nearly perfect parody of the ubiquitous "How to Dress Like Your Favorite Celebrity" (minus the cash, the personal trainer and the genes) profile -- including tips on each baby's "Look," "Signature Style," "Favorite Accessory" and "Celebrity Baby Buddy" -- never pausing to concede the utter absurdity of turning a toddler into a "style icon."

Want to look like Suri Cruise? Think "sophisticated." Suri, we are told, "keeps it classy, choosing dresses and tailored coats over baggy baby pants and sloppy shirts any day." (Because who wants to wear baggy cotton baby pants in the sandbox when one could wear a fitted coat and crinoline skirt instead?) Kingston, now 3, "like his rock-star parents" keeps it "edgy," favoring tilted baseball caps and aviator sunglasses, and "has been known to rock a mohawk." Liam, now 2, son of actress Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott, goes for the "casual/country club look." He is "equally comfortable in jeans and ties and sometimes pairs them together" and "usually wears his hair swept to the side, but has shown his wild side with a mohawk."

Anyone notice an uncanny resemblance between these kids' unique personal style and those of their parents? Could it possibly be because they can't shop for their own clothes, do their own hair, or even, most likely, tie the laces on their signature sneakers? Isn't children's clothing essentially a vehicle for spit-up, mud, and the occasional diaper-related catastrophe? Is there any 2-year-old who actually feels "comfortable" in a tie?

Even playdates, it seems, are cause for celebrity name-dropping: Suri hangs with the Beckhams, Liam "likes the older ladies" -- Sam, 4, and Lola, 5, the daughters of Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards -- while Kingston has had that hot date in the Radio Flyer with Ruby Sweetheart.

But the creepiest part of the article is how well these children's "favorite accessory" seems to double as a tool for avoiding the paparazzi: Suri totes a blanket "which she buries her head in during shy moments and her parents use to scoop her up in"; Liam wore his shades, even while inside, on the red carpet at his mom's book party: "Mr. Cool remained shaded from the paparazzi and even put his head up to block some of their shots." Maybe Mr. Cool can bring along another pair to his mom's fashion launch -- though the ones from her book party are surely so last season.

Next time you read a trend piece on where, oh, where our allegedly materialistic tweens are learning to get all obsessive about capri pants and lip gloss, you might want to turn back to this gem. Meanwhile, for a more toddler-centric approach at how parents might pass on values other than name-dropping and shopping, check out this video from alt-rockers-turned tot rockers They Might Be Giants.


By Amy Benfer

Amy Benfer is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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