Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Just a quick post that I wrote on my phone in the doctor's waiting room earlier this evening...so nu media, 2012, etc.
To kill time before my appointment, I just did a quick whip around the Selfridges menswear department for the first time in about a year. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE Selfridges, it's a fine store, great for many things (especially for buying obscure zeitgeist-y European fashion magazines full of tits / cocks and not many clothes) but I just remembered why I buy 90% of my clothes online - and I SWEAR I'm not just saying this because I work for MR P*. Here's why:
1) High-end retail staff – snooty old queens who were probably very effective at selling Gianfranco Ferre nehru-collar jackets or whatever in the early 90s but have now slightly lost the plot. The bitchiness I can just about deal with (by in my head delivering the immortal Absolutely Fabulous line which Eddy uses on a haughty gallery assistant: "you only work in a shop you know, you can drop the attitude"). But the phoniness really gets me. I'm standing there, dressed in minimal all black, holding out this multi-coloured silk Versace shirt, honestly just to get a proper look at how hideous it is, no doubt with a crumpled facial expression of horror to match, when an assistant saunters over and says "that shirt is JUST fabulous, isn't it? I saw it caught your eye, well it caught mine too, and I think it'd look great on you" Er, hello? Do I look by any stretch of the imagination like a turquoise and fuchsia Medusa-head pattern kind of guy? Which brings me to…
Gareth Pugh to the left, Versace to the right. Swarovski-crysal studded leather jacket with a £4,500 price tag top of my winter musn't-have list.
2) Stock horror – When you're shopping online you can easily filter out all the crap that you don't want to see, but when you have to sift through it in the store it weighs on the mind and reminds you what you hate about fashion. Givenchy, for example, selling a plain black nylon MA-1 bomber jacket, identical except for its plaid lining to one you which would find in an army surplus store for £30, for north of £1000. Balmain printed T-shirts which look like rejects from Superdry priced at £300, etc. etc. Merchandising malfunctions are avoided online too. In fairness to Selfridges, they have finally moved Ann Demeulemeesteer from ‘contemporary’ (beside J. Lindeberg and Stone Island) to ‘designer’ – something which used to gall me way more than it should have done – but other stores are still guilty of placement mishaps. The last time I went to Harrods, DRKSHDW Rick Owens was next to Just Cavalli, presumably based on the twisted logic that since they’re both ‘bridge’ lines they make excellent bedfellows.
3) Fellow Customers – Other than when some anonymous cyber bitch gets the last pair of size 42 Raf Simons black high tops in their shopping cart before you during an online sale, you don't have to trouble your mind with your fellow customers when you shop on the net. Different story with bricks and mortar retail (see what I did there? Industry jargon. Ever the consummate professional). First, I was put off by the many (white) suburban wannabe gangsta types stalking the shop floor in bad jeans, Polo Ralph Lauren shirts, faux Rolexes and Gucci monogram belts with a sort of “look at me, I’m super G with all my visible branding, it gets me loads of pussy” look, their Tesco Bank credit cards primed to be maxed-out on Evisu jeans and Dolce & Gabbana sneakers. Second, and arguably worse, as I perused Lanvin in designer superbrands (noting how most of their clothes are actually very basic) out of the corner of my eye, near where the fitting rooms were, I caught a glimpse of flesh. Much more flesh than you should see in a department store on a Monday afternoon. “Heavens above,” I thought, “is that someone wearing a super avant-garde Margiela nude-coloured body stocking - or has some terrible wardrobe malfunction occurred? I must get a closer look.” The truth was much worse. THE tackiest gay guy I have ever seen had emerged from the fitting room with no shirt on and unbuttoned jeans displaying brightly coloured AussieBum underwear, to approving glances from his obese and much older boyfriend. Then, despite having a body which would score a 6/10 at best, he proceeded to WALK ALL AROUND the shop floor with unbuttoned jeans and no shirt and no shoes on, going “I’ll try one of those, and those, and those” in the MOST FLIPPANT AND VULGAR manner. I wanted to scream “PLEASE SHOW SOME RESPECT TO THE CLOTHES. TOTALLY IMPORTANT DESIGNERS CREATED THESE PIECES. THE DRIES DOES NOT DESERVE THIS. THE COMME CAN’T HANDLE IT” but instead I decided to leave the area ASAP. Oh, the humanity.
4) Bad beats – look, I’m not altogether impartial to a bit of Diana Ross, but it’s somehow not the sort of music which makes you think “ooh, I must drop £850 on this pre-moth-eaten Damir Doma sweater.” Still, it’s better than the pumping drum and bass which some stores favour. And I did appreciate the wry suitability of Ross' “I’m Coming Out” for the men’s fashion department.
5) "No photos allowed" – oh, piss off.
What do you love/hate about fashion shopping?
*But need I say all views expressed on my blog are my own and NOT those of my employer.
Posted by Hapsical at 01:08