A very UN-glossy look at popular culture... and whatever else takes my fancy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Apparel-ently it's 'all in the cut'....

Not too long ago, I was on a date with a guy and going through the usual trite getting-to-know-you, haven’t-quite-drunk-enough-yet-for-the-words-to-really-flow-properly type conversation when the subject moved onto clothes. After complimenting my cardie and asking where I brought it, he informed me that everything he wore was from American Apparel and that he had only ever once stepped foot in H&M, the place where I’d purchased the bulk of my outfit.

I work right by Carnaby Street, which has a rather large American Apparel store, but at this point I’d never actually stepped foot in the place. I knew it was supposedly “cool’n’trendy” and had seen many well-groomed young shorditchians mincing about with their carrier bags firmly in their hands, but the clothes in the window always looked dull as a rainy monday, badly made and in terrible colours. I knew that they're ethically made, but (call me cynical if you wish) I don't have enough faith in the fashionable elite of London town to believe that this alone would make them rush out and snap up the whole store. After explaining to my date that I couldn’t really see the fuss about plain T-shirts that you can buy on Dalston market ten-for-a-fiver, I was swiftly corrected that a) it was all in the cut b) they’re a ‘cult’ thing and that when you see someone else wearing AA you always ‘clock’ each other, and b) it’s really ‘indie’ because they advertise on the back of Vice magazine. He then lamented the fact that they had opened a flagship store on Oxford Street, I suppose because it meant that mere uninitiated peasants would now be able to get in on his ‘cult’ discovery.

On my lunchbreak the next day I decided to wander over and check out what AA had to offer myself, to find out if its rails really were bursting with garments cut in heaven by God’s personal tailor, if their magical cotton would transform me into a member of this elite primary-coloured club the moment it brushed against my skin, and if the window display was actually a deterrent to keep unworthy riff-raff like myself out of the cool kids crew. In I breezed, passing between the racks of elasticated-waists, v-necks and varying-length hems, between the cotton and the nylon and the PVC. I stroked my hand across many of the garments, held a few up to me, even took a couple to the changing room to slip into myself. I gazed at my reflection in the cotton vest and knee-length skirt, then glanced across to the model sprayed on the wall opposite. She was bambi-eyed, lips parted, tousled hair just this side of ‘had a good hard fucking from behind 5 minutes ago.’ The photographer’s harsh lighting and sharp focus gave her that raw, ‘edgy’ feel so du jour in fashion photography. I looked absolutely nothing like her.

I came to the same conclusion that I had every single other time I looked in AA’s window – the plain, block-coloured clothing is no different to anything sold in countless other outlets up and down the country. Yet higher price tags, cannily placed stores, trendy photographers and a breath-takingly large marketing budget that will allow you to buy the back page of Vice magazine every issue for a year can sure-as-hell give these same boring old clothes ‘cult’ label status. It’s fair to say that American Apparel is basically the clothing equivalent of Carling – the beer that tastes of dog-piss-scented stagnant water yet tricks thousands into drinking it through their constant in-you-face-to-the-point-of-suffocation ‘cool’ music sponsorship and other such silly marketing faff. They are both boring as hell and even somewhat rancid, but the magic marketing fairies waved their wands and – puff! – in a cloud of sparkly dust the spell of “cool’n’trendy” was cast over the pile of rubbish for all eternity. Or at least until the budget ran out.


  • At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    [url=]christian louboutin outlet[/url] Second, sequels sport flashy economics. [url=]Canada Goose Parka[/url] Nbflfewci [url=]louboutin uk[/url]
    xxpjsx 245177 [url=]yorkville canada goose[/url] 068274 [url=]canada goose sale toronto[/url]

  • At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said… Spirit Airlines announced this month that it will start charging passengers as much as $45 to bring a carry-on bag. [url=]Canada Goose Parka[/url] Slcgjwavu [url=]christian louboutin uk[/url]
    nlufeh 442904 [url=]sporting life canada goose[/url] 760554 [url=]beats by dr dre[/url]

  • At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said… He simply failed to clarify that he meant to destroy all the jobs, jobs, jobs. [url=]Canada Goose jakker[/url] Iatqcyfas [url=]canada goose jacka[/url]
    jlhcxt 347847 [url=]canada goose mens snow mantra parka[/url] 098775 [url=]dr dre[/url]


Post a Comment

<< Home