It's 1221

“Do you really want to know how I was dancing on the floor?”
18 January, 2009, 12:05 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized


Alison Goldfrapp photographed for V Mag

Alison Goldfrapp photographed for V Mag

“You know, after a couple of years of doing that—spending two hours in hair and makeup just to sit in a chair and do interviews where people only ask me about my shoes—I’d had enough. That’s not why I started making music. That’s not what it’s supposed to be about.”                  

 -Alison Goldfrapp, in a recent interview with V Magazine. 


Yesterday I wanted to do a little experiment and test some of the concepts I read about in my fashion textbook about consumer habits, trends and merchandise. At the Beverly Center here in L.A., I first went to Bloomingdale’s—it’s by far not the best location (Chestnut Hill represent!)—but I knew there were more markdowns and the holiday weekend sale, so I thought what better time to see what is still out on the selling floor and if people are taking advantage of the sale. Well, the contemporary department was nearly empty. There were eight racks of additional sale merch, the premium denim was on-sale, and the Marc by Marc section, amongst others like Theory and Juicy, was also 40 percent off. I didn’t have to fight anyone as I browsed the racks.

There was nothing to buy. Lots of clothes, and I tried on a slew of things with about a 10 percent success rate. I noticed that there are less seams in the clothes and where a zipper would have helped to get in and out of a top, there wasn’t one. Cheap production for a tank top marked to $137. Yeah, right. Also, this is L.A. and though it gets chilly, it seems like there were a lot of heavier fabrics that I just didn’t expect to see here—and that is why they are on-sale. Thick corduroy and heavy wool pants? There were many basic C&C tanks, tees, and loungewear on-sale and, though the price was right, I think shoppers were saving their money even on the so-called everyday items that they probably have in other colors and just doesn’t make sense to buy more of.

Nothing remarkable in the shoe salon, the service was a disgrace to the Bloomingdale’s motto “Like no other store in the world.” One salesgirl asked if I needed a mate and when I was ready, she had disappeared into the stockroom for about ten minutes and she lost that sale. Furthermore, I didn’t want to look at fringed suede boots. The selection of new, full-priced shoes was very limited and nearly the entire right side of the shoe area was  e m p t y  just the shelving and platforms, but no merchandise. It felt poor and I don’t want to go out shopping in this economy to feel more broke than I already feel. The whole escapist element to shopping—and fashion, at that—was missing. I felt no high. It was a business mission as I picked up the two items I set-out to search for; if I had seen some lovely sequins and lush fabrics, I would have let myself go to fashion nirvana, but there were no thrills, nothing directional, nothing alive.

I also went to Macy’s and it was repulsive. The “impulse” section is not set-up well and has a poor flow to it; it was my first time and very frustrating to find certain brands. Again, the floor was sparsely populated and I wondered where all the traffic getting into the parking had gone. At Macy’s I thought the prices were still high for items that have been in stores since October (I’m thinking about the DKNY cropped wool zip-up). What they had in the deeply discounted rack of 65 percent off section was from the DKNY spring collection—as in, nine months ago—and the big colors were chocolate brown and deep pink. Well, I did like the silk flower blossom blouses, but they must have been incorrectly sized because the size six could have fit you, me and everyone we know. No joke! It was baggier than what most people would call a pregnant top. Not sure what happened there, but thank God I avoided fashion victimhood.

Anyone who has seen my closets knows that l love clothes and nice clothes at that. I am SICK OF THE BORING, CHEAP CLOTHES IN STORES. THAT IS WHY I HAVE NOT WRITTEN ABOUT FASHION. From Boston to L.A., to San Fran to Chicago, I went to the specialty stores, Saks, Bloomies, Nordstom, and this fall/winter was truly disappointing. I WANT TO BE IMPRESSED AND WHISKED AWAY. We know times are hard for everyone and this week Neiman Marcus cut 375 jobs, Lord & Taylor cut 170, and Saks a whooping 1,100. Higher-ups at Saks like VP and director of women’s fashion Michael Fink, PR director Leslie Langsam Kennedy, and creative director Jan Richter are on the outs… So I read about fashion history and turn to music. Wanna know my favorite thing about Goldfrapp? The cadence of her voice is dazzling and when I’m listening, it’s like I can see the music in terms of movement. Check her out in the Hype Machine Player  (including “Clowns” live from Union Chapel) and on MySpace.


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