28 July 2008

Distasteful

This just in from the Post..."Taking a cue from the grim economy, this fall's fashions at Banana Republic, Gap and H&M are featuring a distinctly Depression-era trend of cloche hats, pencil skirts, conductor caps and baggy, vintage-style dresses."

Honestly? The inspiration for fall fashions is the Great Depression? Wasn't this a morbid joke in Zoolander? The suggestion that a retailer would embrace the "styles" (if you can call them that) of that era as a trend is appalling and offensive to the generations of people who sported these clothes for their utility. Not to mention their inability to either purchase new clothes or maintain those that they owned. And Gap wants me to go out and purchase a brand new (but sort of vintage looking!) cloche hat to be on trend this fall? I'll pass.

During a short stint in merchandising for Abercrombie & Fitch, a retailer known for their torn jeans, "junked up" appliqué and a generally casual and sometimes disheveled look, my grandfather had a few unpleasant conversations with me, expressing his vehement disapproval of the sartorial choices of my employer.

Generational differences aside (there is an appeal to the "lived in look" in my humble opinion), his point was clothes should be a source of dignity for people, regardless of your tax bracket. Wearing dirty shirts, and ratty pants was an embarrassment for my grandfather and he stressed that he and everyone he knew took great pains to keep their wardrobes in a presentable conditions. It might sound a little "in my day we..." but I do think that clothing should be used as a form of respect for yourself and your company.

It won't occur to the teen buying the torn jeans or the newsboy cap that she may be offending my grandfather (and possibly others) but I do hope that the design teams at these companies won't repeat this offense...and if they do, next time hopefully they won't be so quick to acknowledge/glorify their influences.

Generally in economic slowdowns, or so the fashion rags would like us to think, styles get more conservative, classic - oxfords, tights, sober colors. If the economy is going to dictate our fashion choices, I'll opt for the refined and not the choices of necessity of the destitute.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Amen, Lindsey. Very "Derelicte"...

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