Today the sun came out.
This was truly brilliant.
Although I spent the majority of my day running around like a chicken with her head cut off, bopping around the city in taxi cabs, driven by semi-mad (and generally intolerant of all other motorists on the road) middle aged men, or otherwise glued to my computer screen sending out fourteen (give or take) different types of invitations to a 2,000 person gala event I am in the midst of organizing – just seeing those magnificent rays breaking through the ever-present cloud cover was downright magical.
I am also happy to report that over the last two days I have felt a real shift in the air.
The cold in the mornings is less biting, less sharp. I can hear chickadees calling out to one another, echoing off the dew dappled branches, in harmony with the early hum, and buzz, of the world waking to a new day.
The air smells a little sweeter.
The wind blows a little warmer.
I can sense the cherry blossoms waiting to emerge from their long winter rest, and I can almost imagine a time where I can run about in sundresses and pedal pushers, ride my bike in flip-flops, and wear sunglasses at least every other day.
I am aware that I may be jumping the gun here, but I am so ready to herald the arrive of spring, I become giddy at the mere thought of any day where the temperature moves into double digit territory.
A girl can dream, right?
It was this giddiness that brought me back to H&M on Thursday to try on a few of the pieces that had caught my attention last Friday, and of course – the newly arrived merchandise.
This activity alone led to a full on laugh attack smack dab in the middle of my change room.
Seriously, I need to meet the principal buyer for this store, because based on their choices I wouldn’t know whether to shake their hand or send them to the loony bin.
Do not pass go. Do not ever work in the clothing industry again.
While I was putting on my outfits I was literally shaking with laughter – hooting and snorting like some crazed owl-pig hybrid.
To paraphrase those dude bros from LMFAO, who put it ever so wisely: I’m sexy and I know it BUT I LOOK COMPLETELY BARMY.
Now, don’t misunderstand me here – I am completely aware that I am a bit of a jerk (and a half), repeatedly showing up at this store with the express intention of only trying on clothes (clothes that nobody in their right mind has the business of buying) and never purchasing anything.
I am always especially aware of this fact after I’ve just spent a good chunk of my time in the store, careening about the change room, blinded by laughter, while chronicling the entire escapade with my camera phone.
Also, that this is, for sure, the definition of weirdo, hands down, bar-none, I am sure.
And yet seriously folks, as much as I am aware of my complicity in this whole charade, it still unnerves me to think about how all this merchandise (expensive merchandise at that) does end up going somewhere (and that place certainly is not the Lower Mainland Goodwill), which then makes me think that I shouldn’t feel like such a wanker, because I am not the one buying all these incredibly strange, over-priced articles of clothing.
And what I really start to think about (once my laugther has died down) are what (I perceive to be) the pros and cons of the fashion industry, and what I’m finding more and more to be its overall transient, fickle, and seemingly arbitrary nature.
Despite, of course, my slightly-wavering love for (what my aesthetic dictates to be) beautiful, beautiful pieces.
(This is where the whole endeavor gets a little sticky, you see.)
Like Heidi Klum has said, hundreds and hundreds of times: One day you’re in, and the next day you’re out.
People will spend over one hundred dollars on a suit jacket that they may wear once, that will not be a style a week from Saturday, just because they can.
The privilege and excess that the entire industry is built on, is truly astounding.
Plus so much of the clothing is not only completely unflattering, but downright BIZARRE.
Okay, so you could argue that the really bizarre thing is going and trying on clothing and taking photos of yourself (headless at that.)
Yet, despite the fact that my own actions don’t exactly connote a healthy level of sanity (I am aware that all the young, dispassionate individuals working at the store probably hate my guts) I’m hoping that my commitment to an academic deconstruction of the women’s fashion world (or at least some in-depth selfrefleciton on my own relationship with the industry) will make my actions less objectionable.
Or at the very least be enough to keep both of my feet firmly planted in the “sane” swimming pool of life (which isn’t all that deep, let me tell you) and not swimming laps with the dudes who are purchasing this:
Okay, let’s go back to the first one and take one more look at that shirt:
(P.S. I am definitely wearing pants in that photo despite the fact that it looks like I’m not. Dodgy stuff here folks!)
When I showed this snap to Mr. M he was so incredibly distressed at the idea of this piece of clothing even existing he was pretty much at a loss for words.
While I felt like a cross between a big band leader and a detective from Miami Vice (and maybe also an extra from a Janet Jackson video circa 1989), he just thought that I looked absolutely deranged.
“Who would possibly think that a flesh toned suit would look GOOD?”
But more than that, I am still wondering about where all those pieces of clothing go. Who is purchasing them? And who is manufacturing them? And what about designing?
And how do I feel about asking all these questions, if I myself am purchasing other pieces of clothing from the store?
Case in point, I ended up purchasing this sweater:
Am I, at the root of it all, stifling creativity, both on a design end, and a consumer end, when I lampoon these pieces?
Should it matter at all to me what people spend their money on, and how they dress?
While taking part in this one-side dialectic makes for some interesting thought patterns, most of the time I just end up feeling like such a grumpy, old fool.
So then should I, a self-assessed (at times) stodgy, bad-tempered prat, just let the crazily-dressed kids play all they want on my lawn, especially if they are wearing lemon coloured suit jackets, with tapered, zippered pants, hounds-tooth leggings and sheer metal crop tops?
I don’t have the answer to that one, dear readers.
Not yet at least.
But come spring, I’ll be on the lookout for these outfits. And the answers they might provide.
And also chickadees.
I’ll be on the lookout for them too.