Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thursday Stylin': Don't Date Alex Kuczynski

In today's desperately pathetic attempt to fill space and gain advertising revenue, the Times goes to the well again, with yet another story the Chanel "exhibit" at the Met. Also, the exporting of materialism rules, as does pirate gear. Digital photos, however, are less cool.

Materialism around the world: The Times fills us in on developments from India Fashion Week, and boy, is that one lucky subcontinent. Why, just a decade ago, "prêt-à-porter fashion barely existed here in any Western sense."

Not anymore! Now the Indian fashion scene is one totally recognizable to Stylin' section readers: "paparazzi, blanket front-page coverage and daily seating wars. " Begorrah!

But wait, just because India's consumerism is developing doesn't mean it's not time to condescend! Check it, homes:


For every even marginally subtle designer ... there are five others whose work looks as if it is destined for a camel fair in Rajasthan. Kurtas, salwar kameez, churridar trousers, saris, caftans, and formal sherwani coats came paved with sequins, barnacled with cowrie shells, encrusted with zardozi embroidery, ornamented with ghungroo bells and universally accessorized with sad clunky shoes.


Later on, we get this lament.


Yet Indian fashion inexplicably continues to drift along lazily, as if the vital subcontinent that made a gift to the world of calico, madras, chintz, tie-dye, crewelwork and virtually the entire technique of hand block printing was somehow not motivated to propel itself out of the backwaters of design.

Of course, there's encouraging news: Delhi residents are positively mad for Gucci mini clutches, Louis Vuitton sandals and botox. So it's all good, motherfuckers.

It's the new White Man's Burden ... teaching an entire subcontinent how to covet shit no one needs.

Begorrah!: More crap about the Chanel exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Stylin' section sighs and shakes its head at how brilliant an exhibit this could have been. We'll stipulate that this could be true, because we just don't fucking care. It's corporate shillery at an art museum. There's plenty of other things we'd rather see.

That said, check out this:


Given the juggernaut of publicity for the opening on Monday night of the Chanel exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - the howling paparazzi on the red-carpeted steps, the 7,000 gardenias displayed among the topiary hedges, the list of V.I.P.'s and the presence of so many Chanel executives from Paris - it is a wonder that the pharaohs weren't removed to make room for little black dresses. To someone on the outside, it might seem that Chanel and Condé Nast, the exhibition's sponsors, had taken over the museum.

Although I suspect Cole Slaw Blog and the Stylin' section are coming at this from different angles, I think we can agree on that.

Stop Them Before They Shoot Again: Here we have some advice for the kind of self-absorbed idiots who read this section. Don't e-mail a deluge of digital photos to your friends, because they're too busy trying to get reservations at Pastis to bother with you. Sage.

Here at Cole Slaw Blog, we can feel superior, because our photos rarely include "multiple shots of the same child at the same moment at slightly different angles." We're more likely to have drunk people throwing shit and clapping like Lancelot Link.

Champs-Elysées, at Home on Madison: Good things about this article: Alex Kuczynski's usual speculation and guesswork is pretty much absent. Bad things: Just about everything else.

Here, the Timeswoman covers the opening of the Hermès store on Madison Avenue ... six years ago. So maybe the news hook here is that the luxury retailer is finally at home. Who knows? What we get are some first-person accounts of our intrepid correspondent's experiences with Hermès, as well as minor snark on "$8 hoop earrings" from the author of last week's piece celebrating earrings that cost a mere $3.80. There will be no such pikery today, however.

Not on such sacred consumerist ground.

The scarf counter is a retail paradise, unchanged in its basic form since Hermès introduced the scarf in 1937. Much imitated, often tragicomically so, the scarf is not just a functional, beautiful wardrobe staple, it is a rite of passage. All told, I own 12.

Each scarf comes with its own madeleine of memory: Christmas 1992. I asked my impoverished boyfriend to either grow a beard for me or cough up an Hermès scarf, an impossibility on his budget. Christmas came: no beard. He produced an Hermès scarf, explaining that his boss had a policy against facial hair. I felt guilty for 10 years. O.K., a year.

After reading that, I find myself in desparate need of a shower. Let's hope in the years since, said anonymous ex has also been able to produce some self-respect and dignity.

Avast, ye scurvy seadogs!: Pirates are totally in! Arr! Sneakers, belts, shirts, sunglasses and more all be havin' the skull n' crossbones. But what would a trend profiled in the Stylin' section be without overkill. If you want empty your wallet to play privateer, you can spend more than two grand on a cashmere sweater with a jolly roger motif. Or you can go to Barney's and buy a $295 action figure. I'll include a quote because you wouldn't believe me otherwise.

Barneys asked several designers to custom-fit a look from their spring collections on a 12-inch figure topped by a menacing white skull. Marc Jacobs did a trench coat and jeans; Jil Sander designed a tailored white suit and pink tie; and Dries van Noten recreated his tweed linen jacket and hand-knit leg warmers. The $295 dolls are expected to go on sale in the Madison Avenue store on Friday.

I'm sure they'll sell like McGriddles. As this is part of Eric Wilson's "Front Row" column, there's also a brief tale under the subhead Hamptons Hot Spots. Apparently, someone was going to open a store, but J.Crew offered more rent. So they got the place. But the first person got a store, too. So she can sell her "signature 1970's-fit pants" and goddamn jeans still.

Skin Deep: Man Stands at a New Frontier: Men age, too. Some men are willing to spend thousands of dollars on shit to keep them looking young. This is becoming more popular. Needless to say, this is worth half a page in The New York Times. Sigh.

Open for Business: Footwear beat writer Stephanie Rosenbloom tells us where we can purchase Adidas gear (SoHo) and Jimmy Choo footwear (Atlanta). She also informs us that ribbons are feminine, making sure to back up her thesis with examples. Thanks, Stephanie Rosenbloom!

In other Stylin' news, golfers pay more attention to fitness now, and some people who smoke still work out, but its even better for them to work out and quit smoking, too. Also, vitamins are good for you, and can make you look good.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that Sunday Stylin' can't come soon enough. What advertorial delights awaits us? More metrosexual products to purchase? More shoe insights? I'm so excited, I feel like whipping up a batch of my special asparagus cole slaw. You know what, I just might.

1 comment:

winston said...

I'm not sure which repulses me more -- the fact that Alex Kuczynki values facial hair, or that that she collects hideous, faux equestrian scraps of silk that retail upwards of $300. All Hermes collectors should be sequestered to Greenwich, CT.