Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let's talk about this...

So the fashion news blogosphere is all abuzz about Cintra Wilson's Times column in which she does a scathing review of JCPenney. Actually, scathing is an understatement. Let's turn to a few choice excerpts, shall we?

She begins by asking,
Why would this dowdy Middle American entity waddle into Midtown in its big old shorts and flip-flops without even bothering to update its ancient Helvetica Light logo, which for anyone who grew up with the company is encrusted with decades of boring, even traumatically parental, associations?

She does a few subtle digs at the lower middle class:
It was never “get the look for less” so much as “get something vaguely shaped like the designer thing you want, but cut much more conservatively, made in all-petroleum materials, and with a too-similar wannabe logo that announces your inferiority to evil classmates as surely as if you were cursed to be followed around by a tuba section.”

And talks about masstige [mass+prestige. also known as designer diffusion lines]:
There are collections by other designers who insist on going by their first names (perhaps because Penney’s is a friendly, homey place, like Oprah’s couch). Behold...Liz & Co., an offshoot of Liz Claiborne, key provider of looks that say “I have been in a senior management position at this D.M.V. for 34 years.”

Then she delves into the fat comments:
It has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen. They probably need special insulin-based epoxy injections just to make their limbs stay on. It’s like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of “Roseanne.”
The petites section features a bounty of items for women nearly as wide as they are tall; the men’s Big & Tall section has shirts that could house two or three Shaquilles.

Commenters, writers, readers are all freaking out about this (read through some of the comments left on the 'apology' she posted on her blog. Pure entertainment.)
Honestly? I think it's hysterical.
I get that it's offensive to most of America. I know people are sensitive when it comes to discussing money and weight. For middle America, reading this column was probably like trying to stand up to the catty queen of high school. She promptly cut you down with remarks that were cruel, mostly because they were undeniably true. And those always hurt the most, no?
But really, how can you not just laugh at this? The quality of humor is what saves her in my book. If it wasn't as witty, the whole thing would come off as a crass rant.
And for those of you that are into fashion, have you really never contemplated all of the same things that Wilson wrote? Personally, I'm kicking myself for not having cleverly crafted and published all these thoughts myself.

Everyone can leave the woman as much bad feedback as they want, but I say brava. I'm far from a rich size two but I still laughed through the whole thing.

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