Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comme des Garcons for H&M

Early this morning I went to H&M to check out the Comme des Garcons collection. Basically, it was madness! I don't know whether to be impressed by the experience or embarassed by passively participating.

I left with no clothes, a bad taste in my mouth, my dignity intact, and the delusional-but-sweet feeling that I was refunded $180. I should've done my homework--of course Chicago would be overstocked with the tops, which range from tiny to enormous, but with none of the items that were probably only made in small sizes. Apparently there were only 6 of those $349 dresses, 5 of which were at 5th Ave in NYC, and 1 in San Fransisco. There were also no tux jackets in Chicago, and there were a total of 5 skirts on the floor. I saw two of them, one on a mannequin and one hanging high above on a weird cage apparatus. I don't even know where the other three were originally placed on the floor. It would've helped to know where things were on the floor; otherwise you just wander in, disoriented by pure chaos.

Everything else was incredibly mediocre and uninspiring, so it was especially surreal to see all these people get bestial. Most people were pretty decent, but there were some remarkably offensive characters. Both men and women were going for the "drop crotch" pants, which I don't understand. The $199 trench coats were coming back from the fitting rooms, and I felt one--so thin! A lady who was behind me in line got a deconstructed jacket (I only saw two of those) and let me feel it--so thin! I tried on one of the simple blazers, thinking it might be a sufficient replacement for the tux jacket--so thin! So boring! I looked like I was getting dressed to go to the accounting job I've had for 30 years. Maybe it's better that I don't even see the tux blazer or feel the skirt, because it'd be so disappointing.

But it was an interesting social experience. I recognized the tiny 12 year old Tavi, whose blog I sometimes read (she ditched her morning classes but not the social studies test--hehe, remember "social studies"?), and there were other bloggers taking notes and pictures. I talked to "The Sassy Peach," who has an inadvertent picture of me and quotes me in her post about today. (She was in fact not sassy, but perfectly peachy.) A number of women had apparently done this before, and register totals for a bag full of items were non-issues. I felt like some of them could just get, or have, real Comme des Garcons items. I'm sure there were resellers in there too, but they're harder to pinpoint. I was essentially left wanting to revisit the Comme des Garcons store in Tokyo and disappointed that "democraticizing" high end fashion via H&M is not giving opportunities to the masses, but really just letting the mob take over. I am looking forward to Old Orchard this weekend for some normalcy, where I will go "thinking" I have an extra $180 to dispense. Surely Mordecai will bring me back to reality, for better or for worse.


Phoebe said...

That Tavi blog is fascinating. It makes me feel inadequate, both at dressing myself and at blogging. She even, in some post, makes reference to the attention she gets, being a 12-year-old rather than a '25-year-old PhD student.' Argh.

kei said...

Or a 40 year old man!

Richard said...

kei if you're ever by that h and m on a tues or wed, gimme a call, we can grab coffee or someth.

what is this comme des garcons line?

Richard said...

btw, i felt a little uncomfortable scrolling down that tavi blog; this is a KID?

james said...

I went to the H&M omotesando shop opening party. it was madness. there was free champagne and a sucky cdg collab line. kids outfitted eight billion times better than I could ever even imagine, much less outfit myself, were lined up around the block. why?

everything was half-price; I bought an overcoat. why?

the best part is, the real cdg store is mere minutes from the H&M, and I just know those kids have no compunctions about dropping ten times more cash on clothes ten times better. yet somehow, H&M is trendy in tokyo. an H&M shopping bag is regarded as something to be held proudly next to one's knit-cap wearing miniture dachshund, rather than stuffed ashamedly inside a bigger bag from a reputable shop. why why why.

anyway, when are you coming back here?

Phoebe said...

"an H&M shopping bag is regarded as something to be held proudly next to one's knit-cap wearing miniture dachshund"

That's it, I'm moving to Tokyo!

kei said...

I had no idea H&M was actually a hit in Japan; I just kept seeing H&M editorials in magazines but no evidence of actual people wearing the stuff. I guess it's "cheap" and therefore cool even though the prices are higher there than here for the same low-quality stuff?

Unfortunately I will not be in Japan next until at the earliest August 2009 :( Maybe more frequently in 2010, as I will be relieved of coursework. How long will you be there?

Take me with! I will introduce you to Marron and Sakura!