Archive for September, 2011

Aussie clothing store tells complaining customer she isn’t “fashion forward” enough

Posted in Fashion News with tags , on September 29, 2011 by DbyDC

DbyDC couldn’t make this shit up. Actually I could but the fashion world is so unfailingly awful that I don’t have to.

When Keara O’Neil sent an email to Australian clothes retailer GASP complaining of the rude way she’d been treated by a sales assistant in one of their stores, she wasn’t even expecting an apology. As a retail assistant herself she merely thought they should be informed of the attitude and incompetency of one of their staff members. The response she got was… something else.

DbyDC barely evens knows where to start with selecting passages to quote. In fact, I suggest you just head straight over to the Herald Sun where they have both Keara’s email and the reply from GASP’s area manager in full. But to whet your appetite, here are a few choice cuts:

“We only carry products which appeal to a very fashion forward consumer. This means that the customer whom is acclimatised to buying from “clothing for the masses” type retailers, is almost frightened by our range.”

“Chris whom served you is a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion.”

“Chris is a retail superstar, who possess unparalleled ability, and I am sorry you feel upset by him, but he knew you were not going to buy anything before you even left your house.”

“I respectfully ask that you side step our store during future window shopping expeditions.”

Sigh. It’s so bad it almost makes me happy. As long as there are people like this in the world, the DbyDC cogs can keep turning. I mean not only is this man, one Matthew Chidgey, a pretentious moron and a borderline imbecile (does Chris really have a sixth sense, DOES HE?) he’s also a nasty bastard. Plus he has since issued a statement defending his comments and even going so far as to say that:

“We respect and welcome all customers whom wish to visit our store, but we ask that their opinions be expressed through blogs, social media or around a warm latte, but certainly not inside our stores.”

Well here you go then, Matthew. Enjoy.

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In pursuit of boots

Posted in My Dress Code with tags , , , on September 29, 2011 by DbyDC

DbyDC is no stranger to love. Sure, I’ve had my flings, my one-night-stands and my crushing let-downs, not least where clothes are concerned. But nothing beats the moment when you spot an item that bowls you over, makes you gasp aloud and exclaim (sometimes audibly, in the street) “Ohmygod, that’s THE ONE.”

What this means, for those not familiar with the emotional lexicon of fashion, is that in your mind’s eye you have a picture of how you would ideally like to look this autumn-winter/spring-summer and although this vision may have its roots in the trends around you, more often than not it does not contain specific items you have necessarily seen or know to exist. So, in the absence of any discernible dressmaking/cordwaining/tanning talent, the fun then begins as you try to locate items for sale that will help you piece together this look, this style, this character you want to embody. On the rare occasion that you actually FIND such an item it really briefly feels like you might be able to stop looking, like all your shoe/bag/skirt/jacket needs might finally be met and your entire essence be captured in this one single item. Call off the search because baby, you’ve found it. The deed is done. You can actually STOP SHOPPING.

Of course this is bollocks and within a couple of months you’ll have started eyeing that shirt in Topshop suspecting that it might actually be the perfect expression of your personal idiom and NOT that other shirt you bought two months ago after all.

Regardless, the fashion epiphany is a powerful feeling and one which I recently experienced upon discovering THESE:

Sooty. Size 38. I first spotted them when they came into Kurt Geiger stores back in the spring but of course I didn’t buy them then. Don’t be ridiculous. For starters they were £190. And it was spring. Who needs boots in spring? Actually one year I did buy a pair of boots in the summer sales and it was probably one of the more sensible things I’ve ever done. I’m not sure what that says about me.

So no, I didn’t buy them but I continued to eye them for a further four months until finally I came up with a plan. £190 is a lot of money but I HAD been looking at them for four months so I was definitely serious about them. Also I had a job interview and I knew if I got the job I would need some nice new boots to wear proudly. I also knew if I didn’t get the job I would need some nice new boots to cheer me up. So that was my plan. Get the job – celebratory boots. Don’t get the job – consolatory boots.

I didn’t get the job. But – HURRAH – I still get boots. On the morning of this revelation I have a quick look on the website just to check – yet again – that I love them. They’re out of stock. Hmmm. Worrying. But no matter, off I trot to Kurt Geiger. I’d been in two weeks before in preparation. I’d tried them on, I knew how they fit, that they were comfy, the name and what size I needed. So I bypass the shoe racks and go straight up to the counter.

“I’m after ‘Sooty’ in a 38…” I say.

Out of stock. Ah.

“Oh! Well, do you think you could order them in?”

The guy checks the computer. There is one pair left in the Kurt Geiger warehouse and one pair left in Topshop Oxford Circus. What to do, what to do…

“Can you get to Oxford Circus today?” he asks.

Noooo, I can’t. I’m at work til six thirty and then I have to be home at seven for a Tesco grocery delivery. I don’t tell him this. I don’t want the man in Kurt Geiger to know how secretly unglamourous and grocery-orientated my life is.

He orders them in. But there’s only a 50-50 chance the warehouse will send them. If they’re the last pair in stock there’s a very real chance they might just… not. I don’t ask why but I imagine an evil shoe goblin clutching them to its scaly chest with possessive fervour.

“Are you sure you can’t get to Oxford Circus?”

I think. If I leave work early, say ten to six, I can get to Topshop by half past, dash in, grab my boots, and be back in Brixton in time for Tesco. Ok. Call them. Get them to hold them for me.

Back in the office I email my flatmate and tell her about my near miss. “It’s all ok, they have them at Topshop, I am departing forthwith,” I reassure her.

At ten to six, sure enough, I depart. Twenty minutes later I arrive breathless and sweaty at Topshop and race down to the shoe department.

“Hi, you’ve got my boots, you’ve got my Sooty 38. You’re holding them for me. Kurt Geiger rang you,” I pant.

The two Topshop assistants look at each other in bewilderment.

“Someone came and picked them up,” one says.

WHAT?? YOU SOLD MY BOOTS? MY SOOTY 38? I scream (in my head, fortunately).

“Someone came in, they had your name and they said we were holding them and then they paid in cash.”

WTF??

“It was a man. Did you mention them to your boyfriend? Is it possible he popped down to get them for you as a surprise?”

Some fucking chance.

“Did you tell anyone we were holding them for you?”

Um… my flatmate? Female, about my height, big hair.

“It was a tall bald man.”

Right. So not my flatmate. Or my boyfriend for that matter. There must be some mistake.

“But he had your name, he said ‘hi, I’ve come to pick up the boots,’ he knew,” says the Topshop man.

Now, just to be clear, there was no one in Kurt Geiger at lunch time when I’d had the conversation with the assistant. No one witnessed him call Oxford Circus except me. So at this point I either have a stalker or Topshop man is lying through his teeth. But his story is so good. I really believe him. And anyway, that doesn’t help solve the issue.

“Do they have them in stock anywhere else in the whole world?” I wail desperately.

“Hold on,” he says and disappears into the stock room. I stand, sweating profusely, and glancing at my phone, partly because I’m worrying about Tesco arriving in my absence, partly because I sort of think maybe my flatmate will text me in a second and tell me she sent a tall bald man to pick up my boots – surprise!

This doesn’t happen. But then the assistant comes back: “Good news, they’ve got one pair left at the Regent St store.”

OH MY GOD. YES! I’M OFF. “THANKSFORYOURHELPBYE,” I yelp over my shoulder. Then there’s more running, more panting, more sweating. I arrive at Regent Street.

“Sooty 38,” I bark at the sales girl. She looks at me oddly.

“I’m pretty sure we’re out of stock.”

“No, no, NO! Sooty 38! Topshop rang you. I know you have them.” By now I’m just shouting ‘Sooty 38’ at people like a form of Tourettes syndrome.

She calls down to the stock room. They have them.

“Ah yes,” she says, taking them out of the box. “I remember. One was in the window, I’m afraid, so they’re a bit… not quite the same.”

Not quite the same? They look completely different. One is soft and nubucky, the other is hard and shiny.

“Um… I don’t know…” I whisper.

“I can try a leather conditioner on it, see if that helps. And I can knock 10% off for you.”

Ohhhhh. A leather conditioner won’t help. I know it won’t help. I had a Saturday job in Russell & Bromley between the ages of 16 and 18 and I’ve been this girl, desperately trying to sell a pair of shoddy boots. It never works. But I let her try it anyway while I nervously glance at the time.

It doesn’t help. In fact it makes the shiny boot even worse.

“Oh god…” I say.

I can’t. I can’t take them. I really want to. They’re the last pair in the whole country, practically, but they look like two different boots. I sadly shake my head. I want to walk slowly and forlornly back up Regent St, a light spattering of rain mixing with my gentle tears, like I would in the film version. But it’s now ten to seven. So I run.

(I made it back in time for Tesco, don’t worry. I know that’s the bit you were concerned about.)

The next day I go into the Kurt Geiger near my office and tell them the story. They are baffled but ultimately they don’t give a shit. They re-order the last pair from the warehouse goblin, remind me it’s only a 50-50 chance and relieve my bank account of £190 (they’ll refund it if they don’t arrive).

So now I wait. The course of true love never did run smooth but when you’ve found The One, you know it’s worth holding on. Our time will come. We will be together. I know it.

In the meantime, if anyone sees Sooty 38 for sale ANYWHERE (I even tried eBay), shout me immeeeeeeediately.

Wear your misogyny on your sleeve with Topman

Posted in Style Tips with tags , , , on September 14, 2011 by DbyDC

Here are some new t-shirts from Topman. Yeah… not great, are they? DbyDC is pretty dubious towards slogan t-shirts at the best of times. There was a boy in my French class at school who wore an ‘Adi-hash’ t-shirt pretty much constantly but that’s a whole other blog post.

These are really, actually, bordering on being quite offensive, not to mention crass and misogynistic. Twitter is in uproar, naturally, and far be it from DbyDC not to join in. So, if you will… ahem…

What breed is she? What BREED is she?? Are you comparing women to DOGS, Topman, ARE YOU? Hmm, it appears you are and frankly someone at some level (ideally the buyer) should have really flagged this up as being what is known in the fashion world as “not cool”.

As for the second one, well, if you don’t see how this could allude to domestic violence then there really is something quite wrong with you. You provoked me? I was drunk? Are you fucking shitting me, Topman?

Oh and P.S. This isn’t directly relevant but I might as well chuck it in while I’m at it: your t-shirt that says “this is what perfection looks like” is awful and destined to be worn exclusively by leery, sweaty sex pests with beer guts. So well done, Topman. I hope you’re happy.

UPDATE: Topman forced to withdraw the offensive t-shirts.

American Apparel ‘plus size’ model comp gets its just deserts

Posted in Fashion News with tags , , on September 9, 2011 by DbyDC

Good Lord. Could this be two pieces of good fashion news in one day? DbyDC scarcely knows what to do with itself. But yes, word has reached me that Nancy Upton, who took on troubled retailer American Apparel over their ‘plus size’ model competition, has actually WON. No, not a lawsuit, that would be deadly boring, she’s won the competition.

Nancy, incensed by the patronising tone with which American “plus size is not our demographic” Apparel launched their ‘Next Big Thing’ contest, decided to create a parody entry. She got a photographer pal to take sensual ‘model shots’ of her in various saucy poses while she stuffed her face with pizza, chicken, and ice cream. Her campaign gained such a following that she ended up being the highest rated entry (yes, AA invited the public to rate the entrants – I know, it just gets better).

By rights she is now entitled to her own shoot with the company and a goodie bag of plus size clothes to take away but how AA will react and whether she will even accept remains to be seen. In the meantime… check out Nancy’s full story here.

And make sure you check out Jezebel.com‘s take on it too.

Shock News! Fashion journalist says something sensible

Posted in Fashion News with tags , on September 9, 2011 by DbyDC

Check out the Luke Leitch’s feature, A Man’s Guide to a Woman’s Wardrobe in Intelligent Life.

DbyDC normally reserves only the most withering of sneers for fashion journos but even I have to admit, this is excellent. Having joined the Telegraph’s fashion desk two years ago, Leitch endeavours to ‘explain’ women’s love for fashion from a male point of view. Not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination but what it lacks in originality, it makes up for in astuteness.

Of course, he doesn’t address the sycophantic bollocks transmitted daily via the metaphorical loudspeakers of the style world but he’s one of the few fashion ‘outsiders’ I’ve ever read who genuinely understands that women’s fashion has nothing to do with men.

He also remains openly baffled by harem pants.

Facts slightly hurt our brain(s)

Posted in Fashion News with tags , , on September 1, 2011 by DbyDC

Yesterday American Apparel reported that its recent Canadian investors are looking to sell their 43.2 million shares after just four months. Yikes. Sounds like someone wants to get out while they still can. In addition the shares are being put up for a secondary offering – ie a direct sale to someone else – which means AA will not get any of the money.

This is sorry news as DbyDC quite likes American Apparel. True, you don’t get a lot of spandex to the pound but they do a good line in quality basics plus cotton t-shirts in every colour of the rainbow. And when a financier invests $15 million in a company only to change its mind four months later, that generally signals bad times ahead.

However, the real sorry state of affairs was not the news that AA might be in trouble but the way that Grazia reported it: American Apparel registered 43.2 million shares for a potential secondary offering, which encompasses the 24.2 million shares the Canadian investment group now holds, in addition to the 19 million shares they hold the right to purchase.

“We don’t know what this means,” they simpered. “But it doesn’t sound good.” Then they all dissolved into giggles. Probably.

So, if they had no idea what they were talking about, why exactly were they quoting it? Why were they copying it out verbatim rather than doing their jobs and interpreting the information before, say, wording it according to their house style and reader demographic?

“Because the facts slightly hurt our brain.”

Good Lord. Is it really beyond the wit of Grazia to call up somebody who knows about finance and ask them? DbyDC did not know what a ‘secondary offering’ was until yesterday so we emailed someone we know who works in finance and asked them. It’s a simple trick. Most journalists are familiar with it (even fashion journalists). Hell, most people are familiar with it.

To finish, let’s just pause a moment and reflect on the revelation that the Grazia team only have one brain between them. Sigh. I feel this would be an opportune moment to crack out the American expression go figure.