September 14, 2012

Based on Shopbop, I think Obama's going to win.

Yesterday, I predicted the outcome of the election based on the image chosen by Macy's to illustrate its latest email. But if fashion-commerce email is my election prognostication methodology, I want to look at all the fashion spam. Today's email from Shopbop points as sharply to Obama as yesterday's Macy's email pointed at Romney. I mean, look at this image:



Now, these are not cheap clothes. The coat is $930. The dress is $650. The sweater is $424. Hell, the socks are expensive: $34! The homeless-looking hat costs $187! Shopbop is a business. They want to make money. But the image is poverty-striken. The wealth is applied for the purpose of appearing to be an artsy waif biting her thumbnail and gazing insecurely into the middle distance. Streams of money flow — like the Seine — who knows where and whether it's all to good use? Let's not think about banks as we lean against the embankment. We are children. We are dreamers.  We have hearts, we get sick, we cry, we dance, we live, we love, and we die.

Ironically, the rich-bitch equestrian-print shirt from yesterday's post only costs $89.50. Not only is it pretty cheap, but the price is expressed in that price-sensitive way that shaves off 5o¢ so you don't have to see the 9. In the mindset that loves Romney, $90 is too much to pay for a shirt. Yes, it's a dream that we have a horse-based lifestyle, but we're frugal and practical. We need a shirt, it has a print, and we're going to work and not spending too much money.

There's a distinct choice to be made, and fashion is showing us the distinctions.

62 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

You can tell I'm a man when I read $89.50 is cheap for a shirt and I thought: "Really? That's not how I see it."

AprilApple said...

It costs a lot of money to look properly poor.

Good news. $4$ more years of Obama and we can be poor and wear the homeless look knock-offs.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The photo was originally a publicity shot for the Met's production of La Boboheme, with an all-new libretto by David Brooks.

chuck said...

I wonder how much her birth control costs?

Shouting Thomas said...

Amazing.

Woodstock is entranced with that beatnik thing, although it long ago shortened it to "Beat."

Today, we would call Beats "drugged out slackers living in their mommies' basements."

The romance of that image is difficult to grasp.

Robert Cook said...

Even on the Left Bank, that is NOT a beatnik!

AprilApple said...

It's hip to be anti-Capitalist. All while participating in capitalism.

Robert Cook said...

"Woodstock is entranced with that beatnik thing, although it long ago shortened it to 'Beat.'"

Actually, the original term--applicable to such writers as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac--was "beat."

Long-time San Francisco Chronicle olumnist Herb Caen coined the term "beatnik" as a sort of breezy/dismissive variant.

Ginberg was a beat; Maynard G. Krebs was a beatnik.

Tom Spaulding said...

Purple SEIU t-shirts are FREEEEEEE!

Big discounts on red-fisted "Recall Walker' tees, too!!

O-Ba-Ma! He will clothe and feed us ALLLLLLLLL!

yashu said...

It's just grunge, (yet) again.

She's in Paris. Maybe an expatriate in the event of a Romney presidency?

Grunge makes me think of Generation X and "McJobs," remember those? Maybe telling of what young people are feeling about the future these days.

Or, it's the romantic bohemian thing, which for many young people was linked to the "Occupy" movement. But when the only vestige of the political spirit of Occupy is a sad, wistful model (as if contemplating her dashed idealism) selling expensive (poor-looking) fashion… I don't know. Maybe that is emblematic of Obama, or living in the age of Obama. It's not a happy emblem, however. No hopey changeyness there.

By the way, I'm an Althouse hillbilly eager to vote for Romney, and my own clothes/ style looks a lot more like this than that 80s "Ann Romney" blouse.

mccullough said...

The Life of Julia: The Breadline Years.

mccullough said...

The Life of Julia: The Breadline Years.

Seeing Red said...

The US Taxpayer paying for BC, abortion or whatever means they can afford the sox.

Curious George said...

"Matthew Sablan said...
You can tell I'm a man when I read $89.50 is cheap for a shirt and I thought: "Really? That's not how I see it." A lot of women would say the same thing.

AprilApple said...

During the last few years, I have never seen so many homeless people. I also note the media do not seem to care.

Rustling Leaves said...

Hey, my high school look, otherwise known as the "I can't afford real clothes so I make funky outfits from the salvation army" has now become high fashion. Though I hated wool hats. Itch, itch, itch. Been there, done that, old news, that's the way I see it. My high school self would have been in love with Obama.

Kelly said...

In 2004 I remember all the predictions the media would come up with that Kerry was going to win. Some Hindui high priest predicted a Kerry win, I think a cow told him. There was something about a monkey too.

I find it oddly comforting that now fashion is a predictor of an Obama win. If only someone would do a star chart it would seal the deal.

campy said...

I think Obama's going to win.

You're right.

Tim said...

If no one cares about the $16 trillion debt growing to $20 trillion, no one will care about putting this poseur's poverty pimp-wear on credit.

After all, in Barry Soetoro's America, someone else always pays the bill.

Tim said...

chuck said...

"I wonder how much her birth control costs?"

Didn't you hear?

It's free!

Oh, one more thing.

The bill is in your mail.

Pay it.

Balfegor said...

RE: AprilApple:

It costs a lot of money to look properly poor.

No, the proper way to do this kind of eclectic fashion is buy old, expensive clothing from thrift shops and have it taken in or re-tailored as needed. This is just for rich people who cannot be bothered.

Tom Spaulding said...

Got any oak barrels in a 2XL?

In fiscal 2011--which ended on Sept. 30, 2011—the federal government paid a total of $591.492 billion in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement (MTS) for September 2011.

Through just the end of August of this year, according to the MTS, the federal government had paid $594.643billion in benefits from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund.

That means the government had paid $3.151 billion more in Social Security benefits in just the first eleven months of this fiscal year than it paid in all of fiscal 2011.

shiloh said...

"Maynard G. Krebs was a beatnik."

Gilligan was a beatnik? :)

What about Thurston Howell III?

edutcher said...

Gilligan was no beat.

As always, the little animal is in another galaxy.

As for fashion, only the affluent can afford those clothes, so I think you're misreading it, Madame.

They're counting on a Romney win to restore the middle class.

campy said...

I think Obama's going to win.

You're right.


She's wrong.

Or, at least, misinterpreting the data.

Matthew Sablan said...

"A lot of women would say the same thing."

-- Hush you. That's not the proper way to get a war of the sexes going.

dogzilla said...

Someone should ask J.C. Penney how trending to the left has been working out for them.

Christopher in MA said...

During the last few years, I have never seen so many homeless people. I also note the media do not seem to care.

Look for that to change sometime around January 20, 2013.


Rusty said...

AprilApple said...
During the last few years, I have never seen so many homeless people. I also note the media do not seem to care.


Goodwill stores are doing a booming business.
They've opened more stores in the better neighborhoods.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I don't know if it's an indication of the eventual winner, but it does indicate who Left Bank is rooting for. She is wistfully thinking of her petit ami in the banlieu. Will she attend the American flag burning with him ce soir? But her haute couture wardrobe identifes her as a member of the lumpen proletariat. After all la magnifique Michelle O wears $540 sneakers to feed the poor. C'est la meme chose.

shiloh said...

Althouse seriously, if you didn't have an edutcher doting tagalong, you'd have to create him.

edutcher said...

No, she'd have to create annoying little trolls to stir up some controversy.

PS Even nd has dropped the syncophant thing.

It's as obsolete as smileys.

greenlantern said...

I think I understand now how Ann decided to vote for the BOob and will do so again.

gerry said...

It looks like Soviet fashion, circa 1940, except the Russian woman here is prettier (courtesy of Retronaut).

MadisonMan said...

Isn't ShopBop a Madison company? That would explain things.

Or am I thinking of Bop?

Tom Spaulding said...

I think the election stems on the size of the bow-tie of the fabulous gay guy on Project Runway.

'Cause there's really nothing at stake, all pols and parties are the same.

#soundpoliticalanalysis

Richard Dolan said...

"There's a distinct choice to be made, and fashion is showing us the distinctions."

Perhaps the waif in the ad is the idealized Goldman Sachs trophy wife. That seems to be the demographic the ad is aiming at. As for the distinctions fashion is showing us, is the line being drawn between a younger version of Barbara Bush who would go for the $90 print, while it's the Michelle wannabes who choose the $2000 clochardine look?

AprilApple said...

Balfegor,
My statement was based on the prices. Of course those prices are for rich people. Why would the rich bother with a thrift store? The above photo makes it abundantly clear the merchant is pushing the... "Yeah- so you're rich. It's not cool to look rich or glamorous right now, so fake it and look like you wandered out of an Occupy camp." Or perhaps: "Ease your guilt as you drive past yet another homeless person."

Rustling Leaves said...

I once made a very cool curve hugging long skirt by cutting and resewing two pairs of salvation army cords together. It does bring back some nostalgia, however not for the days of living on Aldi's pizza and Ramen noodles. Obama can take his necessarily skyrocketing energy costs and shove them. I don't wish to go back. Poverty is so romantic, except it isn't.

Alex said...

So is that hobo chic?

EMD said...

More people shop at Macy's.

Ergo, Romney wins.

gadfly said...

As Ol' Blue Eyes reminded us:

Imagination is crazy
Your whole perspective gets hazy
Starts you asking a daisy
What to do, what to do?

Strelnikov said...

What a load of crap.

t-man said...

Although the Beatnik roots go back to the late 40's, wasn't the post-1952, Eisenhower Era the real era of the Beats? Couldn't this ad, therefore, be another fashion point in favor of the Republicans this fall.

On the one side, yesterday's example was fashion for the winners. Today's example is consoloation fashion for the new out-of-power "Beats." What is she thinking while sucking her thumb? "Maybe if I hadn't spent all of those months in Zucotti Park..."

t-man said...

Also, given that it's set in Paris, this poor woman obviously had to flee Romney's America!

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Regardless of the victor this November I will have fresh khaki shorts at the ready.

Because that's how the British roll when they're about to be surrendered to the enemy.

With class.

Penny said...

The website describes it as the menswear look for women, and we all know that men prefer Romney.

Perhaps women who dress like men will feel the same by election day.

roesch/voltaire said...

It is also hip to bash China, even though as China points out, and I quote: " its rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.”

Synova said...

You're looking at the wrong fashion (and the horse thing was horrific.)

Go to Sears or Penny's or Wal-Mart.

In 2004 everything was camo prints. Pink and purple and sparkly sometimes, but camo prints.

Maybe super rich people want to look homeless, as if it's fashionable or something. But I don't think that's going to define the election.

How about what's on television? Neil Caffrey switched from clean shaven to a beard stubble this season.

deborah said...

"No, the proper way to do this kind of eclectic fashion is buy old, expensive clothing from thrift shops and have it taken in or re-tailored as needed. This is just for rich people who cannot be bothered."

Just yesterday I was trying on some of my thrift shop wool blazers and considering alteration strategies. Yes, the designer stuff is too expensive, but I also love the vibe of retro clothing. Alas, my daydreaming seldom leads to action.

Freeman Hunt said...

The Target clothing section currently looks like it was transported into the store from 1985.

deborah said...

"It is also hip to bash China, even though as China points out, and I quote: " its rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.”"

The devil you say!

deborah said...

"The Target clothing section currently looks like it was transported into the store from 1985."

The scariest thing in Terminator was the hairstyles.

Coketown said...

Wasn't it Dolly Parton who said, "you'd be surprised how expensive it is to look this cheap?" This post reminds me of that quip. The woman in that picture looks like a bum. But I'm sure fashionistas recognize superior taste when they see it, so the woman is likely to get a few nods of approval in her day-to-day travels beneath bridges and, perhaps, to soup kitchens.

As of two weeks ago I'm finally white collar, and I had to buy clothes appropriate for an office environment. (I kind of miss the fashion mores of retail, where you show up wearing whatever you would have worn anyway, then just throw on a vest and, ta-dah!, you're an employee.) But anyway, I went to the Bon Marche (um, I mean, Macy's) and was horrified. $50 for a shirt (and that's considered embarrassingly cheap! Everyone else pays much, much more for their shirts, but you wouldn't know by how they look. They all look cheap.), $8 for one pair of socks. Etc, etc. Socks! $8! I'm still in the retail mindset where things are priced by their work-hour equivalent. "Holy shit, 42 minutes for a pair of socks?"

But then I realize Macy's does something unorthodox and, I think, very bad for business: they apply discounts at the register. Nowhere on the rack or item did it indicate a discount or sale price. I thought I was going up with $600 in clothes. But then the guy starts bleeping tags and what was once $65 is now $42.99; my 42 minute socks were soon 28 minute socks. If I had known the items were discounted, I would have bought more. Doesn't The Bon realize this? Why even bother pricing merchandise if the prices are wildly inaccurate?

But coming full circle, that slovenly bitch in the picture is wearing a, like, 93 hour coat. Or maybe a 9 hour coat depending where her husband works. Yes, I went there.

Chip Ahoy said...

This post force me over to the Sartorialist where I notice he has an instagram thing on the sidebar. He introduces it in the body as well and there is the most interesting non-fashion-related photo of a bar with the bottles lined up, I have this present thing about imagining bottles being upturned, and with the NYC skyline through a window in the background providing a similar line and thus with a little back-and-forth bottles are buildings and buildings are bottles. And they are.

ignatzk said...

Alex said...

So is that hobo chic?



Food stamp chic.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Wasn't it Dolly Parton who said, "you'd be surprised how expensive it is to look this cheap?" This post reminds me of that quip.

Also the Indian who remarked that it was costing his country millions of dollars a year to keep Gandhi living in poverty.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

roesch/voltaire said...

It is also hip to bash China, even though as China points out, and I quote: " its rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.”



Kind of like all the Romney-bashing public employee unions who invest their retirement funds with Bain Capital.

Amartel said...

Look out, it's a highly selective moderate independent undecided precious snowflake voter.
Entertain her!
Reassure her!
Give her a cookie!

Christy said...

Looks like a good Republican cloth coat to me.

David said...

The Left Bank scene ended about 60 years ago. It's all for show now.

Liberalism is indeed a fashion statement. So chic, so cool, so phony and out of date.

Like the Left Bank.

Methadras said...

Yeah, it's called shopping cart lady chic.

Methadras said...

roesch/voltaire said...

It is also hip to bash China, even though as China points out, and I quote: " its rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.”


You are such a lame propagandist fuck. How long did it take you to copy and paste that shit from the DNC, you misbegotten tool?