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Rodarte for Target A Nightmare Before Christmas

Target announced an upcoming collabs with Zac Posen today, and everyone’s flipping their respective nuts. This bean-spillage on behalf of the big box is a highly strategic move: It’s almost enough to distract me from the ‘collection’ slated to launch in a few weeks. Almost.

I read somewhere that Rodarte for Target was inspired in part by Tim Burton. Perfect. Poetic. The December 20 launch date coupled with the below images is SO Nightmare Before Christmas!

Target and the Rodarte chicks are being all militant about letting the masses see the full collection. We’ll assess the officially released images now, and deal with the rest of the heinousness when I visit the line in stores. Get excited.

The striped shirt gets a meh, as its obvs the least offensive number here. The dead sheep layered on top of it fails to achieve the purpose of all things faux – it’s not fun, it’s not fluffy, and it’s not even remotely exciting. The sleeve length and circumference make the Fat Arm phenomenon all but inevitable. It is a lost lamb of a jacket, and it makes me sad all day.

The skirt appears to be directly jacked from Forever 21’s Twelve by Twelve line, not that I have a problem with that.

What I have a problem with is (a) the length (above-the-knee skirts that aren’t minis flatter approximately no one) and (b) the fact that it’s at least five bucks more than its inspiration. FAIL.

A pre-Halloween Rodarte for Target launch would have made this the best slutty skeleton costume EVER. But post-October, the whole bones on the outside thing just feels kinda done. This is not an edgy, goth-esque mini dress. This is death with sequins. It’s the Suck-Cut of cocktail wear, and it’s sucking my will to live, man.

(That last part was possibly redundant but whatevs. With Wayne’s World quotes, more is more.)

I will def be hitting Target to see the carnage in person – the above is merely an initial gut reaction. For now, I’d like to close with another tidbit re: the inspiration for the store’s latest Designer Collabs.

According to designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, “Tavi Gevinson defines Rodarte for Target.” The thirteen-year-old Style Rookie‘s a ballsy dresser, fo sho. She also has… the body of a thirteen-year-old. No boobs, no hips, no butt.

It’s the absence of these things that enables runway models and pre-pubescent dolls to wear anything. Rodarte for Target might look fab on them.

Then again, so would a belted trashbag.

I’m just saying.

Jimmy Choo Gives H&M Shoppers Chance to Experience Monetary Guilt

Before discussing the individual offerings of Jimmy Choo for H&M, I’m going to attempt to rationalize the pricing scheme behind the line. The designer from whence said line comes is Tamara Mellon, the brand’s founder and president. Her Wikipedia page bears the cautionary warning: This article or section reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone. I freaking love Wikipedia.

To be fair, no trace of blue blood entitlement seems to have resulted from Tamara’s upper crust upbringing; she’s a kickass businesswoman who clearly didn’t view marrying into the Mellon Family as an excuse to stop working. Respect, for reals. She’s also never been broke a day in her life. And when you’re designing for the masses, that’s a serious problemo.

Mellon describes Choo for H&M as “a sophisticated, fashion forward, accessible and glamorous collection – the perfect party pieces to buy now and then wear out that night!”

Firstly: Most twentysomething urbanites don’t have hordes of holiday parties to attend – we’re too strapped for cash to rent out a space, and our apartments are too small to host them ourselves.

Nextly: While some of the individual pieces are more Wet Seal feel than high fashion (jewelry and belts, specifically), most of Mellon’s assessment holds true… except the part about them being accessible. That’s a PR-friendly way of saying affordable, and the collabs – on the whole – is decidedly not.

Peruse the itemized price list with corresponding images, and you’ll see why. Yes, over a third of the collection falls into the $24.95 – $49.95 range, but it’s all jewelry, scarves, belts and coin purses – most of which are trashy as hell, but that’s to be expected of cheaply made accessories.

What’s unexpected is that piece of blue fabric masquerading as fifty dollar neckwear. You want a trendy, jersey-knit scarf, go to a fabric store and buy a $6.00 yard of t-shirt material – doneskies.

The $50.00 – $99.00 section is the realm of the not-cool-enough-to-be-featured-in-the-ad-campaign shoes and bags.

It offers some kinda meh, Tory Burch-wannabe flats for around $70, laughably overpriced things like $99 sequined t-shirts and $60 studded belts (please – you can DIY that shit for ten bucks), animal-print shoulder bags of questionable taste level, and jersey leggings which, somehow, retail for $49.95.

If you specialize in leggings a la American Apparel or Members Only, maybe, MAYBE, you can get away with that. But H&M? Nofuckingway.

Now we move to the $100.00 – $199 block, where some of the refreshingly un-stripper-like shoes start to appear, and I mean that sincerely.

They’re def more sexy than slutty – they’re also, from the looks of it, completely un-walkable.

If I hadn’t broken my ankle in a stilletto-related incident years ago, I might not have a problem paying $149 for a pair. But I still trip up flights of stairs in flat boots; I’m not about to tempt fate by blowing my dough on blister-inducing five-inch heels.

Admittedly, I’m bonkers for the studded snake boots pictured, which are technically part of the men’s line (the very metro men’s line, as it were). I’m not quite so nuts about the $199 beaded, drapey debacle below them. This dress appears to be inspired by Forever 21, and that is some backwards weirdness.

Onto the $249 fringey suede dress… what happened?

Did someone try for Stevie Nicks and end up with a Melba toast version of goth rock instead? Sadface. The cowgirl uncool number brings us to the last and most abhorrent rung of merch: The $200 – $299 group.

At places like Bloomingdales or Saks – places where you walk in prepared for the numbers – $300.00 buys you one pair of over-the-knee boots, or one pair of leather leggings, or one handbag, or one weekender tote. But at H&M? COME ON.

As I understand it, this line is inspired by the holiday season – a time when we’re supposed to buy gifts for others, and then scrape together whatever’s left to buy something for ourselves.

I’m sorry, but a $200 piece of festive, mass-produced party garb isn’t a satiating material fix; it’s a rip off that will inevitably leave you feeling like a Scrooge for having spent that much on one item.

If you’re used to wearing $900 stilettos and $3000 dresses, then yes, $129 strappy sandals and a $249 dress seem like a steal. Alas, for the other 98% of the population, an outfit costing upwards of $400 isn’t a throwaway purchase.

It’s a splurge, an investment… a number that possibly puts us into credit card debt. Shocking, I know.

To be fair, the boutique-esque price points of Choo for H&M are a byproduct of the over-enthusiastic use of real leather. Alas, the collection needed a hearty helping of perspective more than an abundance of cowhide.

My hunch is the bulk of us don’t give a rat’s ass about material authenticity – we’re shopping fast fashion, for fuck’s sake. We just want to know we’re browsing things we can realistically buy.

Jimmy Choo for H&M will probs sell out in select stores carrying it, if only because ‘select’ tends to mean ‘in or near major shopping cities.’

I’m south of New York at the moment, and was planning on viewing the collabs tomorrow at the Atlantic City location. Turns out they’re not even carrying it.

Good decision, H&M. Us Jersey chicks are too savvy for scams.

Jimmy Choo for H&M Overestimates Its Worth

Fast fashion merch is made quickly and cheaply, and pitched to we-the-consumers as a means to a material fix that won’t break our respective banks.

This is, of course, horseshit. If fast fashion were about consumer convenience and accessibility, H&M’s How-To Guide for shopping the store tomorrow – Jimmy Choo Day, duh – wouldn’t read like communist propaganda.

Observe:

The first 160 people in line will receive a bracelet; on the bracelet you will be given a specific time for shopping in our designated area… When your time has come, we will let you into the designated area to shop… Every customer can buy the whole collection but with a limitation of buying maximum one per product, i.e. not more than one size (shoes/garments) or piece (accessories) per product per customer… Your place in line does not guarantee any items from the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection.

A bracelet. What am I, chattel? Then I have to wait until my “time has come”? This has all the melodramatic makings of a Greek tragedy.

This is madness!

THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!

(Except without the gorgeous, badass warrior dudes. So not nearly as fun.)

The addition of Jimmy Choo has H&M thinking it’s McDonald’s in Moscow circa 1990 or something: The well-timed bombardment of ad campaigns, celebrity endorsements and blogosphere buzz makes lines around the block on launch day seem inevitable.

They also make us forget to look at the merch and its price points. Common sense is bad for business.

Numbers aren’t as pretty as skinny models in edgy clubgarb, but they’re a little more relevant to your checking account balance and your life. On that note, let’s move to an excerpt from the official price list on the Jimmy Choo for H&M press site.

The left and right columns denote cost of items in pounds and euros, respectively; the middle numbers are the U.S. dollar amounts. Pardon the small text, but the cryptic Media are never allowed to manipulate, alter or edit H&M’s images in any way warning coupled with the unsettling Legal proceedings will be commenced without further notice in the event of any infringement… apparently means I’ll be sued if I re-size the frame (and/or use Picnik’s “Create” function to slap a phrase like Don’t Buy This Shit on it, which is what I really wanted to do. But I digress.)

I’m in the midst of going through the entire itemized list to determine which wares fall into the what-I-deem-reasonable-for-H&M range of $24.95 – $49.95; which are, at $50 – $99, only a moderately offensive rip off; which cost $100 – $199 and make you forget where you’re shopping and why you’re shopping there; and which cost $200 – $299 and are, as such, a crime against shoppers/humanity/et. al.

Remember people: If it’s an H&M Collabs, H&M manufactures the line, and it’s H&M quality.

The quality of H&M merch isn’t necessarily bad. But it sure as shit ain’t Jimmy Choo.

Stay tuned for the nauseating results of my tallying. Also, an exploration of why girls who grow up rich and marry socialites can’t comprehend accessible fashion for the masses.

Stupid Things in Style: Fast Fashion Footwear

Now lookee here, I’m all about beauteous designer shoes – they’re pretty, I like to look at them. I appreciate the craftsmanship that undoubtedly substantiates their $1000 price tags. I’m just not about to pay for it, and neither are you, and that’s precisely why Jimmy Choo for H&M and Pierre Hardy for GAP exist.

Let’s play a little game called What Are You Willing to Pay for Shoes from GAP and/or H&M? I’m willing to pay $50-$75ish, maybe a bit more if the shoes in question are very special (unlikely).

Let’s play another little game called What Would You Do if You Saw a $178 pair of platforms or a $345 pair of boots at either store?

I’d laugh my ass off.

I realize that in comparison with the Choo’s and Hardy’s Original Price Points, the numbers aren’t all that offensive. Here’s what pisses me off: The designer heavyweights behind collabs of this ilk have such hard-ons for their own names, they fail to consider the expectations of the shoppers who frequent the stores with which they’re collaborating.

When I’m shopping for shoes at GAP or H&M, I’m obvs expecting to score something reasonably cute ON THE CHEAP. If I was expecting to pay hundreds of dollars, I’d be shopping the clearance rack at Saks or Barney’s. It’s not effing rocket science – just a smart move for the average label whore.


If names are what you’re wooed by, would you rather pay $178 for Pierre Hardy’s GAP platform, or $394.63 (reduced from $1045) for his infinitely more badass Scuba Pump?


Why pay $345 for Choo’s “cost-friendly” H&M boot, if a hundred bucks more buys you the May Leather Boot ($478 reduced from $1195) from Choo’s namesake line?

Why, indeed.

Dressing Room Shots: H&M Faux Fur

Tell editorial fashion peeps you’re in the market for faux, and you’ll likely be directed to Joie’s $318 Glimmer Faux Fur Vest, Juicy Couture’s $328 Faux Fur Cropped Easy Coat or What Comes Around Goes Around’s $495 St. Morritz Faux Fur Jacket. Lucky for you, I’m not that big of an asshole.

(Oh, and I’ve been to What Comes Around Goes Around. I don’t know what pissed me off more – the ludicrous mark-up on high-end vintage, or the whiff of pretension pervading the entire store. But I digress.)

H&M’s white, pseudo-mink number reminds me of something my BFF Lucy bought at a flea market last year: We call it the Russian Prostitute coat. (Offensive, yes, but I mean that in the most complimentary sense possible). It’s the kind of coat you see on someone and you can’t tell if they’re edgy, homeless, crazy or all three. I obvs borrow it whenever I can.

H&M’s Russian Prostitute Redux is as well-cut and warm as the Fraggle Rock, and bears the same $129 tag. I thought the price was a bit high until I recalled what my mother used to spend on my winter coats, which is astronomical in comparison. Quality, stylish outerwear at anything under $200 is hard to come by, and while I can’t speak to the staying power of H&M’s options, I can affirm that they’re hot as hell (figuratively and literally). Based on all that, $129 ain’t so bad.

Onto the cropped vest: It’s a funky addition to any outfit, fo sho. I’m just not that into spending $49 on a fur-esque excessory. If you’re more into accents than outerwear, Uniqlo’s Faux Fur Scarf is, at $10.50, a much wiser choice.

Now, for the fuzzy rock star of the bunch: A fluffy-necked peacoat/dress fusion that also comes in black and gray. I flipped when I saw it on the hanger; I double-flipped upon trying it on.

It’s thinner than both the Fraggle and the Russian Prostitute Redux and, as such, not as toasty.

It’s also tagged at $99, so kudos to H&M for pricing according to amounts of material used. That this beauteous marriage of trendy and classy can be had for less than $100 is the icing on the cake.

Or the fur on the collar, as it were.