So last night, dear readers, I found myself at a Nordstrom private shopping event. You know the drill: anybody who spends a certain amount of money over the course of a year gets invited to shop after hours while sipping crappy chardonnay. And in this economy, you don’t have to have spent that much, trust me! Anyway, I was looking forward to the event because there are usually great incentives and gifts with purchase that make buying on that particular evening worthwhile. I give them my name, pick up my little shopping guide and – much to my horror – realize that fully three of the free gifts (out of fewer than a dozen, mind you!) involve Juicy Couture. Oh my.
The DCGF tries very seldom to spew vitriol on this blog. We like to keep things light and fun, you know? And I’m very open minded when it comes to dressing. I can take the lowliest no-tag piece of nothing from the sale rack of a Goodwill and turn it onto a sight to behold. Why just today I’m wearing a $4 blouse from our store downstairs and it looks quite smashing, if I say so myself. That’s probably why I involuntarily shudder at certain brands that cost many times more. Forthwith, my least favorite brands of 2008. May they go gently into that good night…
- Juicy Couture. Ah, yes, I know that Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy’s ubiquitous velour track suits have been going strong for over a decade now, but – unlike fine wine – they aren’t getting better with age. They’re just getting more expensive. The “Her Majesty” velour hoodie and pants at right, with “multicolor glittered” logo, will set you back over $250. That’s some expensive lounging! And even after so much derision in popular culture, this brand still seems to be everywhere. Their accessories line is something like rabbits, multiplying at holiday season to the point where it’s hard to enter a department store without a glittery, charm-y, word-y, logo-y, crown-y all-out assault on the senses. My cones! My rods! My goodness. Gela and Pamela, please shuffle off in your Juicy Couture plush slippers to a dark closet from whence you shall never return. Oh, and you can take all of your dog accessories with you, too.
- Ed Hardy. Almost as bad as Juicy Couture is the more recent label Ed Hardy, produced by Christian Audigier. Audigier looks a little sketch, but who am I to judge? This label is a rococo mess of skulls, snakes, crowns (again!), and flowers, all designed to look sort of like a tattoo on the clothing, somewhat reminiscent of IC! Berlin sunglasses back in the day. But really, it’s just pretentious and overpriced casual wear. The men’s “King Skull” long sleeve specialty tee in charcoal at left, for example, will set ya back $108. And just in case you’ve forgotten by the time it arrives at your house, the words “Ed Hardy By Christian Audigier” are prominently displayed in gold foil at the top. You know, just in case. Oh, and there’s also the “Drawn By Ed In Seattle” at the bottom. The real Ed Hardy’s a tattoo artist, you know. So this shirt’s, like, authentic, like, subversive and, you know, like, stuff. Compounding this overdose of writing (did I mention the additional logo underneath the skull) is the ubiquitous wearing of Ed Hardy trucker caps by C-list celebrities and such “Lifestyle” items as the Ed Hardy “Skull & Roses” air fresheners and an automotive cleaning kit that’s called “Bling It On.” Feel free to stop me at any point. -sigh-
- Tory Burch. This line admittedly has a bit more fashion cred than the others, seeing as how Ms. Burch was named accessory designer of the year by the CFDA earlier in 2008. I just hope it wasn’t for those dreadful Reva flats, though. I call them “the shoe that spawned a thousand knock-offs.” But alas, I digress. The biggest problem I have with this line is, again, the omnipresence of the logo, in this case the T-logo medallion. It’s hidden in many cases, but those of us with a good eye can spot one from a mile away. Sure, it’s great to have a signature look and all, but I’ve seen gals with their Tory bag, tunic or dress, and boots, logos a blazin’ from head to toe. It’s just too much. Even seemingly innocuous items, like the merino sweater at right, are given the logo treatment. Why, this one’s even available in the color “Tory Orange!” Plus it’s $250. For a wool sweater. No, no. no.
- Jessica Simpson. Perhaps no other brand have I despised to much in the last year as Jessica Simpson’s line, especially the shoes. And just when I thought they couldn’t possibly get any worse (or any skankier), I stumbled across the Gusla last night at the shopping event. Words cannot describe the look of disgust that must have crossed my face the moment I laid eyes on these…um…shoes? They have an open toe on a faux-tortoise shell, open frame platform-type… Oh, I give up. And for the life of me, I can’t determine how a gal could ever walk in these. My friend picked them up and there was no give. You’d have to shuffle along like a Geisha to get anywhere. They’re $110, but who cares? You’d have to pay me – and make a generous donation to Goodwill – in order to get these on my feet for even a short amount of time. Jessica, I’m begging you: stick to singing. Or acting. Or cheering at football games. Just no more shoes, mm’kay?
Look, dear readers, each of these designers makes something nice that I’d probably buy under the right circumstances (90% off?), but I’m so very tired of seeing their stuff everywhere. Tory Burch a better accessorizer than Marc Jacobs? I think not. Ed Hardy and Juicy Couture slapped on the back of every celebrity? So 2007. Singers-turned-actors-turned-fashion designers. Give the buying public some credit, okay?
Let’s move forward in 2020 and make a conscientious effort to celebrate and support new and independent designers, talented men and women who might not be inside the pages of People, but whose clothes actually look good on real people. Yeah…that sounds about right.