28 March 2012

What's it all mean, LL Bean?

Women sing while men look lost.
Manly details from the past
ford a soulless river of
smart and cool.
Signature label affixed.
Why would you tell the world?

But a dress makes me laugh.
"Fiesta" stripes in 1966.
Carolina sun on a beach
where ladies smoke cigarettes,
drink canned beer and
shove painted pink toes in the sand.

In 1986, a sail print dress goes to dinner.
Someplace with a deck.
Freshly showered with
a single strand of pearls around her neck.
Freckled crossed legs and sandals peek
out from under a starched white table cloth.

Out of focus like a picture.
I think time has flown by,
but I have no idea
how much speed it'll pick up.

In the back of the room is man.
Agendaless depression.
Nothing takes me anywhere
Ersatz Signature and buttonholes.
Someone in p.r. says,
we'd "all" like to see the collection made in the US.

Who is "all" and
do they care?
Some think they're just clothes.
I think they're more
than just stuff you buy at the store.


Alice Olive said...

I was distracted by that black and white dress (the sail boats)... I'd take it in a heartbeat!

Oyster Guy said...

I hope Muffy Aldrich reads your verse.

These are not the clothes, nor is Bean a company that serves genuine people with real memories and histories.

It is a line for human replicants with implanted memories living in a synthetic world in state of instant now-ness, but retrograding to an imagined past enveloped in schizoid irony. Anything that can be viewed on an iPad automatically becomes less real. The "All" (purposely capitalized) thinks it becomes more real. The "All" dream of electric sheep and want us to as well.

In all seriousness, I see globalization in clothing and manufacturing as a perfect reflection of the disappearing middle class. Higher end or lower end, it all comes out of the same factories and styles drift from one brand to another over time. Eventually it all looks the same. It is rapidly approaching the point where there is only real bespoke or everything else.

Oyster Guy said...

Miss Olive, I can see exactly why you adore that print dress, but there is a shop in Toronto called Peach Beserk that could make what you deserve, worthy of your talent and originality. And there would be only one, just like you, just for you. Bypass those 10,000 screaming Beaners!

tintin said...

Nice call Oyster Giy -- I think AO would trip the hip in this:


Brohammas said...

Naw, at some point they are just clothes. Cloth, thread, buttons, protection from the elements. But you are a storyteller. Anyone who lives life with their eyes open, and then makes moves to tell what they have know to others, then sees clothes as adjectives, or subtext, or even sub plots. They help tell the story in deeper ways without having to waste words.
Waxed cotton is not better than gortex, the two are just different stories.

Anonymous said...

...Carolina sun on a beach.
where ladies smoke cigarettes,
drink canned beer and
shove painted pink toes in the sand.

Nice. They'd likely be listening to anything by Billy Stewart back in 1966 if they were on a Carolina beach. It wouldn't have merely set the mood, it would have been the mood.


Oyster Guy said...

Miranda Priestly: 'This... stuff'? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent... wasn't it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.


Alice Olive said...

Oyster Guy: You are fascinating.

Tintin: Thanks for the suggestion but my investments have to make it to the office and a single strap... doesn't quite get there!

tintin said...

Bro - What's Gortex?

DB- I love Stewart. A bunch of us from Ft Bragg drove down in 2 cars to Myrtle Beach in '76 0r '77.

I remember dancing with an older woman to Fat Boy. She had short frosted hair, an amazing body, smoked and drank while she danced while she tried to teach me the Shag. She was married to a general contractor who was back home in GA. She drove a baby blue Cadillac. It was like a movie.

Oyster Guy- I know. Inspiration, stealing, they all do it. But you can't copyright a button down or a blucher. Muffy likes Vera Bradley, who ripped off Pierre Deux who ripped off Souliedo. Vera winds up in 20mm NYC condo and that's a long way from origins in Ft Wayne but it just goes to show you...Uh, I don't know what it goes to show you other than there's goniff everywhere. I think, and you hit on it, that each time an apparel idea is stolen, it's diluted by a measure. THat's why Vera Bradley is so insipid next to Souleido. That's why a RL Rugby belt is so insipid next to a Leatherman belt.

Anonymous said...

I can't say why you're right, Tintin, but you're right. Clothing is primitive, archetypal. The first human sign. When it is schlocked out, mass produced, sewn around the world something is lost. Just 'cause you can't measure it doesn't mean it wasn't lost.

GSV JR said...

Ha ha ha, oh, man. Jesus.

Kionon said...

LL Bean signature is a travesty, and I think many of us in the blogopshere think the iconic brand has lost its way. I'll take individual pickings now and again, but I'm disappointed in much that I see in the catalogs these days.

Averyl said...

Just seeing this now. Yes.