There's a strange sort of ambivalence in this week's Thursday Styles where we will find Critical Shopper Alexandra Jacobs' review of Tribeca's La Garçonne, "the physical manifestation of an almost decade-old clothing website for Francophile minimalists whose budgets and sartorial daring have graduated from Agnès b. and A.P.C. to more-obscure brands like Vetements and A Détacher". Most of it appears to stem from the boutique's location in TriBeCa, that deceptive Manhattan enclave of wealth, most of it ensconced without irony in former industrial buildings. Suspicion of rich people will always be commonplace and was a particular peeve of O.G. Critical Shopper Alex Kuczynski where it morphed into a strange sort of self-suspicion, and then, we suspect, full-on dementia, but we digress.
In the fashion and retail world, these sorts of misgivings are especially unseemly, since given the current staggering cost of luxury goods, the fashion industry would have completely collapsed sometime in the last century without the enthusiastic support of the wealthy for whom price tags are mostly irrelevant.
Who do you think keeps the Rodartes of today in business?
It ain't their Facebook fans, that's for sure.
Anyway, we digress once more...
Back to Ms. Jacobs, who is visiting La Garçonne with a friend who was having more success in shopping the sale. Our shopper proceeds to try on things that sound unattractive and are indeed unflattering.
"...I virtuously resisted a Jil Sander dress that could have doubled as a parachute and more-upscale version of the Uniqlo cardigan I had tied around my waist.
Then there were the drop-crotch lyocell carpenter shorts by R13 ($365), which I could not only not pull off, but also could not pull off fast enough.
And yet she vows to return, undaunted by price or questionable design. It's the eternal love/hate of fashion (and Manhattan neighborhhods, really). We love the clothes. We hate how much they cost, and by extension —just a little bit— the people who can afford them. And yet, we keep coming back.