Had I a fictitious grandchild right now, I would sit it upon my knee and tell it a story about Europe. It would be wondrous tale, of a continent where no one appears to drive a car manufactured before 2003, where there are at least five thousand types of bread, where you can catch a train to another *country*, where shops do not open on sundays, where you are allowed to drive really fast on the freeway and, most importantly, where you can shop at H&M.
For the uninitiated, H&M is a really, really big clothes store. For the Australians, imagine if the clothes section of Grace Bros Myer suddenly quadrupled in size, slashed about 30% off its overpriced range and hauled in Karl Lagerfeld as a celebrity designer, and you have a pretty good approximation.
Sure, the company pays its workers four bucks a shift to produce garments that are pretty much only good for a season, and you can be guaranteed that you will walk past at least five people wearing a shirt identical to the one you just bought within a week of purchase. However, three personal attributes combine in me to produce a fierce and long-lasting love for Messrs Hennes and Moritz.
1. A history of being unable to find clothes that fit properly (common among sectors of the population who aren’t <18, <17ocm or <B cup)
2. A certain degree of tight-arsedness (I always look at the price tag. Apparently people who are rich and/or fashion-savvy never EVER do this)
3. Laziness, generally manifested in a twice-per-season shopping trip, in which I buy multiples of the same items in varying colours
Me and my attributes were very happy the first day we went to h&m and found a lot of clothes that a) appeared to fit, b) didn’t involve puffy sleeves or muffin-top waistbands (NB these are nevertheless widely available) c) were affordable on my then-exchange student budget.
I have also subsequently come to appreciate what appears to be the lesbian department of h&m. Far be it from me, in this post-LWord age, to generalise about lesbian fashion. But the ‘L.O.G.G.’ sub-brand seems to hit a pleasing midpoint between Portia deRossi and K.D. Lang. I’m all for it.
Given my love for this large, teen-infested fashion house, imagine my horror when I espied the newest streetside advertising proclaiming this season’s biggest trend. Billboard after billboard awash with BEIGE.
Beige is not a colour, Monsieur Hennes, Sir Moritz! It is a shade invented by a nihilist with glaucoma, who wished its existence to simultaneously bore and offend. Never shall a garment so limp, so lifeless, so redolent of NOTHINGNESS grace my form. I am going to think about taking my average spendings of 60€ elsewhere. And then I’m probably going to go to the store on Landstraße to buy some of your 4,90€ sunglasses.