Merrill » 2011 » March

The Povertique Of Urban Outfitters

Posted March 3rd, 2011

I was just perusing my new Urban Outfitters catalog because I actually like Urban Outfitters.  I think I’m drawn in by the amount of  pissed off looking models who wear bangs. “They have bangs! I have bangs” i think to myself,forgetting what a long distance I am from the fifteen year old girl who appears to be the target audience. Lately, though, the Urban Outfitter style book is drifting farther and farther away from the metaphorical dock on which I anchor my hypothetical boat.

At first I thought the new U.O. style might be called Laundry Day Couture. I used to work with a guy whose wardrobe reflected  how far in to his laundry basket he had gotten.First part of the month he was all preppy and Gappy and Ralph Laurenny. Last day before lack of clothes forced him to do his  laundry, he wore tuxedo pants and whatever promotional tee shirt he had just been given. Generally speaking, he looked not unlike the guy on the far right of the fashion spread below in his faded jeans and his wing tips. Or the unhappy looking blond girl in her old worn Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, her full length floral skirt, and scarf that appears to be a baby blanket.

Then it came to me what to call the new look  that they are selling.

Its Dust Bowl Chic.

There they stand, four people transported in to an unhappy limbo; the dark haired wastrel in  unmatched clothing appears to be  making the best of  the only clothes she owns: an orange striped cotton shirt, a full length blue nightgown print dress and yellow and black striped sandals.  Times are tough, the layout seems to say,so they must band together and rise above  dire circumstances. Even as they make a meal of  the only food that they could find  in the supermarket dumpster.. left over cake. How ironic was that?

Except that they had to buy all these items brand new .

Too bad Dorothea Lange didn’t live long enough to get the U.O. account.  She definitely knew how it should be done.