lunedì, agosto 01, 2011

Attack of female consumerist stereotypes

Despite my rootless lifestyle, which hit the point of joke when we moved to Australia (my aunts and uncles now distinguishing me from my legions of cousins not by any physical characteristics but how I'm always in some retarded new country) - despite all that, I'm in a reasonably unfrightening financial situation. I ascribe it to not having kids yet; that's probably the main thing I ascribe it to. The other thing is having pretty cheap tastes, especially in terms of hair and clothes and makeup, which I've seen women, women who could both well and ill afford it, fritter so. Much. Fucking. Money. away on. Thousands and thousands of dollars a year; enough to retire well on . . . and that's not me.

But I do have some weaknesses, and three of them are called, respectively, Marimekko, Coronel Tapiocca, and Desigual. Not to say my wardrobe is full of their crap. A couple of things from Coronel Tapiocca (whose name I vary between considering the dumbest and awesomest thing in the word). I don't actually have any Marimekko clothes now - I bought this lovely Tamir dress the last time I was in Finland that made me look like a kajillion bucks, and it was in a bag that fucking Deutsche Bahn lost for me forever - cunt of a Deutsche Bahn. They lost my lone Desigual skirt at the same time. Oh, those fucking kraut rail monkeys. I actually cried. I got another Desigual skirt - a different one - but couldn't replace the Marimekko Tamir dress because there were no Marimekko vendors I could find in Brussels, and no online shop, and then the collection "finished". Since then I've been wondering how to find an excuse to travel through Finland so that I can go back to the Marimekko shop in the Helsinki airport. Stock up on Fazer chocolate and smoked salmon at the same time. My lord, Finland is a marvellous country.

Anyhoo, I love all three, although I love Marimekko a little more than the others. Desigual is just pretty. Their designs are pretty. But even though it was ubiquitous everywhere in Europe, and not too expensive, I wasn't tempted to overindulge. Their designs aren't really meant for a reasonably modest woman in her thirties like me, especially one who carries the idea of a core wardrobe to nearly unhygienic lengths. I tried to shop'em hard, but I only like natural fabrics - linens, cottons, silks - which cut out most of their offerings, and then my desire to not have my boobies fall out of their dresses cut out another healthy percentage. Nonetheless, my ovaries nearly popped out of my body in delight when I realized Chinese eBay vendors are flooding the online market with cheap Desigual designs*, and I'll probably indulge before long after some nasty deadline without causing much angst to my frugality, when I figure I "deserve" it.

Coronel Tapiocca's line for women is the sort of clothing that a South American drug lord's butch daughter would wear, and as such suits me to a T - lovely cottons and linens - rather boring colours but that's fine, core wardrobe and all that, and fuck, the trousers are flattering. The Desigual skirts that work for me also make my bum look like a million bucks. I think out of all the nationalities I've spent time with, the Spanish know ladies' bums best. But Coronel Tapiocca is off my radar now; although the clothes are produced in China I guess it's not known enough for Chinese manufacturers to try to flog it outside of its core Iberian/Italian market, and while I think the shop pretends to have an official online store, it actually doesn't.

Until just now, I had thought the same about Marimekko - that it's just off my radar, because there isn't an online store servicing anywhere I am. And then, there's one of the differences between Marimekko and Desigual/Coronel Tapiocca. It's fucking expensive. I wouldn't say overpriced, though - or at least not at the Helsinki airport. Really good quality, really nice cotton-y silky fabrics, and of course those big stupendous designs that stay on the beauty side of kitsch. Ah, Nordic design values, how I love you (although the other week, the F-word and I went to Ikea, and left the store without buying anything or even wanting to - an international first, I believe. Fuck you, Ikea, I've cut your evil puppeteer's strings). And beyond me, I thought - now that the Tamir dress has been lost by those fucking Deutsche Bahn cunts and now that I'm not passing through Finland a couple of times a year, no more Marimekko for me.

But no. They have a store in Vancouver. Vancouver, where I'm going next week. Look at all the pretty. I don't think I'm going to leave that store without droppping at least $500. And frankly, that disgusts me. $500? That's the price of 10 excellent meals, in the right restaurants. And what the fuck. We're planning on having a baby soon, so whatever body I have in a couple of years is probably not going to look much like my body now; there's no reasonable argument for making that sort of "investment" in clothing. No excuse. But, says my id, also no real possibility that he (yes, my id's a he, a very very gay he) and I are not going to the Marimekko store in Vancouver. To mollify my penny-pinching qualities, I plan to just try things on in Vancouver, and then not buy them if they're available through the significantly cheaper US online store - get them delivered to friends I'll be visiting in New York and Seattle later in the trip.

*Especially when it comes to clothing, don't turn up your nose at "knock-offs". My experience in China has shown me that very often they aren't knock-offs at all, or are only knock-offs in the sense of being knocked off the back of a truck departing from an official factory. Remember, the clothing you pay top-dollar for is almost certainly just as Chinese as anything that pops up at a third of the price on eBay. Sometimes they're factory seconds or rejects that take maybe seven minutes to fix up to a perfect standard. So don't be a putz about it, okay?