Friday, October 17, 2008

Mind the Gap!

On Thursday the NYT’s gentleman Critical Shopper, Mike Albo, lost his innocence at the Gap.

He was admiring a fitted tweed jacket on a Gap mannequin, but when he tried the garment on, it was inexplicably baggy.

Our Critical Shopper put on his sleuthing cap and learned that the jacket on the mannequin had benefitted from some artful pleating/gathering in the back to give it that sleek look.

Disillusioned, Albo discovered that the Gap liberally performed this alteration on its mannequins. He is unhappy.

But we women, we’ve fallen from this fashion paradise years ago, haven’t we? When I look at an editorial, I’m well aware that the clothing has been smoothed and crimped, pegged, and pinned, and shortened, and *whatever* else in an attempt to show it off in the best possible light, whether or not that light is false.

And I’m well aware that this kind of in-store pinning happens most often at mega brand shops like the Gap or possibly J Crew, where the clothing is designed to fit a spectrum of body shapes that fall within, say, the size 8. (Although J Crew is less forgiving in terms of body shape than Gap.)

False light can get a journalist in trouble, but it’s meant to boost a retailer’s sales.

But the Critical Shopper did notice something important: there was a Gap between the advertised and the actual fit of the jacket.

Mind the Gap!


enc said...

Great punnery, miss cav.

I had little sympathy for Mr. Albo, as I wish to gleefully announce to him: "Welcome to our (illusion-filled) world!" on behalf of female shoppers everywhere.

Savvy Mode SG said...

most visual displays at the window is tweeked to make it look more attractive.

Songy said...

Is that why we always try stuff on before we pay? It's all lies - brochures, magazines and online product images -I say. They all look great but not so on my body most times.

jenniferz said...

Go behind almost any mannequin in any store and you'll find T-pins pulling the clothing into a better fit. Albo shouldn't be so shocked that the clothes looked better on the mannequins; women have known about this for ages!

Mary-Laure said...

Whenever I'm in a store, I go around the mannequins to make sure the clothes aren't pinned around to make them look better.

Rollergirl said...

Oh and don't forget, the samples that are used in magazines are quite often far superior to what eventually ends up on the rack (I'm talking about high street, not designer, but still, all part of the lies!)...