Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Grand Illusion in blue chiffon at a store near you

Is anyone familiar with the Coldwater Creek catalog? Don’t you like the way the clothes fit on the invisible models? The dresses drape elegantly, the slacks flow from the hip and the sleeves caress the skin from shoulder to wrist in such a way that you can’t wait to get your purchases in the mail and try everything on and feel oh, soooo pretty.

Another catalog that uses the invisible model is TravelSmith. The silk cardigan I am wearing this moment came from them. It travels well and has been with me since my trek to the Antarctic in 98-99. I’ve slept in it, used it as a pillow and as a blanket, wrapped it around my waist and mercilessly tugged the sleeves into a knot to keep it from slipping. It’s an unwrinkled miracle.

Sierra Trading Post also uses the invisible model and their models bring me to the real issue: Invisible models have flawless bodies.

It’s bad enough that the human models in catalogs are bony and thin, but at least they don’t always look great in what they have on. At least you can compare something, sometimes, to yourself and say, “Yea, that’s just not a good idea for my waist/chest/bad attitude/knobby knees.”

Or maybe, "Wow, if those pants make her butt look big, imagine what they'd look like on me!"

When you get the Coldwater Creek delivery, for example, you may discover as I did many years ago (before stores were widespread and dinosaurs roamed the earth crunching on people) that the clothes don’t flow and drape off the body that way in real life.

My beloved silk cardigan from TravelSmith? I can't wear it buttoned all the way down for reasons we will not discuss at this time.

When I first got clothes from Sierra Trading Post, I tried them on and immediately grabbed for the catalog only to discover that I had missed an important, vital, critical, crucial fact: these invisible models don’t have hips!

I have hips indeed.

Those clothes went back. I kept the CC clothes, but have never darkened their doorway because there was no flow, no drape, no caressing of my slender arms, no delicate sway to the hem that flitted around my willowy calves and absolutely no gentle kissing of my slim ankles.

On the invisible models the clothes don’t drag, flap and pull. They don’t stretch and strain and sit crooked. They don’t fall open in the daring surplice bodice and they don't pop between elegant pearl buttons.

What, you may rightly ask, got me started on this? Did I fall to the temptation of ordering clothes from one of these catalogs?

No, I saw this and wondered why I would buy a dress that can't be made to hang properly on a mannequin. I thought, if it can’t hang properly on this thing, what about on a real, live girl (namely moi)?

Maybe they should have used one of those invisible models for this one.

Note: If you don't see the problem, consider this dress on anyone with a chest bigger than a 10-year-old: the bust is pulling the hem up in the front. That's the biggest issue regardless of whether you like the dress, sleeves, waist or neckline. Plus? Look at the drape through the hip/rear: that isn't a good look on yours truly if it doesn't even hang well on a plastic mannequin-it looks like her big, plastic booty is pulling the drape out of the line of the skirt!! See? You're welcome.


Rose said...

I don't have to look any farther than the neckline to know it isn't for me...I think I have the weirdest body. I cannot even wear a half scooped neckline and it look decent.

Cha Cha said...

Wow - I had never considered the invisible models, but you're so, so right! I, too, see those catalogues and picture my own lithe, wispy frame ... forgetting that I am one short, endless curve. Why aren't the invisible models ever shaped like us?

MyMaracas said...

I love the Coldwater Creek catalog. If I were an invisible mannequin, I'd buy all my clothes there. Seeing as how I'm more of a pumpkin with legs, I just admire its offerings from afar.

And you're right about that blue dress. That's not gonna work on anyone.

A piece of news said...

I wonder who invented the invisible model. I didn't even mention what those sleeves are going to do to a girl with skinny arms or a girl with fleshy arms. As you say, MyMaracas, it isn't going to work on anyone.

Rambling Woods said...

you do the most interesting post and i know exactly what you are talking about....