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Monday, 18 April 2011

The Ballad Of Wigmore & Hollister Co. PART ONE

The thing is, right, there are stories everywhere.

This is a beautiful thing. As we move about the world, we furtively collect the little cues to the senses that give us what we need to become the star in our own, private narratives. Much of my own identity is a fevered patchwork of Very Special Episodes of 'America's Next Top Model.'

You alone know the songs, the shoes and the smells that take you away from all of this.

Credit: OhioGayCowboy 

The cocked hip and awkward shoulder stance, the manicured plants, lines, lines in every direction, and on the lady's red smock, the instructive 'sleep' sign in the top right.
There is literally nothing I don't like about this image.

If you have ever been an astronaut on your morning commute or a secret agent at a shit party, you know what I'm talking about, hombre.

But what about the places that enfold you into their narrative? I'm talking about the places who ape Disney,who art direct every aspect of your environment, who want to make your visit a "brand experience."
Who's reviewing their manicured lawns?
Me, that's who - in a series of daily posts for your popcorn pleasure.

Gather round dear ones and I'll tell you a story about a place that tells you a story.

Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I'll begin.
Are you of and among the key 14-18 demographic?

Don't answer that. It is not for me to question the lustre of your skin and hair.
Can you at least suck in your gut? Stand somewhere dimly lit?

Then I'll begin.

The Legend of Hollister Co.
[as defined by Abercrombie & Fitch Corp document: Brand History)

Hollister Advertising Still, circa 2010.

John M. Hollister lived life with an unquenchable thirst for adventure, travel and beauty. When he graduated from Yale in 1915 at the age of 21, he knew he wasn’t ready to give in to the Manhattan establishment his father had laid out before him. he began an adventure that would forever alter his path and the path of generations to follow.

John was drawn to the sport of the outdoors. he spent the summers of his youth in the waters off the southern coast of Maine. after graduation, it seemed natural when he packed up for an around the world journey.

Glamour Afforded by Public Lavatory #1d4
I am making sexualised eye-contact to your immediate left.
Position yourself accordingly.

Rebecca A. Wigmore lived her own life with an equally insatiable thirst for stories, secrets and lifestyle choices incongruous with the grey Norfolk sky. She had taken especial care never to graduate from university, less events should conspire to reveal her true age and wrest from her the pursuit of her true and glorious destiny. Rebecca was 27 and her father had no particular plans for her. However, somewhere deep within she knew her path to be clear. She had read its promise on too many chests to ignore the signs. It was a life redolent with sweatpants, the tang of synthetic watermelon, the giddy rush of non-specific adolescent sexuality.

 Rebecca was drawn to the palatial splendor of the Norwich Hollister store. Rebecca was going to the mall.

This seemed natural.

TOMORROW: "...with concept stores, as with slaughter houses the first thing that hits you is the smell."
Click here for part two.