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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Ballad Of Wigmore & Hollister Co. PART THREE: There ain't nothin' like a dame

The story of John Hollister continues...
Part One --- Part Two --- Part Four

ohn sold the rubber plantation and used part of the money to purchase a 50-foot schooner. the young couple spent the next two years sailing the South Pacific. John treasured the entire South Pacific and the works of the artisans that lived there.

For something that swears that it's bathed in California sunshine, Hollister keeps its stores oaken and dark. It is as though you've stumbled into your wealthy father's smoking parlour and for reasons inexplicable to your young mind, has decided to build himself a small fort out of terrycloth.

Though it must take something from you, to treasure an entire nation so completely. How can Meta, your beautiful Dutch plantation wife, compete with their intricately crafted surfer beads?

The most beautiful woman in the Netherlands was constructed in 2009 in a co-production of Psychologie magazine and the University Of Aberdeen:

Her face is assembled of the top-6 of the most beautiful women from The Netherlands, all of whom are creamy of skin and excessive of vowel:
1 Doutzen Kroes
2 Carice van Houten
3 Touriya Haoud
4 Daphne Bunskoek
5 Hanna Verboom 
6 Tara Elders

All the shop assistants in the Norwich Hollister seem to have the same lovely sheet of brown hair. They have been instructed to wear little make-up, to keep their toes minimal. Without exception their uniform consists of a tight Hollister logo tshirt paired with denim hotpants and the aforementioned fun! flipflops. Of course we'd all be doomed if there was a fire - there's too much alcohol and parfum in the air for the whole place not to ignite instantly, our polycotton blends melting into sharp hard discs spackled with hair and bone. This is inevitable. But if somehow the flames could be contained just for a little while, I wonder if these girls would be allowed to kick off their sandals and run or whether they'd be expected to go down with their ship. The Dutch have great discipline, even if they are shit with beads.

These girls are shit with beads too. They are none the less delightful: nervy and beaming - DELIGHTED to help, albeit in a non-specific fashion. They are at their peak of adolescent beauty and it is difficult not to abandon your dreams of a high waisted floral beach dress immediately and run home to hide under a pile of coats.

 Hollister's darkness is augmented by rigs of exposed theatrical lighting that cast intense beams of light over available merchandise and the cheekbones of its teen workforce. Of course it's all make believe, and Hollister wants us to know this. It is natural that beautiful people should roam the stage or a film set. It's equally natural that we should watch in the darkness. The absence of light means it's more or less impossible to get a good photo. It is also surprising difficult for a 27 year old woman to ask a line of checkout girls if she can take a panoramic of their hotpants for semiotic online purposes. The words don't form themselves easily, something feels awry. You don't take pictures of another man's wife. So I did what any pervert in my position would do. 

TOMORROW: Hiding in the Changing Rooms


Bernardo Bueno said...

Hey! I came across this article about 'ethnographic blogging' and thought about you ( . Be sure to check the author's blog as well (!

All best!

Izzy Bell said...

Sweet lord, this is brilliant.