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Monday, April 16, 2007

A&FUK

Ah, Abercrombie and Fitch.

We Gentlemen Who Record The Oscars have a bit of a soft spot for this glorious American store. If only for the catalogues - glory be! Do they not knock the underwear section of the Grattan catalogue into a cocked hat when it comes to Emergency Fwapping Needs? Amen, brother. And lets not forget the staff of the store itself; while here at Glitter For Brains we do have a policy of not dating staff, but we're more than willing to bend this rule for any male employee who's ever stacked shelves in that place. Hell, we'll bend over most things for any toned-up A&F functionary - as my mother used to say, "just grab your heels and think Staff Discount'".

Although when it was announced that there would be an A&F store opening in London, we all had a few mixed feelings. Maybe the cream of London will be working in the place and we can simply get a large van and do a drive-by collection at the staff entrance. Although all our favourite t-shirts we got while in New York will no longer be special as soon as the 'New Money' from Essex discover the store, and well... there's no going back, is there?

And lets face it, as a country, we don't allow ourselves to enjoy shopping. We don't see it as the pleasure other nations do. We'll duck into a store, as guilt-ridden as a Catholic priest hanging around a playground, grab a Marks and Sparks blouse and scuttle to the changing room before anyone sees us. Usually because any assistant wandering the floor is normally so damned unhelpful. This is why we're so startled when we cross the Atlantic and go into stores and get asked if we need anything - we only get talked to over here if you're being accused of shoplifting. The rest of the time Janice and her assistant friends are too busy leaning up the stockroom door and bitching about the girl from 'Creations' who moved in on her man while she was having a fight in the toilet with the toilet attendant over whether she's spritzed her Charlie or not.

So the Boy and I wandered in on Saturday afternoon, just to see. And wandered out pretty sharpish. It was somewhat confusing as a shopping experience, there were no lights on and I couldn't hear a thing; clearly the store designer went "The gays, eh? They like clubbing. Lets throw up some spotlights and make the music too loud. They will feel at home." Indeed. Please - why not have the gentleman with the rather fragrant dreadlocks hanging around one of the doors offering all sorts of exotic narcotics for a reasonable price or a chew on his cheese-capped member?

Naturally, the place was resplendent with unhelpful, sneering staff, and there were far too many items stacked up high. Now, due to the 'rouched' nature of the fabrics on offer, it all looked like a rather enthusiastic jumble sale. It no longer can sell its dream.

Unfortunately buying in A&F in the UK will not make you look like a ingenue farm-hand, cavorting around with other muscular, button-nosed elfin innocents. It will not make you looks like you should be in a glorious black-and-white homoerotic Bruce Webber spread. It will simply make you look like your iron has broken.

10 comments:

Inexplicable DeVice said...

I guess it would work for those times when the char doesn't iron my shirts in time for work: "It's A&F, darling!"

Tim said...

I thought the shop was like Gap with the curtains drawn.

Mr J said...

I also heard there was a £148 tshirt, limited edition, sweetie...
That works out as alot of sunday smirnoff ices at the RVT, or maybe a beer or two at BOX.. either place you'd no doubt see someone in it.

Gonzo said...

...and there are trousers for £590. I wonder if Mr Abercrombie and Ms Fitch sewn the god damned trousers themselves...
With recent news that the pound is now worth $2, here's an opportunity to do it the old way... go to America and get your A&F there.
I agree with you: the shop doesnt work for me in the UK.

iPoz said...

I'm not sure if you get Saturday Night Live on any of your digital stations, but they do great send ups of A&F.

It makes me glad we don't have one in Toronto, although you know all the local villagers would be beating down the door.

But then again, they'd not have anything to show off from there last trip to NYC.

Qenny said...

Bizarrely, the only clothing outlet in the US where I had bad service was A&F (in a Chicago suburb). I assumed that they were being snooty because they all looked so fuckworthy, like the staff of The Box, but with chinos instead of cappucinos.

mike said...

We lasted all of two minutes yesterday afternoon. Nice touch to install an impossibly perfect Shirtless Hunk in the front entrance, just to give us all Body Issues on the way in.

My Life Partner doesn't read weblogs, but he just commented that this one was "spot on".

JohnnyFox said...

The £ is now worth $2. If you want this season's wrinkly twinkwear, why not hop the pond and have a weekend in New Yorkistan to compensate for dressing like a chav's wet dream of home(oeroticism)?

Gareth said...

I wasn't even that impressed by the hunk at the door, unlike Krispy Kremes A&F should have stayed over states side.

+ Marco Polo + said...

I hate to burst your bubble iPoz but we do have an A&F in Toronto (at the Eaton Center) I don't really know what the big deal is about A&F ... it's really trashy and most of the clothes are really baggy (i.e. American Eagle, Holister) thus NOT doing anything to help your figure. The store is dangerously immersed in cheap perfume and the material is poor quality. I mean if you don't like it, obviously don't buy anything there. However, I hate people that get suckered into spending lots of money on a name-brand, even if it doesn't look good. Especially if it doesn't look good on them.

But then again that is just my opinion.