Monday, April 16, 2012


The folks at Restoration Hardware have obviously misjudged the design sense of the Hotflash household. We recently received a shrink-wrapped package of catalogs from them. I put it on the scale. It weighed 5 pounds. It was a set of 3 books, Indoor, Outdoor, and “Big Style, Small Spaces!”

The catalogs were full of fascinating objects. For example, on page 67, there was an iron stag’s head, complete with very large antlers.

Besides the obvious problems of heaving an iron head on the wall, this raises the burning question, “Who wants this?” Here in fly-over country, if you want a head on the wall, you just get a gun, kill a mammal, and slap it on the wall. But maybe those crazy kids on the coasts think this is just the shiznit. Plus it’s vegan.

On page 308, you can find the “Salvaged Wood Vintner's Hutch”. This appears to be a stack of old wood pallets, which does fit the definition of both salvaged and wood. However, this item costs $2995, whereas I know of a dumpster where you pick up old pallets for free.

Page 476 regales us with “French Rope Chandeliers”, which look like macramé on steroids.  I did macrame in the 70’s and it looked tacky then, too.

As I ponder the meaning of life at 2AM, I wonder,”Who designs this claptrap? What are they teaching the kids in design/art/interior decorating/marketing school these days? Is there no adult supervision? Who can afford to buy a salvaged wood vintner's hutch, and do guests say, ‘Hey! That looks like a pile of old wood pallets!’”

We also receive the J. Crew catalog. Again, their marketers have misjudged the denizens of the Hotflash household, thinking we might actually wear (or fit in) these clothes. The J. Crew catalog is full of teensy little girls in teensy little pants, with such whimsical names such as, “toothpick jean” and “matchstick jean”.

There is an exercise in the social sciences called the “windshield survey”, in which you drive around the neighborhood or town you are analyzing, getting a feel for the general lay of the land (not unlike high school when we got in the family station wagon and drove to the A&W Root Beer stand and then the local lover’s lane, where we would honk at our classmates who were actually getting some action). Obviously, the designers at J. Crew never did a windshield survey of my neck of the woods, or they would note that most folks are a tad more substantial than matchsticks. It’s not just my town. I was in Texas last week, and those folks are no toothpicks, either.   

The men’s clothing is no better. The models all look like they came home from college for a funeral and had to wear their little brothers' sportcoat.   Again, as I survey the landscape, I spot no one who could wear these skinny mini jackets. Even child #2, a slender but well-toned young man, could not fit into these clothes. Countless hours of mind-numbing laps as a member of various swim teams have graced him with lats and shoulders that prevent him from sporting that underfed but fashionable look. Apparently one must either have the nutritional status of a crackhead (but with nice teeth, please!) or a muscle-wasting disease in order to wear J. Crew menswear.

Then there are the Athleta and Title 9 catalogs. These catalogs are basically interchangeable. They are full of photos of muscular young women with six-packs and broad shoulders, hauling surf boards and large dogs around.  Many pages are devoted to supporting the racks of these fine young women. But yet again, as I scrutinize the local population, I see neither rippling calf muscles or six packs (except of the carbonated kind).

It is a national tragedy to see how our fashion and interior designers are so out of touch with the real world. I recommend they leave their rarified confines for a tour of Real America, complete with our large butts and Barca-loungers. What a surprise for them! They would skulk back to the coasts, thinking to themselves, "Those people have no taste at all". But then maybe they would make some pants with a little more fabric in them.  For us. Please.

1 comment:

Kathy4aday said...

I like big butts - sing it with me!