The hidden meaning behind “shop till you drop”

From The Clothes Whisperer:

From The Clothes Whisperer:

shop till you drop|colloquial expression| to shop until physical resources are exhausted

I wish I could be covered in seasonal tattoos. In the winter, there would be one on my wrist, on my upper inner arm, on my back (a long one down the middle), along my rib cage, across my chest – like the pallid, curvy girl that cut my hair once in Soho and had enormous red roses tattooed in lush bouquets all across her décolletage. Then I’d add one down my inner thigh, another sprawled on my calf and, finally, one twinkling around my toes. Little blue stars.

But then the summer would come and it would be Botticelli’s Venus. With sand underfoot, I’d go through the seasonal ritual of the first undressing to reveal my pale skin – recently awoken from hibernation – abuzz. A stray crab would then scamper across the expanse of me taking with it all markings, as if a spider’s web had gotten tangled in its rushed claws. The ocean waves would get rid of any lingering evidence and uninterrupted purity would be restored – fresh as sheets.

But, again, I wish it were seasonal. All winter long, I’d go around with these secrets stashed under my clothes like black lace. I’d smile for no apparent reason as I walked along the street in my overcoat and hat and scarf in the private knowledge of what lay beneath. Only one person would know about my secret and we’d exchange it in hushed voices at night.

To be honest, that‘s what goes through my head as Male Fashion Week spins around our flat on via Tortona. Little did we know, when we chose our Milanese lilypad, that we were landing in fashion showroom central. Male models – some of them rather imposing – rush about discussing plans amongst themselves in thickly accented English as varied as a fruit salad. They then abruptly disappear into who knows what secret doors. I’m still not entirely sure they’re not slipping through the slits in the street drains, which would make this all one big tragedy. Even with the apartment of models clearly visible from our living room window, my excitement about the whole thing lasted about as long as it takes to coo at a red squirrel. In about 10 seconds, I was more than happy to have it scurry off.

Saturday brunch was an entirely different affair. We landed ourselves a table ideal for people-watching at our snooty corner café (with the -unfortunately – delicious juices). The pop art tributes made from compacted drinking straws and the cosmonaut bean bags should have tipped us off that this was an “IT” place. Sipping our dulce de leche cappucinos by the window, we could see the hoards of carefully outfitted folk making their way… to a showroom?… to a secret sewer passageway?… chi lo sa di sicuro? Despite the glass pane between us, a complex and ever so slightly condescending smell of leather, perfume and the need for recognition wafted in form outside. The careful combinations that pranced by our brunch window were painstakingly put together – studied to the stitch! And – it may have been from the momentary lack of caffeine at that “early” hour – but I could almost swear I saw at least two ensembles walk past unaided by the superfluous accessory of a human body. I am certain, however, of the pair of pink glitter platform heels sported by a very tall bald man in a cheetah coat.

I felt the underground passageway hypothesis gaining ground within me. The sense of urgency about this crowd was palpable: the resolute pace (well, except for the dude in glitter), the tense sideway glances. With the exception of the gangly bunch in the back dangling their long lens cameras ever so low and loosely from the neck (and thereby conjuring up all sorts of ridiculous images), most others held their cameras steadfast – ready to shoot to kill. Oh this was to be quite the free-for-all in the underworld today – à la Hunger Games – and, yes, I am well aware that, when it comes to fashion, that pun works on many levels.

You naughty coiffed, curdled and contrived little warmongers, you! How is it that I only now grasp the full meaning of your classic slogan “shop till you drop”? I’m so on to you! Thank God for my present consumerist diet.


3 thoughts on “The hidden meaning behind “shop till you drop”

  1. So I just arrived at the hotel we are staying at in Paris. I sat down with my new shiny ipad and pretty much at the same moment I saw your new post, I also found a little woven basket next to me, opened it and found freshly brewed green tea in it, which I enjoyed while enjoying more your latest blog. Thanks…perfect ten minutes, more of it please!

  2. Welcome to Italy my dear! Oh well, you picked the world capital of fashion (and “creative” finance and how-on-earth-can-they-still-be-trendy-furs and fluffy-unfriendly dogs and high heels no matter how the weather looks like and 15 yo with Louis Vuitton tattooed all over their scary skinny bodies….). I know you know what I mean.

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