February 20, 2009

the Barney's warehouse is a terminal except you don't go anywhere

Every year there is a two week long frenzy in Manhattan in which most style-savvy females will flock/fight/scheme to get to. This is the Barney's Warehouse clearance sale. In which all sorts of designer and couture things are much cheaper than what rich people pay for things because they can do that without a second thought because they are rich. The rest of the upper middle working class urbanites wait in line and fight and horde for $400 Louboutins and 60% off Marc Jacobs. That would still wipe out a significant percentage of my checking account.

I think this was chronicled in Will & Grace as well as Sex & the City and all other metropolitan-centric television shows with an ampersand in the title probably.

I don't go anywhere where couture is dress code and for the longest time since I can remember I've been saying it Man-OH-lo, not MAN-oh-lo Blahnik. Whatever.

G suggested we check it out on a whim and we went. We found the secretive entrance. We traveled the cement corridors following signs saying "Large bags and packages must be checked" and "Shut up and shop" and I eyed the several security personnel spaced evenly around the premises. The room was filled with women scouring overstuffed garment racks, in various states of undress (there are no fitting rooms and I don't think you're supposed to try things on since nothing is sensored), frantically gathering the things they like and hording it away from other shoppers. They weed out the No's after trying them on and appraising the goods.

The walls were lined with steel shelves spilling over with the most beautiful shoes I've ever seen. I swear, Barneys (even just the warehouse) has convinced-- or rather reminded-- me that shoes are a work of art. Truly. Just the detail and craftsmanship that goes into a boot with tooled embossed leather or metal detailing on the heel of a shoe, is remarkable.
I mean, you can't really walk in a pair of 7-inch heeled chromed out pointy-toed stilettos but I imagine if an archaeologist found them in the rubble of some post-apocalyptic New York City thousands of years later, they would reckon that these shoes a) are useless functionally and therefore b) the wearer was probably super rich and was driven everywhere most of the time.
Also considering that the most famous (and herego priciest) and indemand names on the insteps of shoes belong to men, lots of heels really do make it harder for women to run away.

I am not a shoe person for a couple reasons. They are expensive. At least the ones I really like are. I'm not rich. And I try to live frugally and within need > want. I work retail in which I wouldn't even be able to wear most shoes I'd like to since I need to have somewhat sensible footwear to be standing for long periods of time. I'm a whiner in heels, after like... an hour. Also, I've learned from my mother, the owner of more than 80 pairs of shoes probably, that it's a powerful addiction that can overtake your life, wallet, and one entire room in the house. That being said, I think I own like... 13 pairs? Something like that. More than I wear, that's for sure. I also borrow most my mom's shoes, so why buy when you can rent?

I think the real worth of a shoe, or a dress, or an umbrella even, is solely in how you feel in them. A great shoe will improve your posture, lengthen and flatter the leg, and make you feel like one smokin babe. And hopefully provide decent arch support. And you know, get you from point A to point B in an efficient manner. I've wiped out once or twice in a pair of pesky platform wedges. It wasn't pretty.

After trying on sequined pumps, leather boots, sky-high stilettos and demure flats, after almost being taken out by one zealous shopper's accidental shoe-flinging, and scouring racks of gorgeous dresses and jackets I would still never be able to afford, G and I called it a day, walking away empty handed but nonetheless inspired. That is, until we stopped for a coffee and she handed me a package in which I found a pair of grey patent leather kitten-heeled booties I was admiring earlier. Naturally, I was beyond thrilled/surprised/grateful/sheepish? G will exhibit bouts of generosity like this, but I was still floored nonetheless and wore them proudly home with glee.

She told me about a potential buyer from Uncommon Goods who was interested in her cards at Artists & Fleas this past weekend. Score!
Also there's more in the works for 3SD. I've got some clever (but maybe too clever-borderline-cheesy-by-way-of-Threadless cheeky) new tee designs in mind that need some photoshopping and printing. I feel so weirdly in limbo living on a pile of blankets on the floor with no furniture and living out of boxes. That's not really an excuse to procrastinating but I find it hard to work when I'm anxious and feel like Anne Frank holed up like a refugee. The UPS guy knocked on the door the other morning and I swear I panicked. For no good reason. What the hell.

Exiting the warehouse, I collected my checked backpack, and followed another labrynth for the exit in which they check receipts and basically give you the eye as if they can x-ray scan your person for stolen goods. Employees and security escorted us out directing us down the hallway to the street in what felt like an airport terminal, chasing a flight.
It was daylight when we got there. It was dark when we resurfaced. I felt alienated by that.

1 comment:

Steve said...

"I think this was chronicled in Will & Grace as well as Sex & the City and all other metropolitan-centric television shows with an ampersand in the title probably."

Completely untrue. Never chronicled on Lois & Clark