April 13, 2013 9:34:55 PM
I live a life that jetsetters would envy. My jaunts up and down Highway 45 North and through downtown Columbus could be the inspiration for a romance novelist. Those occasional journeys to Starkville or West Point probably set the "Beautiful People's" hearts aflutter.
Barely a week goes by that I am not contacted by Vogue or Allure for my take on the fashions coming out of Paris. The designers of Milan have long since given up trying to please me. I am a heartless and jaded critic. They cannot surprise me, because I have seen it all.
A recent Saturday night expedition to one of our local big-box stores made me realize why the Golden Triangle has earned the global reputation as a fashion-forward Mecca. We are style-setters. Runways? Forget them. This is real world panache. Take it from me, European designers are now devoting time to observing our local fashion statements.
Certainly, "statement" is the correct word. Apparently, shoppers cannot leave the house without proclaiming something important on their chest, or perhaps on their back. They may be professing allegiance to a team or an institution of higher learning. (It does not matter that they do not play for that team, or that they barely made it out of fifth grade.) Some wear clothing that documents a favorite restaurant or vacation destination. Who needs photographs or travel diaries, when you can own a T-shirt that reminds you of exotic ports of call (like Destin or Dollywood)? Just doing your laundry will evoke those precious memories.
I must admit that one young man was attired in a shirt printed with giant letters, impossible to ignore. Had he been any thinner the message would have been so much more difficult to read, therefore denying other shoppers of his intent. I cannot print the exact quote in a family newspaper. However, it was something like, "I came here to drink and mate with female dogs." (I paraphrase.) Really? Do you actually expect to accomplish either of those things -- here? But thanks for the warning.
That shirt brought up so many questions. What sort of company would print such a thing? Does the declaration of these goals make a man irresistible to female humans? Does he wear that to his grandmother's house? Ah, well, a debate for the ages.
Of course, since it was Saturday night, we can only assume that many of these people were off to other more amusing venues.
Judging from the footwear of several young ladies, they were not destined for any place that featured dancing. Women whose mantra must have been, "Too small, raggedy clothes, stretched over a Rubenesque physique are always flattering," must also believe that the higher the shoe means closer to God.
These ladies could barely walk. I'm amazed that they didn't bump their heads on door frames and overhead lighting. Possibly these shoes were part of an agility course for Rottweilers. There was enough room between the spiky heels and the soles for large animals to weave in and out, or to hang a chandelier.
Evidently cowboy boots are no longer exclusively for rodeos or posses. Now they may be worn with anything, including cocktail dresses.
Jean Paul Gaultier and Isaac Mizrahi just cannot get enough of our "Southern chic." They are waiting breathlessly for my next missive from any store about the size of North Korea. Let this be a warning. Choose your clothes very carefully before running out for dog food and Doritos. The world of fashion is watching.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.