Elements of Style

From the fashion pages…

Shopping while black — even Oprah can’t escape poor treatment in department stores, as she was recently shut out of an Hermes boutique in Paris. The Voice has more.

Feminist fashion: the petticoat, apparently. I’ll admit, I love long floaty skirts as much as anyone — I’m rockin one right now. And even though the article isn’t exactly laced with feminist politics, it’s nice to see someone using the word “feminist” in a positive and normalized way.

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8 comments for “Elements of Style

  1. July 29, 2005 at 6:10 am

    These articles seem to be focusing more on the “How dare they treat Oprah like that!” aspect than the sad reality that this store, and probably many others like it, are turning away “North Africans” on a regular basis. I really doubt that this Oprah episode will help that problem in any way.

  2. July 29, 2005 at 9:12 am

    Jill, the third link isn’t working for me. Is it just me?

  3. July 29, 2005 at 10:14 am

    Nope, me too.

  4. manxome
    July 29, 2005 at 11:10 am

    The “petticoat” link just has an extra character at the end.

    I rarely wear skirts, but when I do, they are also the long floaty type and for the reasons the article describes: comfort, wash-and-wear, comfort, no uncomfortable fancy shoes required, and comfort.

    Oprah? There’s no way to know why, really, but her incident is hardly a good example to use. The store was closed. There’s no reason to think that this is not just an incident of the uber-privleged being treated like the rest of us, rare as that is, and moaning about it. “I didn’t get my feet kissed like I usually do” doesn’t sound as good as “See, I can relate to you” as a marketing tool.

  5. Linnaeus
    July 29, 2005 at 11:41 am

    I tend to agree on the Oprah thing. I don’t deny that it’s entirely possible for her to get poor service due to race, but from what I’ve read, it looks a lot more like class snobbery on her part. I don’t get to go into stores that already closed. Why should she?

  6. Zorbglub
    July 29, 2005 at 11:45 am

    @ BlondeButBright

    How do you know ? North Africans are Arabs, most of them, and Arabs make a good part of the clients of these shops (Saudis, Lebanese, Egyptians, Moroccans…). Other good clients come from Black Africa (lots of really rich people there, getting rich in politics ;-)

    I think it was more a case of “too late, the shop is closed, come back tomorrow”. If it had happened to Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson, nobody would be saying Hermès is discriminating against blondes (but, Hermès being French, there certainly would be people to see that well known French Anti-Americanism at work).

  7. July 29, 2005 at 12:25 pm

    At any case, I wouldn’t mess with Oprah. She is a resourceful woman.

  8. July 29, 2005 at 1:36 pm

    just felt like mentioning that both Hermes and Oprah’s “people” have said that the “North African” comment was never made, and was an embellishment either by the journalist that reported it or by a staffer trying to explain the situation.

    it was definitely a case of Oprah trying to wangle her way into a store, which was already shut, based on her celebrity, and deciding to throw a hissyfit when she was denied.


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