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I'm in H&M Heaven When You Smile...

Madonna's M line at H&M is a good reason to get back to the shops

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by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2007
I am not certain if people outside the US can truly understand how abysmal the task of high street shopping has been here for a long, long time.
by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2007
I am not certain if people outside the US can truly understand how abysmal the task of high street shopping has been here for a long, long time.

Good times. Good times. Good times at last are coming to the once-venerable OC. A dash of true color to paint the ruins and I'm not talking about the new Kutlug Ataman installation at OCMA. The show with the multiple TV screens offering the ominous - TV always does that everywhere but on TV. But as we love the opportunity to say, "If you only go to one Very Electric Art Show this Year..." Then surely that will be Dan Flavin at LACMA. And so I don't get it, if this is a career retrospective - wasn't that what Mr. Lake saw in London - a couple of years ago? That was apparently to be destroyed immediately after.

Meanwhile, back on the telly, Kyle Chandler's Dillon Panthers Coach Taylor is convincing as TV's moral compass, more or less - he's adult, he's got the saccharine trust, he does things right when he's doing the right thing, he looks reassuringly like an all american middle aged guy as sure as Jesus looks reassuringly like Jesus in those kiddie bibles. And his daughter would have anyone getting as far away from their own home as they could get, yeah, maybe even coaching a kids football team would be better than having to listen to her, but a recliner, a fridge half full of budweiser and a TV in the garage that locked from the inside wouldn't be bad either. So he's no Billy Bob Thornton, but I love him, and I can't take him in the very same instant - and I'd never missed an episode - until the Crazy DVR began recording every episode of the great Canadian show, 'Buy Me.' Damn, up there, I mean, there's just no regard for TV mores. Canadian homebuyers look just like real people from someplace you never want to visit, in case you'd actually see people that looked like that. Every home sale, a car wreck.

And out in Echo Park, behind the Short Stop, the Dodger season descended on us. If they're not out of the play-offs already, I'd be surprised, but then, I have no idea what baseball is, other than not all the players appear all that athletic, and anyway, I am much more concerned about the parking situation. I sat through an hour long presentation recently. Perhaps a little, erm, uninspired from the start. No surprise then, with the team off to a uninspired start - all the talk is about the parking situation. It's desperate, it's like living next to Turf Moor, or something. You get the idea.

I am not certain if people outside the US can truly understand how abysmal the task of high street shopping has been here for a long, long time. It's embarrassing. It's to be avoided and most people are voting (against - naturally) with their mastercards. I don't know where people get their clothes from anymore. I'm going to ask of course, but for now I don't know.

Recently I met a friend, in from the outside, I can't say more, at the Beverley Centre and she had just immersed herself in H&M. It was launch day for Madonna's H&M 'M' Collection. I don't know if that constitutes massclusivity, but my friend dove right in. They don't yet have H&M there. And we didn't have it here until recently. We had 1990s stalwarts. Those usual suspects. You know how tired they all are.

Anyway, until now, they haven't had an H&M in the OC either but that's all changing anyday now, when H&M opens not one but two stores at The South Coast Plaza. Oh they do it so right. And if you're in OC and you don't know what this is all about, well what's to be said... Clothing you won't have to wear once and throw away, as the price suggests. Clothing cheap and cheerfully durable. And in sizes that fit women and men. And best of all straightaway, you can get an M by Madonna blouse, just like the one she wears on the billboards for $24.99. Holy Jesus, I can't get an asparagus laced Crepe for that around here. And in its own way, the Madonna blouse will be just as delightful. Seriously, the Europeans have elevated the high street shopping game and we've been eclipsed. Sure we've got the mammoth outlets, and Nordstrom Rack's shoes, but I love the buying at the eurochains so much... I have a shirt from Zara in Birmingham, had it for two years that I have never been able to get into. Yet.

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