sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

January 14, 2011

A Hipster’s Israel

Filed under: taste — Tags: , , , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 12:57 am

Today I found the January 2011 Urban Outfitters catalog in my mail box.  My first thought was that the cover model looks Israeli.

She does, doesn’t she?

I open up the catalog, and it certainly has Israeli feel to it.  I had a similar feeling before looking at Anthropologie catalog once, thinking “That must be the Dead Sea!”  Anthropologie is owned by Urban.  Wait a minute!  There is Hebrew writing all over it.

Well, not all over, but you know.

So it was shot in Israel!  And it’s noteworthy… because?  Well, I love Israel and I love fashion.  I’m even pretty well dressed… for a mom.

I suppose if art directors fancy a photo shoot in an Avant-Garde location, Tel Aviv is a logical place to go.  Tel Aviv’s White City is touted as a world capital of Bauhaus because so many buildings there were erected by German Jewish architects of Bauhaus school who fled the Holocaust for the British Mandate Palestine.

Yep, that’s Tel Aviv.

Not all pictures were shot in the White City.  Some of the backdrops are only interesting because they are so nondescript.  I no longer pretend to understand the Urban aesthetic.  When I shopped there a decade or so ago, I thought of Anthropologie as the grown up Urban Outfitters.  Then I thought of Urban Outfitters as poor man’s Anthropologie.  Now I just don’t get Urban.  Whenever my husband catches a glimpse of their catalog, he says: “Are they trying to make the models look gross?”  Why, of course they do!  I suppose their photography is some branch of lomography, but even then I don’t get it.  The clothes… I’m just lost.  I find the 80’s-90’s rayon revival that they are championing at this moment as charming as 70’s polyester.

Urban caught a bit of flack last decade for a JAP t-shirt (undeservingly, IMO) and “anti-war” scarf.  When “Motorcycle Diaries” came out Anthropologie was selling a book about the romantic Che.  I hear that the company is owned by a conservative.  If that’s true, the management obviously keeps its politics out of its business.

No Israeli photo shoot would be complete without a gratuitous disrespectful picture styled after an Orthodox woman.  The blouse looks both unflattering and uncomfortable.  There is no way I’m buying it.  But aren’t we clever?

Showing her wrist, the slut!

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2 Comments »

  1. too funny. And I learned something new: lomography. Huh. Have to admit, sometimes I miss the vibrance of wet film.

    on a slightly related note, remember my comment about that Mayakovsky guy having a version of Blue Steel?

    I wasn’t sure you knew that was a reference to Ben Stiller’s Zoolander movie.

    Watch it if you haven’t. You will at the very least get a laugh at the fashion theme “derelicte.”

    Comment by nooneofanyimport — January 14, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  2. Oh, I had to google Blue Steel. 🙂 I didn’t get the Zoolander reference at all. I’ll watch it.

    Comment by edgeofthesandbox — January 14, 2011 @ 10:06 pm


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