Friday, November 13, 2009

Dear J. Crew: You're not edgy.

Selling booties and stealing from Vogue will not make you so.

I was planning to stop dissing J. Crew after I pissed so many people off the last time. I mean, I get it. They make simple, mid-range wedding dresses that can be accessorized very well.

But...srsly?

J. Crew Weddings, December 2009

Vogue, June 2009, photographed by Arthur Elgort and styled by the inimitable Grace Coddington

See the page-by-page comparison on Moodboard. (Thanks to my lady Kathryn for sending me the link.)

p.s. If you have not already seen The September Issue, you must do so immediately.

50 comments:

  1. I've never heard anyone call J. Crew edgy. Preppy, yes. Edgy, no. Here's the deal: If you wait to things go on sale you can get simple, cute dresses or cardigans or shoes that you can accessorize the hell out of for cheap. Its just easy, and for us lazy people who can't be bothered with spending hours on ebay or etsy because we're busy with our 50-hr a week job or hanging with people we like, easy is good. Also, I never shopped J. Crew when I lived in NYC, Boston or Miami because I had options. Now, I live in the middle of nowhere. It's either J. Crew or some other unimaginative mall shop, and I'd take J. Crew over Ann Taylor any day.

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  2. wow. the rest of the comparisons are even worse! wtf? go home j crew

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  3. this is one of your soapboxes that i find completely justified.

    this one and the anthro one.

    and most others.

    but especially this one.

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  4. hahaha, wow, that's a pretty awesome side-by-side. I've been feuding with J Crew for years, since they tend to not make clothes for anyone with boobs or hips, but I admit that my bridesmaids are wearing a j. crew dress. I loved the color and the fabric was way nicer than anything else I looked at! Plus, it was easy to get a hold of for everybody. I was surprised to find what I wanted there since i tend to find their clothes overpriced and not well proportioned for curvy bodies. Then again, my wedding isn't particularly indie or offbeat, so it's not like I was looking for edge or hipness -- just something my friends wouldn't hate me for :)

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  5. Haha, that's ridonkulous! I'm with Kathleen on this one. I've had a love/hate relationship with J Crew for years, and my hatred has grown exponentially since I moved to yuppified Hoboken where J Crew is the chosen uniform. Also, their clothes look bad on me. But sadly, my bridesmaids are going with J Crew too, mainly because they live all over the country and it was just easier that way. Plus, the silk chiffon dresses are cheaper than most bridesmaids dresses at 160 bucks.

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  6. You know they make me throw up a little in my mouth. Their watered down knock offs make me cranky. Although I did sneak in the other day to see if I really did want a purple wool skirt I saw in the window to find that said skirt was 100% not worth the $88 or the acid reflux. My weak butt will never learn.

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  7. As a bride who bought my dress from J.Crew, I must say that you are absolutely right about this shoot. Good eye!

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  8. Vogue is not edgy or fresh. So lame to rip off a publication that hasn't turned out a fresh idea in five years.

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  9. how. embarrassing.
    j.crew is crap. unfortunately, their prices don't reflect that.
    speaking of flower girls, i had found a top from crewcuts that i wanted my niece to wear for the wedding, but it was $86. 86 effing dollars for a top for a 3 year old, that's made in china, in a sweat shop! and the fit on their clothes is horrible too. maybe, it's just my body type, but i really don't need so much extra fabric in my crotch region, thank you very much!
    people just fall into their "well-styled" catalogue trap, and it's total shit. thanks, j.crew... but not thanks!

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  10. Ha. Shame on JCrew. I also do not fit in those damn clothes!

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  11. i would be pretty okay with j.crew ripping off the annie liebovitz hansel and gretel / lady gaga spread in the december vogue, though hansel and gretel are the only parties in this sentence of which i wholeheartedly approve.

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  12. The wink on the model in the very first shot is downright creepy.

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  13. I thought of you when I saw those, fyi.

    I also thought of you this weekend when I went to J Crew to buy a pencil skirt for work, and thought, "hey, J Crew makes a effing great pencil skirt. That's ESB's point. You buy J Crew to look cute in your corporate day job. Not for your 'indie' wedding."

    God. Also? Their bridesmaids dresses are unflattering in person, I'm sorry. As David said this weekend, "How are these different from regular mid-range bridesmaids dresses? Branding?" Indeed.

    But it's a hot pencil skirt.

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  14. OH! How did I not tell you this? I was at a wedding last month where a bridesmaid literally cursed J Crew. She said her dress was overpriced, awful quality (which she thought was strange, sine their regular clothes are not) and she had to spend $100 taking it in, because the sizing was so scr*wed. She never told the bride. Just sayin.'

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  15. I love jcrew, I admit it. I love their sweaters with little doodads on them. I love their preppy socks and scarves. I love their overpriced driving mocs. Most of all, I love their outlet store. But they should not be making ankle boots. No way, no how.

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  16. I love that you go by Wifey Wiferson.

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  17. Kind of hilarious.

    I sympathize with the J.Crew annoyance, but as someone severely lacking in boobs and hips, they continue to be the most consistently fitting ready to wear dresses available for me. Not exciting, but nice staples.

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  18. ew. i agree, their staples are nice. as staples. but they aren't edgy. neither are their design campaigns. pretty? preppy? sure. not edgy.

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  19. Dude, what's totally amazing is how they took a really cool looking shoot and recreated it in the most blaaaaaaaaaah lacking in fun sanitized possible way. Their version is boring.

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  20. Whoa... that there is FLAT. OUT. WRONG.

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  21. i agree, it is embarrassing...ya know when you have to look away? really anthro? can you be that desperate?

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  22. Shame on JCrew for stealing Grace Coddington's ideas.

    She's an innovator, one of a kind in the fashion industry. Her spreads are provocative, emotional, storytelling.

    JCrew has managed to copy something that is gorgeous, unique, whimsical and sweet into something boring and half assed.

    Unfortunately, photographs of women throwing bouquets are not protected by IP laws. (Hi, wedding photography).

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  23. one of my favorite spreads! boo to the 'crew!

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  24. They didn't even try to hide it. Does that make it worse? I have no idea. So embarrassing.

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  25. ahhhhh thats so very incredibly embarassing!!!
    and the original is such a fantastic picture and all the girls really well dressed.
    can't believe they just copied it, without adding any new idea to it, or trying to be inspired ...
    just a cheap cheap copy- no thanks!
    whats the message to their customers?
    hey brides, you wanna be a cheap copied version
    of a great style?
    btw i dont like their boooooooring dresses anyway.

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  26. Who ever said J Crew was trying to be edgy? Or original? It's a place to buy basics. And if you fit into the category of bride who wants a simple silk dress that doesn't cost a fortune, they have a few really nice options. And that's it, really.
    That said, they really did suck the joy right out of that photoshoot, so I don't think Grace Coddington is crying in her soup about it. More likely she's thinking "they try, but they just don't get it".

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  27. am still dying to see the sept. issue... npr did a story on it and apparently grace coddington pulled the camera men in as last minute models for a shoot! can't get enough of that grace.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=112291340

    as for j. crew... still on the fence. nothing like a good healthy debate on the blog!

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  28. you realize that Anthro rips off fine artists every single window display they put up? makes perfect sense that j.crew would rip off vogue. it's what the chains do.

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  29. Totally! I just went on a rant about this last night while paging through my jcrew catalog! grrrrr

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  30. Wow, that's just all sorts of wrong there...

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  31. yeah geez, how unoriginal and stolen, i mean how many brides throw their bouquet?

    come on, its not like either photographer invented the idea.

    love jcrew.

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  32. omg. haaaa. the comparison on moodboard is scary. But remember when they ripped off that Sartorialist shot for their men's catalog last year? They do not care. Nor do their readers.

    I was thinking of you when I flipped through the catalog the other day. WWESBD???

    But can I say that I like the idea of carrying a loose handful of long stem roses instead of a bouquet? Even though they probably got that idea somewhere else too?

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  33. Scandalous. I mean there are tons of photos he could have taken. Well its safe to say that photographer was just plain lazy.

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  34. In one corner we have Indie Champion Warrior Bride ESB, and in the other, Big Box StyleTerminator J Crew.

    ESB dominates this round!

    Touch`e

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  35. they're as edgey as the malls that push jCrew on our lemming population.

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  36. They may have tried to steal the idea but failed miserable - so in the end, the joke is on them ;) Any bride who even considers herself a bit edgy wouldn't turn to J. Crew for her wedding dress! *shakes head in disbelief*

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  37. My mouth is hanging open. That's pretty blatant copying. Sure, lots of brides do the bouquet toss, but how many bridesmaids pair their dresses with black booties? If I were allowed to grade the J. Crew photo shoot I'd give it an F for plagiarism. (My fingers are itching for my green grading pen. Although "F" should really be written in red.)

    ... I should admit, though, that my bridesmaids wore J. Crew. My excuse is that they were on mega-sale and my mom covered the cost, so my bridesmaids weren't out any money. And they were still less horrifying than the Dessy garbage from the bridal magazines. (Low bar, I know.)

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  38. This only intensifies my dislike of J. Crew.

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  39. Isn't the point of places like J. Crew to make what Vogue says is style accessible to a more mass market? I would assume that more affordable places would then "rip off" J. Crew. Also, I don't think Vogue is exactly edgy or indie, but I do think it is elitist and pretentious.

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  40. You care if you piss people off? Who knew.

    I didn't like the September Issue, it made me kind of sad. Grace Coddington was wonderful though. I think she should start her own magazine.

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  41. I've always wondered how J. Crew can take a gorgeous model and make her look so bland. They are champions at it.

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  42. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I don't know if that applies here.

    J.Crew should know better...

    If you're going to "borrow" someone else's idea, at least improve on it!

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  43. I'm officially SICK of J. Crew. How did they get a corner on the bridesmaid market? This blatant copycatting pisses me off.

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