Cheap Monday or how to be thin, poor and fashionable

 26th August, 2006

I’ve finally found something to wear that’s rather nice and isn’t Dior. During the summer break, Parisian clothes shops, from the smartest to the shabbiest, stock up on new items in preparation for the rentrée. Because in Paris it’s an absolute rule that shops must make life for their customers as unpleasant as possible, they do this on purpose just when most people are away on holiday. Loads of people, every year, take the wrong clothes with them on holiday: I went to Saint-Tropez last year without the pink t-shirts and white cargo trousers that everybody else seemed to be wearing that year, which was very embarrassing. And in the mean time, clever people who had stayed in town were clearing all the items that everyone would be wanting to wear in the fall off the shelves, leaving nothing for those who came back in time for September 1; The people who own and man the shops clearly find this very amusing.

Noir Kennedy, a funny little shop in the rue du Roi-de-Sicile, is no exception. I found jeans there that were perfect for my new thin figure due to overwork and lack of food and exercise, rather nice tshirts and even a jacket. The jeans were from a Swedish firm called Cheap Monday, and the jacket from some people called April 77.

The best thing about Noir Kennedy, at a time when French taxes have become insane, and when the suits I have to wear to work are still not tax-deductible, despite being used only for work purposes, is that they actually pay me to wear their stuff. Well, almost. The salesman, who determined the size of my jeans by choosing one that I didn’t seem to be able to peel off once I had put them on, obviously wants to sponsor me, because the price quoted, about fifty dollars or so, is about a fifth of the price of a pair of Dior jeans, despite the fact that Cheap Monday is actually better cut.

Speaking of which I regret to report that I saw nothing when I visited the Dior homme store in the rue Royale the other day. Well, I did buy a few shirts and tshirts, and I noticed the bee was back, which is nice. It’s obvious that M Slimane is leaving very soft-footedly and that the collection I saw last winter, which looked quite pretty on the podium, is unlikely to ever make it to my wardrobe.

I’ll conclude by pointing out that a famous saying by the Duchess of Windsor ought to be qualified, or even applied in reverse: nowadays, if you want to be fashionable, you can never be too thin (that bit hasn’t changed), or too poor. Of course that’s a combination that has become increasingly rare: Le Monde is constantly complaining about rising obesity threatening working-class youth. Which must be the reason why Noir Kennedy is always so full.