Monday, June 7, 2010


Samurai Shopper, a great NYTimes feature, dabbled in a little Anthropologie discussion this week. If you're like me, the mere mention of Anthropologie makes me look at my apartment with the same kind of epic longing that Luke and Laura had on General Hospital years ago. Let's be honest, walking into the store is like being thrown into a room of things that you can't have, or could have should you start selling off ... well, let's save that one for Oprah.

I'm always intensely fascinated by anything the store does design-wise. Sometimes it's clean. Sometimes you're distracted by the packs of college girls - and you know they still travel in packs - that come in, after classes and what have you, to spend, spend, spend. Then there's the rest of us who have fallen in love by the allure of not just the store, but that piece that either taunts you when they send the catalogue to your house, right after your bills are paid, or walking by the store and your friend, who has money, insists in walking inside. But the design. It's certainly an atmosphere, whether it's your thing or not, and you're almost left feeling like you've walked into some sort of fairy tale homage, complete with woods and odds and ends that are so shiny but, oh my god, you don't need; then you walk, wondering what exactly it was that you just saw.

A lot of spaces fall into that though. There's this allure of wanting to put too much in a space that doesn't really need that much. We all do that. It's the exciting thing when you're presented with a naked canvas - what do you do? Where can you go bedazzle-crazy? How many candles do you need before you set the office on fire? There's something to say about a great piece too. Just this Sunday, Nilda and I were walking around in the South End - and nearly killed by whatever weather thing happened later that afternoon - enjoying the open market. We saw a lot of great pieces, cool things that you'd never in a million years think would fit, but once you begin to think about them and their personality, sometimes it makes sense.

So do you learn how to pace yourself? Of course. Anthropologie has a knack too for doing these really great, large scale installations as well; which, in the end, seems to drown out the legions and legions of small and eccentric pieces. Learn to edit though. Learn to want to edit. Sometimes saying no is going to be the best thing you do all day.

It still makes me want a lot of unnecessary things for my apartment, let me tell you. But thinking about it now, whatever Anthropologie store it is that you walk into, the mix of pieces that put this atmosphere together has never failed to catch anyone's eye. In my defense, I will say that I like really pretty things and pretty things are really lovely to have. But these pieces work and that's what really makes the store what is. (PHOTO.)

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