When we sent our own Jenny G down to The Gap in Times Square at 8:55 am this morning, she was anticipating hordes. Droves. Masses of both professional (ahem, Conde Nast-y) and amateur fashion folk, flocking to snap up the limited edition Vogue/Council of Fashion Designers of America-sponsored, white dress-shirt inspired pieces commissioned from the labels of Thakoon, Rodarte, and Doo.Ri.
Instead, Jenny found a handful of South African tourists, confused by all the hullaballoo, a kind merchandising director named Theo who made sure she photographed both him and his window displays from their best sides, and a surly store manager (name withheld to protect the innocent) who placed her on Gap probation.
Having been tossed out on her ass before for her renegade fashion photography tactics (note to the Prada security guard — Jenny hasn't forgiven or forgotten), she revised her scheme, pulled her favorite items, and took to the dressing room to hide and play dress-up.
Jenny's more detailed timeline, after the jump.
8:53 am - All quiet on the western (store) front. Only 7 minutes until the big shebang, and the employees of The Gap on 42nd Street are still furiously assembling their window displays. Perhaps part of the delay comes from the fact that the window-dressing boy would rather pose for pictures for me then finish hanging the display.
8:55 am - "No, no! Photograph the straight one! The straight one!" Theo, this store's merchandising director (and the coordinator of the last minute window hustle), rushes towards me. He wants the world to know his windows are straight. (Insert obligatory joke here). As he is the nicest employee I come in contact with all morning, the least I can do is indulge him.
9:02 am - "So, are you here for Doo.Ri? Rodarte?" I say to the perturbed-looking women hovering outside the store's entrance. They turn to me in shock, looking like I've asked them how often they practice anal sex. I soon learn that they are tourists from South Africa who have already gone through all their clean clothing. They are anxious to buy new clothes so they can start their day. They have no idea what the CFDA is, nor do they care to learn. They are angry because the store should have opened two minutes ago. They do not want to talk to me anymore.
9:05 am - At last! The doors open! The manager tries to make some sort of speech, welcoming us. It's awkward, because at this point it's just me and the South African tourists. I try to muster some enthusiasm from our meager crowd, and encourage an unnecessary mad-cap dash up the stairs to the second floor, women's wear. And there at the top of the stairs, it greets us: Doo.Ri. Thakoon. Rodarte. All here at The Gap.
9:08 am - There is a moment of panic when no more medium-sized Doo.Ri dresses seem to be around. The floor staff informs us that there are plenty more in the back. During the crisis, however, I befriend Suzanne Donaldson, the Photo Director at Glamour magazine. She tells me she had no idea these items even existed until reading the item in the Times this morning and has been sent to purchase on behalf of several of her co-workers. She thinks the Rodarte pieces are best, and says she fears not about keeping her whites whiter and her brights brighter as she's a self-proclaimed "bleachaholic." The sight of this much white is heaven to her. Suzanne, I'm sure your co-workers thank you for doing the dirty work for them.
9:15 am - Though some employees seem somewhat distracted, this is not the case for the store's manager Phillip. Phillip says he understands "how thrilling all these white shirts are," but informs me that taking photos inside The Gap is a big no-go. My choices? Camera away, or leave the store...
9:16 am - ...or just snatch up my favorite items, hide in the dressing room, and snap away! Here's the before shot: Me in one of my favorite Gap pieces from two seasons back, the giant Boyfriend v-neck sweater. See, Gap, I love you — why don't you love me back?
Now the fashion show begins:
Look One: The Rodarte bow top isn't just cropped, it's cruel. It would be too short for even a slutty four-year old. Fashion-Victim Me is tempted, though, to buy it to prove my street cred. Cheap Me refuses to shell out $78 to be in on the joke. Frugality trumps style, but just this time.
Look Two: Fresh and sleek and smart is Rodarte's high-neck trapeze-shape tunic. Architectural yet wearable: I think I'm in love.
Look Three: I love everything about Thakoon's shirt-waist dress...except for its massive leg-of-mutton sleeves. The seaming in the back, which creates an insta-bustle the moment you tie the sash, is sheer genius. I try to see past the disastrous sleeves, which look like they're eating me alive, but then I realize I can't. That's how big they are.
Look Four: My life-long wish to wake up one day and find myself to have morphed into Charlotte Gainsbourg is actualized the moment I put on Doo.Ri's neck-tie blouse. Magical thinking? Maybe. Magical clothing? Yeah.
Look Five: Doo.Ri's phenomenally full-skirted shirt dress makes me want to go back to the future, become June Cleaver, bake a pie, and seduce the mailman. Duplicitous, it feigns modesty while oozing sex.
Look Six: In a stroke of (self-proclaimed) styling genius, I undo the tie on the Doo.Ri dress, and find myself sheathed in a gorgeous trapeze sheath. If I were Nina Garcia on Project Runway, this look would be endowed with the highest of compliments: It's very modern and very expensive looking.
9:49 am - As I exit the dressing room, I behold a stiletto-clad woman clutching a quilted Chanel bag in one hand and a giant camouflage GQ tote in the other. "Where did that girl go? Where are my dresses? Why aren't you people moving any faster?" The Nasties have arrived, clearly, so I take my cue and proceed to check-out.