October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

Yet another J. Crew catalog has materialized in the mailbox, bringing cozy visions of for fall. That is: If you're thin. And small-breasted. And don't mind looking a wee bit wacky at times.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

Here's the thing about mohair, which is a fancy name for goat yarn: It looks pretty; it feels warm. And, quite often, it sheds all over the damn place. So if you want to look like you own a small Misty Lavender cat, then, by all means: Get this adorable sweater.

My growing Concern about the General Direction Of Pants: Heightened by these, which, the fine print informs me, are not actually baggy trousers: "Model is wearing two sizes up for a looser fit," reads the text. Since J. Crew does not carry two sizes up from my size, how am I supposed to get this look?!?!

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

The styling here is adorable, even though it's a little over the top. A bow tie with a plaid shirt AND a cascade of glitzy necklaces? In the immortal words of Amy Poehler, Really?

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

I think this wool coat with ribbon-y detailing is charming, but I really like the "stretch toothpick jean in midnight wash," for a crisp, work-appropriate pair of jeans.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

A recent graduate of the School Of Trying Too Hard. It's fun to see whimsical, unexpected pairings, but that dress? Layered that way? With those socks? It's not right. Not right, I tell you! The model doesn't look terrible, but anyone else is going to look like a batty kindergarten art teacher who's been inhaling too much paint.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

Ugh. Jenna's picks. It's taken me a long time to realize this, but: I hate Jenna's taste. She tends to "pick" the things I like the least. That paisley shirt on the upper right? Number 13, the doo-doo brown bag? Soft pink Essie nail polish in a shade called "eternal optimist"? Barf. I like necklace number 12, though.

(Click "full size" to enlarge)

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

That black t-shirt with the corsage detailing is pretty much my favorite thing in this catalog, and yeah, I'm one of those people who owns a zillion black t-shirts, but this one is different! I also wish I could dress like this: Half girly, half tomboy, totally comfortable. It never looks this easy on me.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

Crap. I love it all. I love the $550 wool tweed coat; I love the stretch twill pants — ankle length is the new black!; I love the carbon gray cable-knit cardigan, and I adore T-strap heels. WANT. IT. ALL.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

J. Crew always has pictures like this, pictures which say, "Our clothes are designed for, and look best on, women without giant, humongous racks like yours. Keep it moving, double dee."

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

The new ankle-length pants look amazing with ballet flats, but I have short, wide feet and can't ever seem to make ballet flats work, even though I wore them all the time when I was 16. I think the front of my foot is wider than the back, so my heel is always slipping out of flats like these. Any advice?!?!? Because I really really really really really want the silver ones.

(Click "full size" to enlarge)

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

The Orion Gown. Breathtaking. $2800 and, since it's hand-embellished silk, you can sort of understand why. But are you really going to buy something for $2800 out of a catalog?

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

The men's section features artists! Ryan McGinness is awesome; I saw his Worlds Within Worlds show a few years ago was amazing and my graphic design friends love his book Flatness Is God.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

Hi, I don't know who you are, but you're cute.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

Ditto.

October At J. Crew: Pretty, Preppy, Preposterous

As I was scanning this catalog, I received an email from a reader which read:

I was more than a little surprised to see that they'd included Vito Acconci, best known for his 1971 performance piece, "Seedbed":

"In Seedbed Acconci lay hidden underneath a gallery-wide ramp installed at the Sonnabend Gallery, masturbating while vocalizing into a loudspeaker his fantasies about the visitors walking above him on the ramp. One motivation behind Seedbed was to involve the public in the work's production by creating a situation of reciprocal interchange between artist and viewer.

In 2008, in an interview with Brian Sherwin for Myartspace, Vito discussed Seedbed at length. Vito discussed the title Seedbed and the connection it had to the performance, stating, "I knew what my goal had to be: I had to produce seed, the space I was in should become a bed of seed, a field of seed – in order to produce seed, I had to masturbate – in order to masturbate, I had to excite myself."

Um, wow. I know J.Crew is departing from their traditionally preppy image, but this seems to be a strange inclusion for the catalog!

Hmm. Masterbation art? Maybe that's what the "secret wash" is for?