Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)

It's not just a Seinfeld joke: The J. Peterman catalog exists, and it's still in the business of attempting to shill clothes by evoking mystery and telling romantic tales.

In addition, the tagline, "Traveling the world to find uncommonly good stuff," sounds like what Anthropologie is trying to do.

But what's fun is trying to guess what's being offered just by the elaborate accompanying story. A few pitches — and what's actually for sale, below.

The pitch:
"Enter the new woman: rebellious, out there, living life on her own terns… Feels like a whisper in silky crinkly georgette. Which could be the only thing about it that whispers.."



What it is:
A $698 flapper-esque dress.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)

The pitch:
"A symbol of your Independence… There's a movement in this country. You know who they are. The Pleasure Deniers. They take classes in self-improvement. Can break down the properties in tofu. Don't want you having any fun either."

What it is:
A velvet blazer.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"The ruffles have their own choreography."


What it is:
A silk collar.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"Alexandra the Great annexes the top floor of the Cristallo Palace Hotel, prompting Hans-Rudi to cancel a week's worth of ski lessons.
Counts Fico and Obomovski feign playing backgammon in the lobby. The grocer at the cooperativo has no blood oranges for his regulars; you-know-who insists they make the best mimosas…"

What it is:
A turtleneck dress.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"Leave your fingers free to pluck your cherry from your Amoretto[sic] Cherry Sour. Text. Answer email."

What it is:
A pair of fingerless gloves.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)

The pitch:
"She was part black. She was part Irish. They called her Bricktop, because of her flaming red hair… The in crowd came to hear her sing, and they came to be seen."

What it is:
A lace dress.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"There was a time when gorgeous, lanky Josephine baker, a shocking black American living in Paris would walk nude (except for a few bananas) across the stage and shock and audience that came just for the purpose of being shocked. She was seen later walking the boulevards with a cheetah on a leash… There was jazz in the clubs, in the streets, in the air…"

What it is:
Marcasite jewelry.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"You have just entered the room in the nick (or St. Nick) of time. With a fire of your own… You've brought the famous gypsy guitar version of Jingle Bell Rock with you. Why is everyone suddenly dancing?"

What it is:
A red blouse.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"Yves Montand eyeing Jeanne Moreau across a crowded room. Middleweight champion Marcel Cerdan noticing a not so reticent Edith Piaf for the first time."

What it is:
A choker.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"The Jazz Age in Paris. Black expatriate musicians where playing the kind of music nobody ever heard. Sorry you missed it, but if you come with me to the streets of Monmartre, I can give you a taste."

What it is:
A velvet jacket with a Peter Pan collar.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"She discovered Paris at the height of La Belle Epoque… She was wearing this just as Van Gogh was leaving. He decided to stay."

What it is:
A V-neck blouse.

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)



The pitch:
"True, the French, and it's in history books, colonized South East Asia and it became known as French Indochina in 1887/ And left behind, until they were kicked out, croissants, French architecture, Latin replacing Chinese and religious converts. However, in looking at this remarkable [redacted], it is almost impossible to determine who exactly conquered whom?"

What it is:
A mandarin collar dress. (In "sunset orange with black, grey, white and pink… the colors of a Cambodian sunset.")

Translating The J. Peterman Catalog (Again)

What we learned today:
Retro Paris is better; black people are cool.

Earlier: Translating The J. Peterman Catalog

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