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Words Have Meanings | Manolo for the Big Girl

Words Have Meanings

Wow, so the response to yesterday’s post was…unusual.

Most of you came down on the side of “Decent concept, terribly flawed and shiny execution.” which is about where I landed myself.

Of course there were some brand new commenters, all coincidentally originating from the same IP address, who were as staunch in their support of the clothes as they were in their unwillingness to adhere to the basic rules of grammar (on a COMPLETELY UNRELATED NOTE, if a website says something less-than-glowing about your product, it’s almost never a good idea to post fake comments in your own support. Site administrators can see that stuff from a mile away and it’s totally embarrassing for everyone involved).

Still, as much as I love to mock, there’s something to be said for process. Very few designers launch a pristine, immaculately produced and edited collection their first time out of the gate, so my only beef is when designers pretend to be something they’re not.

This goes back to one of my very favorite warhorses: “Words Have Meanings”.

I understand language is fluid. It looks like impact has become a verb and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it, other than loudly and not for the first time wish fiery death upon marketing people at all times and everywhere.

But when you say your materials are The Best Available or Ultra Luxe, then your product should not be polyester or rayon. To me, ultra luxe and its equivalents mean exceptionally high quality in materials already known for their intrinsic quality. So not just cashmere, but GOOD cashmere. Long staple cotton, napa or kid–never bonded– leather.

Am I being unreasonable? I don’t think so. There’s nothing wrong intrinsically with a polyester skirt. It’s not inherently cheap or poorly made, but it’s not a luxury material and shouldn’t be touted as such.

Now about what is and is not a martini…

16 Responses to “Words Have Meanings”

  1. Lise in NJ January 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Gin and vermouth; vodka and vermouth for the very broadminded. No preference or requirement as to olives or onions. But that’s about it.

    Cute little pink and purple things with gin in are cocktails. Martini is not a generic equivalent for every godforsaken mixed drink.

    I feel much better now.

  2. Thea January 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Amen, and adding ‘tini’ to the end of the name of some godawful frothy cocktail should be forbidden…..ditto calling something ‘cotton cashmere’ when it is in fact JUST COTTON.

    Cashmere and scotch were not intended by the diety to be ‘blended’

  3. Miss B January 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Yes, a Martini is gin and vermouth. (Or, if you are my mother, vodka with the vermouth bottle placed next to the glass for a moment.)

    I too wish that every damnable bar would stop mixing a clear spirit (or two or three) with a fruit juice and calling it a martini. Argh.

    I also wish that people who put themselves out there in public with a product would accept that once they do that EVERYTHING will be critiqued – the styling of the photos, the quality of the fabrics etc etc. Don’t get all defensive when someone doesn’t like your product and question the reviewer. It only makes you look childish and painfully insecure.

    And please, if you are going to say “luxury” you better know what luxury actually IS. Bridal satin, it ain’t.

  4. coffeeaddict January 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Luxury and polyester are two words that do not belong in the same sentence. Preferably two words that shouldn’t be found in the same paragraph.
    As for the same IP address: OMG!!! This kind of stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
    I don’t care for martini, I like gin and tonic… And that’s a cocktail :-)

  5. ArtfulArtsyAmy January 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    I was wondering if those posters had the same IP! When I saw the comments, something about the phrasing seemed super fishy. At the same time, I don’t like saying negative things about a model, which some of the posters did. Part of the point of the plus-size blogosphere is helping plus size people to be confident and body-positive. So, if we hate on one another, that isn’t positive, constructive, or helpful. Ultimately, the company chose that model, that pose, that shot, that outfit. So, if we don’t like a pose etc., we have to find fault with the company, not the model.

  6. Marsha January 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    I’m not qualified to comment on martinis, as I seldom have one in my hand long enough to conduct a thorough study. Somehow, oopsie, they vanish so fast that I can scarcely tell I’ve had one at all.

    Ahem.

    As to sockpuppetry, I don’t understand why it’s so hard in these cases for a designer to come onto a site and say something like, “Hi! Thanks for featuring our work today, we appreciate your interest. Our fledgling company values the feedback and hope that you all visit us often to see how we develop and grow. If you do visit, feel free to fill out the comment form and let us know your thoughts in detail.”

    Done and done. Not everyone is going to like everything, but this way no one’s embarrassed and the seeds of happiness are sown. Plus, not that hard.

  7. Liz January 6, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    I agree with the genertal point but, for me, it’s not so much that “Words Have Meanings”. I expect a certain level of B.S in advertising – the rules of normal discourse still apply, but they’re exclusively trying to get noticed and entire people.

    It’s more that “Prices Set Expectations”. If you’re going to charge $200+ (and sometimes $800+) for items of clothing, then people *are* entitled to certain standards and *will* expect more. As far as I’m concerned, I’d be disappointed to find those clothes in supermarkets.

  8. Liz January 6, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    @ArtfulArtsyAmy:

    You’re right about not bashing the model. In the collection, it seemed like the model had to deal with bad clothes, poor lighting, the clothes being photoshopped on and having to try to keep the shoulders in place when they were clearly too big.

    She was a trooper – a very pretty trooper – and the lesson there is that those clothes make even a model look worse than she has to.

  9. SarahDances January 6, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    And repeating what I said, as most of the reviews seem to be from people who haven’t actually tried the clothing on (“I can’t wait to order!” “Looking forward to receiving my new dress!” etc.), I have to wonder how many of those are genuine.

    No shame in offering the product they are, but marketing it as “highest quality” and planting phony comments on a blog is just such poor form. Sad, really.

  10. Jen Anderson January 6, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    I think polyester shouldn’t come anywhere near a plus sized woman–it doesn’t breathe and who wants to be the sweaty fat girl?

    What do you think of Eddy and Bri? I haven’t bought any of their stuff because of taste issues (theirs) and the fact that each garment is available in only one size (I don’t support stupid business models).

    Plus, last week they posted on FB a link to a diet article (from the diet section of a web site) and kept insisting that it was about healthy eating (even though the website had a healthy eating section and this article wasn’t in it). Words have meanings. They insisted to me that their target customers are proud of their bodies (and yet apparently want to read diet articles).

    But really, that one size per garment thing astounds me.

  11. Jezebella January 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Ayiyi! I went to visit Eddy and Bri’s website and it was a whole lot of hoochie. Dang. I am also mystified by the one-size-per-garment thing. A few things came in 1x, 2x, or 3x, but the cutest things only came in size 14 or 16. I just don’t care for short, tight, and shiny. Yuck.

  12. maryann January 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Well, a martini is gin and vermouth. Vodka if one must – a chacun son gout, I guess. A martini is NOT chocotini, appletini, coffee martini, or everything-but-the-kitchen-sinktini.
    Anyhow, as for the clothes, meh. I liked a few pieces, but conditionally. Maybe different fabric or slightly different cut. Too shiny, as many have said. And if it’s being marketed as luxe, it better be luxe. Polyester is not a luxury fabric. It has its place. After all not everyone can afford luxury fabrics. And polyesters do come in varying levels of quality. However, for $850, I expect a little more than polyester spandex. That said, I hope Queen Grace can sort things out. There’s some potential there.

  13. Margo A January 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Whoah. I’d never heard of Eddy and Bri before, so I checked it out. What are they thinking with that one size per style? Does no one there know how to grade a pattern, or hire a grader? And the “resale clothing” section? Weird.

  14. harri p. January 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Trouper, not trooper. Words Have Meanings.

  15. Astra January 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I like gin and tonic… And that’s a cocktail…

    Well, more of a highball, really. :)

  16. Gerard Lager January 13, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Totally awesome.