Time for something I haven’t done on here in a while: Clear out a bookmark that’s long been sitting idle in my browser. It’s about a business here in Madison that I’ve highlighted a couple of times on here before: Mallatt’s, which has long been known for its prescription services, home health care and convenience items, and more famously a wide selection of costumes and theatrical makeup. In the autumn of 2016, Mallatt’s made the decision to discontinue its prescription services, due to changing times and increased corporate competition. Then a year ago, they closed their remaining brick-and-mortar locations. Since then, Mallatt’s has concentrated on their online sales and services, both in home care services and costume sales.
Some relatively quick fashion tidbits to share with you, starting with this tweet I shared with the world last weekend:
In what may be the strangest (to me, at least) holiday dress I’ve ever seen, this display at Windsor in the West Towne Mall featured a strapless gown decked out entirely in pine tree needles. Clearly, this is meant to be a seasonal window display, one meant to encourage shoppers to check out their store. But if one were to actually wear this to a holiday party… well, for sure, it would be quite the statement-making eye-catcher, one that would be sure to strike up a few conversations about the wear being “fashion forward.” However, there would be issues with sitting down (“OuchOuchOuch!”), not to mention shedding needles (“Would someone please bring over the broom and dustpan? Or better yet, the vacuum cleaner.”).
Hard to believe that it’s been a month and a day since I stepped out for the very first time as Allison in the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally. To be honest, it feels like it was only yesterday that I dressed up and marched with my fellow members of the trans community, our supporters, and folks from the broad LGBT+ community in the Madison area.
While I try to keep the euphoria of that Sunday afternoon lingering in the top of my memory for a while, if not longer, I wanted to bring up a few leftover items from the day. First off, the security. In the days leading up to the parade and rally, the organizers felt concerned about something sinister happening that afternoon, a concern escalated since it fell just days after the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia. With that, they had announced on Facebook that they were working with the Madison Police Department to step up security for the event, just in case… you know…
I am currently in the middle of a week-long break from work. It’s not that I need the vacation. Well, okay, I do. Let me actually rephrase that: I actually need to take a vacation. Let’s just say Male Mode Me is a workaholic and isn’t one to travel too far for a vacation, let alone take one.
But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the good things that a week away from work can bring. I can just relax, do some volunteering, and… yep, go shopping! Especially at this time of the year, when every store is wrapped up, figuratively speaking, in the hustle-bustle of the holiday season. So it was last Saturday, when I decided to just browse around the mall down from where I live and came across several displays of cool clothing at Boston Store. Like, say, this one in particular:
I’ve been tied up on so many things this week that I haven’t even logged into WordPress until this evening. But while I’m here, I want to clear a couple more bookmarks from my browser, both of which are related to fashion (one directly, the other in a humorous vein). I’ll start by sharing this recent interview (from about a week and a half ago, actually) NPR’s All Things Considered did with Christian Siriano (that’s him pictured at your right). Siriano studied fashion in London and interned with a couple of fashion houses before competing in — and winning — the 4th season of Fashion Runway in 2008. Since then, Siriano launched his own fashion line; designed red-carpet gowns for several prominent celebrities (from First Lady Michelle Obama to nine stars at the 2016 Emmy Awards); and has a clothing line for Lane Bryant and a shoe line for Payless ShoeSource.
Okay, just a quick tidbit I wanted to include in yesterday’s post about one clothing store in Madison opening and another closing, but thought it best to save for this separate post. When I was at West Towne Mall on Saturday, I ventured into Sears and noticed this:
I’ll get to the “Sears” part of that tweet in a moment, but I want to discuss the Lands’ End part first. For the uninitiated, Lands’ End specializes in (very comfortable) clothing, outerwear, luggage, and even some home furnishings. Lands’ End is a Wisconsin-based retailer; in fact, its headquarters are just down the road from Madison (it’s a roughly 25-minute drive from here westward to Dodgeville).
Just a couple of real quick fashion-related tidbits I encountered today. Well, I should clarify this: This won’t be specifically about some hot dress or blouse spotted on some rack somewhere, so please accept my apologies if the title of this post misled you in some way. With that out of the way, let me start by noting that a new clothing store had its grand opening of its newest Madison location today. It’s the first Madison area location for this particular retailer (it’s these folks, for the record), and it’s part of their big expansion into previously untapped states such as Wisconsin, where they went from zero Badger State stores at the beginning of 2015 to 13 stores as of today. (Can you say “rapid growth”?) But the huge promotional push they put on prior to the opening (mailers, signage, etc.) made it feel like the equivalent of The Beatles arriving in America.
Let’s start off this post with a little bit of dark humor. Watch this 1971 commercial for Merrill Lynch:
Yes, this post is all about the world of investment banking, stock market advice, and retirement planning. No, I’m kidding! I’ve included that commercial for the imagery it features: That of a stampede of bulls running roughshod over the landscape. That stampede is not unlike this stampede:
That is an image that can typically be found on this day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday, which, at least here in the United States, is the traditional first day of the holiday shopping season. It’s a day when big retailers open their doors very, very early (some even doing so on Thanksgiving Day itself) and mark down prices in order to drive traffic into their stores, create a positive image for themselves in the media (low markdowns + dramatic images = monster ratings!), and foster excitement for the holiday shopping season that runs between now and Christmas Eve.