petite anglaise

March 1, 2005

get shorty

Filed under: city of light — bipolarinparis @ 11:16 am

I am being followed around Paris by tanned, greased and shaved men with gravity defying buttocks.

Everywhere I turn, there they are: in the metro, in the street outside my house, in bus shelters, where old dears queue up with their shopping trolleys, sneaking a sideways glance when their friends aren’t looking. Given the arctic temperatures we are currently experiencing in the city of lights, such a lack of apparel seems a little inappropriate.

I am, of course, referring to the latest Hom advertising campaign.

In my quest for photographic evidence this morning it was necessary to take a tour of the Hom website (requires flash). It’s not the sort of thing you want to be caught peeking at just after 9 am on your work monitor. Open plan offices are not always A Good Thing. Thankfully my colleagues are firmly ensconced in a meeting room with a large thermos of coffee and I am free to surf to my heart’s content. I thoroughly recommend taking a tour of the 3001 collection if you are in need of a pick-me-up.

Two things in particular disturb me about this advertising campaign. First, this picture.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m unconvinced that transparent, skin-tight lace is something I want to see stretched across a man’s buttocks. Even on this particular pair, belonging to a fine specimen by most people’s standards.

The second thing that is making me feel rather queasy is the window display in this menswear boutique located not far from where I drop off Tadpole in the mornings. The street is pleasant, leafy and lined with village-style shops (bakers, florists, pharmacies and mini-markets), catering to the mainly elderly local populace. Florentin prêt-à -porter sells brands with names like ‘Gentleman Farmer’, evocative of tweed and sensible gumboots. They also provide a tailoring service. Rather disconcertingly however, this picture occupies centre stage in their vitrine at the moment.

I am now haunted by the nagging suspicion that most of the doddery old men dragging themselves with some difficulty up the avenue de Laumière, walking sticks in hand , or hanging out on parkbenches with their cronies, or playing pétanque on the rue Botzaris are actually wearing skin tight semi-transparent tiger pants underneath. Or electric blue shiny ‘shorties’ with wonderbra-style built in padding and uplift. Or, perish the thought, g-strings.

So today I am mostly feeling relieved that I do not possess x-ray vision.

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