Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Counter Culture (Cataloguing The Catalogue)

Have you ever noticed that your usual store catalogues have evolved? I was in the LEVI's store in town yesterday when I noticed that a bunch of catalogues lying on the counter. CLONE ( a publication from Seville), as the name turned out to be is more than your usual shopping catalogue, it's actually like a "MySpace", print version joining together different stores, write ups on upcoming events, cool photography and many more. The publication is not the first in this concept though. Last year, I picked up a catalogue of Pull and Bear and I was surprised not only about the way the photography was brilliantly done but also of the relevant articles they had including one about fashion bloggers. When I was little I remember spending hours and hours browsing on my moms catalogues not only of clothes but just about everything: from AVON to Tupperware and jewelry. It was amazing to see those colorful plastic tumblers in every shapes and sizes. And AVON! Gosh, how could I ever forget the scent of Forest Interlude that made me dizzy just by looking at its pictures. Yup, my mom was a fierce businesswoman wannabe in her heydays and she tried everything when I was growing up. The Tupperware house parties were the best though, as all the moms in the neighborhood would come to our house for a demo and I usually crack up when my mom would hit the damn plastic things on the floor just to prove that they were tough and unbreakable. Those were the happy days.

Anyway, going back to the modern catalogues. These days, they are not solely pictures, product descriptions and prices. Catalogues become more substantial showcasing the story behind the photographs and the actual collection of the season. Pull and Bear's Spring Summer 08 catalogue for example ran an article about "Generation Me" and the ultimate dream of a 15 minute of fame showcasing Spain's "It" boy, Pelayo who coincidentally, is a fellow blogger. One thing I love about these publications is that they were morphed into something like a usual magazine--you get high quality photographs that can rival any fashion magazine's editorial pages, they are splashed with bits and pieces of insider news, models' interviews and sometimes gossip. They are slowly developing into a magazine from your normal, boring store catalogues.

ZARA's catalogue on the other hand is developing into a nice coffeetable book with its large size and wonderful creative photos. I have not seen their new one yet (Spring collection promises a garden full of exotic flowers as I gathered from their website) but I'm sure it's gonna be sensational once again.

I love how catalogues evolved from boring photos/stock/pricelist to a wonderfully crafted store ´zines. In fact I dream to write for one (hey, ZARA team, my CV is always ready for you guys. lol)

Don't worry mom, I still can't buy you the stuff that you could see in those catalogues but hey, they always remind me of my childhood Tupperware moments with you which were not plastic at all. On the Contrary, they were priceless. Miss yah.



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