Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Periwinkle Rebellion

Let me tell you a little story about White House Black Market, the store that sells clothing only in shades of black and white:

Once upon a time, when the first WHBM store was coming to Oregon, I applied for a job there. Soon after I emailed my resume, I got a call from a very serious woman who said, and I quote, "I'd like to offer you a job at White House Black Market," and only after I'd called all my friends and promised them substantial discounts and celebrated my new position with my family did she call back and clarify that "I'd like to offer you a job" actually means "I'd like to offer you a job interview, along with everyone else who applied, and you actually have no chance of getting this job."

Although a bit let down, I went to the interview (which of course triggered massive outfit anxiety--would wearing color to an interview with such an antichromatic organization be like wearing a Viva La France! t-shirt to a GOP fundraiser?). I settled on a black sweater and black pumps and some black and white plaid trousers with a tiny pink stripe running through them to really knock 'em dead with my originality. Throughout the entire interview, the store manager never smiled, never laughed, never gave any indication, actually, that she wasn't a robot. I don't do well with robots.

Toward the end I asked her, half-ironically, if employees are required to wear only black and white, and she responded, completely seriously, "Well, obviously it should be mostly black and white, though we aren't averse to a cream here and there. And recently we've been broadening our color palette quite a bit--there is a shirt we're getting in soon that is actually a very light periwinkle blue." Hearing her stifled excitement in describing a periwinkle blue shirt proved two things: this woman was actually not a robot (maybe half) and White House Black Market was not a place I wanted to work. But god they have cute things.

Curse the antichromatists (when I make up a word that cool, can you really blame me for using it twice in one post?).


Karinaxoxo said...

haha that reminds me how i went to a black and white party on the weekend...and someone asked the host a few days before we she could wear coloured accessories - to which the host replied that guest should be wearing either black or white accessories - or just plain silver/white gold!!!

Sam said...

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said -- except I love robots. But WHBM is freaking adorable. I wish we had a store here.

Alice said...

Antichromatists! I love it. I expect to see it as a new entry in the OED within five years, missy ;-)

As an alternative, how about "monochromanics"? Or would that perchance include forbidden shades of grey?

Nicky said...

Oh, I love that store so much. I get so many accessories there too. I have never seen periwinkle blue yet though...strange! I'm gonna to ask about that next time I'm there:)

Isabel said...

Thta place sounds kinda creepy.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin