Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Mary Portas speaks her mind

Since being under house arrest I have spent way too much time fighting my way through the interminable blather on daytime television seeking something enthralling (when replays of "Funny Face" just won't do). Daytime, nighttime, anytime you can always find someone to sell you something. While I've been able to flip past Jewelry TV and its ilk as well as all those Toys for Boys, I do get sucked into pausing at QVC and/or HSN (interchangeable to me). Issac Mizrahi! Rachel Zoe! Joan Rivers! Twiggy! Even the promise of Iris Apfel (she ended up in hospital and not showing)!  The lovely Chloe Dao, winner of Project Runway season 2 and a local Houston heroine, shills a collection of perfectly dreadful clothes that appear to be snapped up as soon as they air. For all the reasons it makes sense not to buy something unless you have touched, tried on and even smelled it, catalog, internet and televised shopping soldier on, and we fall prey to all of it. But I personally have never ever succumbed to the tv pitchman.

As I prepared to write my say about QVC et al, I discovered this column by Mary Portas which appeared in the London Telegraph. Mary is to retail in Britain what Gordon Ramsay is to restaurants here, there and everywhere She tells it like it is, and at one time had a series called Mary Queen of Shops which aired briefly here on BBC America. As well as Seinfeld reruns and Law and Order UK, Britain also has QVC. Mary's piece is pithy, and I could never have said it better.

(You may need to cut and paste)

Thanks to Diane Oatis who reminded me something about Mary.

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