Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Primark - Hell on Marble Arch

I'm working close to the new Primark superstore at Marble Arch... so I ventured in at lunchtime. I could feel my Vivienne Westwood shirt recoiling around me in disgust at the stench of acrylic, polyamide and a multitude of other man-made fibres... all mingling with the body odour entrenched in the garments by the underage Bangaldeshi sweatshop workers who created them (hourly rate varies from 3-5p depending on whether you read the Daily Mail or the Daily Telegraph. It's quite a difference as 5p is almost double 3p. Genuinely shocking).

Putting on my chav-retardant blinkers, I took a deep breath (and coughed out strands of polyester-mix) and tried to wade through the jumble sale-effect shop: was this part of their design ethic? Primark extends over three floors but I didn't manage to get beyond the ground floor. I flicked through the t-shirts (average price £4), but couldn't find anything smaller than a size 16-18. Further investigations throughout the rest of the floor proved I'd be lucky to find anything at all in a size smaller than a 16-18. Which leads to my next question... why can't you be a size 16 or a size 18? Why do you have to be in the middle? I couldn't find one garment in a definite size. Fortunately I didn't want to try anything on, as the queue for the changing rooms snaked around most of the underwear department (huge, since you asked - and I wouldn't advise striking any matches around there: the place'd go up in a ball of flames, look what happened to New Look last week). Consequently, I didn't want to buy anything - just as well, since the queue for the till snaked around the entire 't-shirt' department (huge, since you asked - also vile). Honestly - can someone tell me what the fuss is? Cheap doesn't equal tasteful.

(Disclaimer: VE is aware she sounds like a snob. That's because she is a snob. Man-made fibres have been a big no-no in her world for a long time. Do you really need to be a walking fire hazard in synthetic fabrics? And they're so unflattering... the way they cling to the wrong places and hang badly. Urgh!)

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