The Internet is already a-twitter with rhapsodic ravings on the matter, and there are, no doubt, more still to come. So in the interest of democracy, I will speak in the voice of dissent: Pop Up Flea just wasn't "all that" ( as the kids were saying when I was still a kid). I didn't snap a single photo, because, frankly, we've seen everything they had on offer over and over ad nauseam for at least a year now. You know the scene by now: overpriced boutique-issue "heritage Americana"...read, replications of poor peoples clothes at rich peoples prices.
I get it, but I don't. Sure, there's beauty to be found in a well made piece of hard wearing, rugged clothing, but something about "designers" trying to sell me a wool flannel shirt for hundreds of dollars in a "trim cut" just rubs me the wrong way. How can you call this "design"? These things have existed for a century. Perfect replication at a high ticket is not design...its a marketing and p.r. game....which should come as no surprise, since the vast majority of the "too cool for school" hipster NYC blog clique has clearly been acting as a p.r. firm for the brands that produce this stuff since at least mid-Summer.
Every table at the thing had the same "look", which generally consisted of:
-gourmet work boots
-gourmet wool flannel
-gourmet raw denim jeans
-gourmet "tool bags" (?) (My friend Pasquale, a stylish gent and carpenter by trade, was particularly infuriated by a display of a natural canvas bag with leather fittings full of hammers, a tape measure, nails, etc...as though any of these high rise office kids would actually carry tools in the thing, let alone build anything with them.)
-gourmet frontier leather goods.....if I want gourmet leather, it's Gucci all the way, or something.
-gourmet old fashioned pencils (seriously ?)
Everything came in gingham check...Gitman Brothers was selling gourmet oxfords for $185, but they came sized S,M, L. For that kind of scratch, can I please have a neck size and sleeve length (!)
We were there for about a half an hour, before we had figured out what was up and left in mild disgust. Not for nothing, but where I come from, this ain't what we calla "Flea Market". Maybe I don't "get it". Cripes, J. Crew had a table...
My other old buddy, who lives in Brooklyn, made an especially good point. To para-phrase: "this is just the new Fall line of a bunch of places within a three block radius of here...at full retail. Whats the point?"
But, I had a great time visiting some very old and dear friends. I ate well, bought some killing jams at Bleecker Street Records,(look for an installment of "the jams"coming soon), and drank a bunch. Don't take me for all sour grapes, because I really had a great time. The only bump in the road was the 1/2 hour we wasted at Pop Up Flea.
The Great and Powerful Voice of Dissent Has Spoken.