Summer 2015 will be remembered as the summer of outrage. On whichever line of Donald Trump’s combover you stand, each day brings some gaffe, injustice or felonious act about which to gripe bitterly to the enjoyment of your friends and followers on social media.
And so within this spirit of antogonism and hyperbole that I declare that Old Navy has declared a war on prep. Not to mention formality and the plight of the individual among the masses, the parrot among the crows. In a new ad campaign plugging its back-to-school items, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the social-climbing mother of a little boy she’s dressed for school in buttondown collar, rep-striped bow ties, charcoal suit, and penny loafers. “I look like our lawyer,” the boy gripes.
Sure enough, when dropped off for the first day at his new school in an affluent suburb, the kid notices he doesn’t exactly fit in, and the young argyle-clad soldier waves the white t-shirt of surrender. “I just want to look cool and wear jeans,” he tells his mom, who gives in and rushes off to her local strip mall to cloak her son in the raiments of mediocrity.
And so what could have been a pint-sized savior of trad for the next generation succombs to the herd instinct of his peers. He will presumably show up in the next commercial decked out in lowest-common-denominator attire: cheap, mass-produced, fashion-sportswear disposable dreck hawked by a multinational corporation.
And we’ll probably see him during the Christmas campaign, too. After all, his new clothes will be worn-out by then. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD