Hey, Yoox: Bloody High-Fashion Ghosts


Whenever we watch the Tony awards, we marvel that they’re still on network television. This makes us happy, though we invariably get the feeling that Tony’s days on CBS are numbered, and that its banishment to cable is imminent. We always picture some lonely teenager watching the show in some place like Kansas or Oklahoma (though it could be the dark recesses of Long Island as well), so disliked by his or her peers, so misunderstood by his or her own family, that he or she spends most of the time holed up in a basement bunker pursuing shameful, secret desires—learning the lyrics to Broadway musicals, reading Proust, watching old John Waters movies, or dreaming of donning something truly insane, something that could never be found at the local mall, and wearing it to school the next day.

Once it was impossible to find truly sick stuff if you were in Topeka or Massapequa. You were stuck with whatever the local stores stocked, and that was that. Now, of course, the internet has changed everything. Deeply strange items from the revoltingly prim to the frankly obscene can be had with the click of a mouse. Which brings us—admittedly the long way around—to our main point, which is that freaks and weirdos should go immediately to and click on the bloody scissors icon.

The European Yoox is one of our favorite fashion sites. Basically it’s like a Century 21 of the Internet—it features high-end designer clothes from seasons past at reduced if hardly bargain prices. It’s a gorgeous-looking site, with special features that allow you to zoom in on the clothes and make them twirl around. (We only found this out when we logged on to Yoox at work, our home computer not being equal to the task.)

Anyway, back to the bloody scissors. One click will bring you to a collection of items designed especially for Yoox by the wacky German designer Bernhard Willhelm, who is known for surreal tongue-in cheek creations. (In the past, he has sported a locomotive dangling from his sleeve and suggested dresses decorated with dinosaur tails and monkey collars.) In this special collaboration with Yoox, the clothes, which include poufy miniskirts for men, are based on zombies and splatter movies because, according to Willhelm, “on the internet we are all like ghosts.” (In any case, a lot of the clothes do look a lot like white T-shirts decorated for Halloween.) Of his rather macabre themes, the designer says cheerfully, “There are chainsaws and knives and lots of blood. There are bleeding hearts and lustful ghosts, hungry ghosts, stupid ghosts, screaming ghosts and even ghosts with hairy beards. You can choose which ghost to wear depending on how you feel.”

If just clicking on these spectral images isn’t enough and you long to see them in person, you can fly to Colette in Paris, where the actual garments are for sale. Frankly, we stand apart from the fashion flock when it comes to Colette, a store on the Faubourg St. Honore beloved by the style set that to us epitomizes the worst of the Parisian hipper-than-thou attitude.

After five minutes in there we really do feel like a stupid ghost.