August 05, 2009

A tale of two covers.

Having worked in publishing I know it’s critical to be one step ahead of the competition. Daily newspapers in the same town with similar or – gasp! – identical headlines spells trouble, and weekly magazines with the same celebrity photo on the cover is an equally egregious error.

But as far as I know it’s a horse of a different color when two catalog covers are total doppelgangers. Like the latest Pottery Barn and L.L. Bean catalogs to arrive at the shore house:



While I expect a sort-of homespunny lilt from L.L. Bean, I was surprised to see Pottery Barn following suit with their fall line. Looks like my recent foray into the world of patchwork quilting is totally en vogue.



I am so darn hip.

I’m going to guess that this whole quilt theme is a result of the sagging economy. People are looking to return to a kinder, gentler time when things were made of fabric scraps and not, say, leather imported from Peru and carried on the back of a Sherpa directly to a Madison Avenue designer showroom.

Sales of cosmetics also tend to increase during times of uncertainty. “The Lipstick Index” describes this phenomena of eschewing designer duds and other costly purchases in favor of a ten dollar tube of fabulous that leaves less of a dent in your wallet and a colorful smile on your face, empowering you pucker up and say, “Look at me! I look great! What recession?!”

Designers tend to work in shades of purple at times like these – deep amethysts and vibrant orchids symbolize regal piety, so perhaps it’s done to distract us from our otherwise humble existence.

What do you think? Are PB and L.L. Bean responding to the economy, albeit in uncanny synchronization?

I do know this: If the next Pottery Barn catalog features a purple hand-made quilt with a complementary hued lipstick, be afraid. Be very afraid.

19 comments:

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Laura, always happy when you stop by. Oh, and I'll take a couple of those cookies you baked. What?? oh, they are gone already. Man!

Love that you are taking sewing lessons, I really need to do that too, but until I'll muddle my way through. At least I can sew a straight line too. I've got Grandma Eleanor coming over to help me with a slipcover project soon.

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

Welcome back!

I love quilts and can't remember a time I didn't have one on my bed. Yours looks beautiful, I have a thing for roses, so mine are usually done with fabrics in that genre, but the one I have on my bed right now is solid white with heart stitches.

BTW, you are hip!

Rue said...

hehehehe... I'll make sure I pay attention and look for that ;)

I really do believe that the trend is for comfort right now. God knows there are days when I feel like curling up in a big ol' quilt and watching old movies that make me happy. Do you think they're reading my brain?? LOL

xoxo,
rue

Purple Flowers said...

I generally like PB, but I think this cover is abit too over the top for me. I like cleaner lines, and a comfy look. I don't know where to look first w/that cover. :)

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

You're always one step ahead of the curve. Ha. I can't believe how similar these covers are! I hadn't seen them yet. I have a feeling some people at PB and LL Bean weren't too happy with the similarities.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Not only that, but LL Bean had an expensive quilt made out of yo yo's! I made yo yo's when I was five, so you know they are really going retro...lol

Everything old is new again someday!

Kwana said...

Wow you are so right on point. I wonder if they somehow have the same stylist or photographer in common. It's wild how the color story and layout is similar too. Hmmm.

But I do agree that right now comfort is key. Take that quilt cover up and eat some mac and cheese in bed while you cry over having no money. Waaaa! LOL.

Joyce said...

You are one hip gal, in my book! I'm glad you were one step ahead and brought this fall bedding fashion to life. Enjoy my friend! xoxo

j.cro said...

We just got a new bed - I'll have to check out both catalogs online. I'm thinking more like Home Goods or Overstock though - their prices are a liiiiiittle better than PB or the Bean. If I get really ambitious and get my sewing machine fixed, maybe I'll just make my own duvet cover!!

Allidink said...

Wow I can't believe they were so similar. It must be they are affiliated somehow. Love quilts though.

All the best,
Allison

Leila said...

Funny about the two covers! It wasn't that long ago -- maybe 10 years? that LLBean was doing lots of quilts...and now they're back at it...

I actually really love your quilt! Great job!

Thanks for your very kind comment on the chandelier -- it's always nice to hear from you!

Jen R. said...

I love that PB finally has caught on to vintage style. It's kin of like ..duh.. welcome to the program!

Maya said...

So cool you discovered this. I do wonder as to whether the trend to quilt is due to the economy..., probably so. Vintage in general seems to be en vogue.

Kathy said...

Cute post, Yeah you wonder sometimes don't you...Two catalogs same stuff! Are they in bed together?...Funny. Have a great weekend, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings..

Blondie's Journal said...

Very interesting and well written post. Funny as all heck too. Personally, I can give or take both catalogs. Although I have been guilty of ordering from both, I usually find that the cover picture warrants only about a two page spread. I think PB will always be Euro~hip, expensive leather and bookcases the length of my house. And LL Bean will always leave you wishing you lived in a little coastal cabin in Freeport, Maine. LOL!!

I think you are entirely right about both publications trying to evoke that down home, curl up and watch old movies together sort of feeling. Thanks for the heads up. I think you are on spot!

xoxo
Jane

Linda Lou said...

I definitely think Pottery Barb has changed its style again - because of our economic times and everyone wanting to hunker down in their homes and get cozy again - i have always loved quilts, but dont want to spent the pottery barn prices, so I go to TJ Msxx or Marshalls and get deals...I am hoping the days of excess in everything are behind us for a while...and we appreciate the simpler things in life...

modernemama said...

The LL Bean cover is patchwork done well - bright, crisp and fresh - I feel optimistic looking at it, The Pottery Barn cover looks like they threw all the bedding up there one step ahead of the foreclosure truck. It's a sad styling mess.

pve design said...

I always love when there are signs like this.
You must be proud of your new quilt...and the affirmation that you are one hip chick!
Missed you at the lunch...
pve

thelaundryisneverfinished said...

That does surprise me about pb! I have always loved walking into ll bean and seeing the wide array of quilts that they have. they have Big Comfy Beds set up all around the home area with Big Comfy Quilts thrown over them...makes me want to climb in and cuddle up!!