Jennifer Wright Banana Republic

My god, how Great is Banana Republic? Capitalizing the G was not a typo there. I think they are Great like the power of God is Great, or the way Tony the Tiger thinks Frosted Flakes are Great. They are my favorite company ever, and you should outfit your entire family in Banana Republic. I mean, if you want them to have happy lives at all.

Totally the best. No. Really. Their Mad Men Collection? Super awesome. Really, super awesome. It is. I am completely sincere when I say that. I love it. I think it’s a great homage to the 1960’s in fun, whimsical colors, and it’s inspired by “the country club set” so of course I love it.

I swear I am not saying that just because they flew me out to LA to see it. Would you like to see some pictures of my vacation? I have some pictures to show you!

This is a picture of the plane we flew out on! It has a Banana Republic logo on it.

This is a picture of the runway show they had on the plane! They had a runway show on the plane! They also had lobster rolls, and peanut brittle.

This is a picture of the hotel room I stayed in. It is the Mondrian. In that mirror, there is a television. I couldn’t figure out how to wok it, but I did discover that if you touched the lamps they turned on and off. Just anywhere. No switches. Not going to lie, it was confusing before I figured that out. What I’m saying is “this was probably the coolest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.” You will also note I did not make the bed. That is because you don’t have to make beds in hotels. Fuck yeah, hotels.


This is a picture of the Calamari Salad at Asia de Cuba which is located in the Mondrian in LA. There used to be one in New York, but it closed, presumably because people realized that paying $35 for a salad is ridiculous. It was my favorite salad in the entire world, and I thought it was gone forever. It was not gone forever! I copied down the recipe (crispy calamari, bananas, cashews, raddichio, radishes, cilantro, orange seasame dressing) so there’s some possibility I can duplicate it at home, now.

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And here is a picture of the Mad Men fashion presentation party and the looks from the Mad Men collection…

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Which was attended by Kiernan Shipka (who plays Sally Draper on Mad Men) and Amy Smart and Janie Bryant. At which point I realized I had no idea what Amy Smart had been in other than The Butterfly Effect and it felt really troublesome to run over and say “I loved you in that dreadful movie” so I mostly drank scotch.

I think you get the gist. Seriously, this trip was amazing. The whole thing was pretty blissful and worry free and the lovely publicists have handled food and transportation and just about everything you’d ever want.

Basically, it was the kind of trip that, if you accepted it from a man, would carry with it the assumption that you were not only going to sleep with him, but that you were going to really enjoy doing so.

End result: I’m never going to say anything bad about Banana Republic. Ever. Not on TheGloss. Not ever.  They are my favorite republic. I wish I could live there, in the Republic of Banana, where all is luxury and beauty and joy and scotch based cocktails.

Which has been known to trouble people. When I mentioned to some friends that I was going on this most glorious and amazing trip one (Jamie) replied “you’re going on a press junket? You are going to Hell. Also, I am jealous.”  Another replied “if you accept, won’t the integrity police come for you?” I breezily replied that I’d been on their ten most wanted list for years, so this was just another lap on my life-long sprint on the lam.

I hope that I’m pretty transparent in my motivations for writing (primer: I do it for the money. And so I will live forever, like a vampire).

(Sidenote: if you had the option of becoming a vampire, would you accept immediately, or would you, say, tan and diet first, because you’ll stay looking the way you do when you’re turned forever? Please discuss in the comments).

So, I sometimes feel that since my reason for writing is only secondarily to “tell the truth to the world” – and that if this was my motivation I should seriously be in a war-torn country – it is cool if I accept nice stuff from companies, sometimes. I run a fashion and beauty website. I flatter myself about many things, one of which is that TheGloss is a smart, funny, enjoyable fashion and beauty website, but I don’t ever flatter myself that we’re The Atlantic.

And so I accept stuff in a way that maybe I would not if I were a hardened journalist.

Though I think the fact that I do this, and that this happens, is worth noting, because the end result is that I will love Banana Republic forever, now.  I would find it really, really hard to say anything bad about them, because my affection for them took root the moment I saw the plane (the most magical and glorious plane!) I think it is a pretty human reaction to feel that way, because it would seem wildly ungrateful to write something negative, even if I didn’t like their collection. Frankly, I feel somewhat ungrateful raising this as “an issue that I find exists for me in the world of blogging” rather than “a straightforward post about how pretty this Mad Men collection is” (and I think it is very pretty) (and I added that parenthetical because I worry I sound incredibly ungrateful about my nice trip at the moment).

Look, it helps that I actually like Banana Republic. I think they’re a good company that makes tasteful, affordable things, and Mad Men is my favorite show on television, so this is totally in the wheelhouse of “things I would have liked, anyway.”

But if I hadn’t liked it…

Well, saying so would require an awful lot of integrity.

Or if Ashley, say, wanted to write a post panning Banana Republic I can very easily imagine myself saying “you know, we have a special relationship with them.” Partly because I love the interplay between British and American politics, partly because they now have my eternal gratitude. I would like to continue to go to their parties and have fun and see the super nice publicists and generally have a delightful time.

I suppose the best way I can handle it in that regard is to constantly link back to this post any time I do write about Banana Best Republic Ever, or at least to include some sort of caveat saying that they’ve done some cool stuff for us.

But then, I wonder how much this sort of thing even bothers anyone. When you read fashion magazines and see positive reviews, do you just assume that the journalists writing them had some sort of relationship with the publicists? Is that immediately obvious to everyone? Does it offend you? At the very least, you should know the reason that I will be constantly gushing over BR for about a week, now.

On a side note: how great is Banana Republic? Seriously. I think their new collection is pretty.