RIP Cheap Monday

Nooo, Cheap Monday, please don’t go! street, gritty and gnarly: they earned a well-deserved cult following. I had the pleasure of standing up to my ankles in frozen lush in central Stockholm one January a few years back, watching models stride through hoops of flame, ghoulish skull masks transforming their lovely features. Another year at Stockholm Fashion Week, someone remarked, “Oh Cheap Monday. I don’t know where they’re showing the year. probably in an abattoir somewhere.”

Yes, they weren’t your average purveyors of pretty clothes.

I really wish I’d made it to that abattoir.

My love affair with the brand began years ago, when I was visiting a friend in Stockholm, excited to try their new trendy skinny jeans with the Mexican Day of the Dead skull logo on the behind. I’d read about the new company put together by designers who’d fled from Levis to do something more street-wise. I searched through the snowy wastes for their store in hipster S√∂dermalm, central Stockholm.

Again it was January; Sweden in the summer is sweet but I need to try it more. the dark cobbled streets were frozen; minus 20C. I wafted into another store first and when the girl inside asked me what I wanted, I had to slap my cheeks hard to be able to actually speak. she giggled. she was from Lapland, in the far north, where it was regularly -40C. An hour later, after refuge in a cafe with a steaming polystyrene cup of hot chocolate in each hand, I managed to stumble into Cheap Monday at last. The suppler hip sales guy instructed me to lie on the floor in the changing cubicle, put on the smallest size I could fit inside and never wash the. Oh those Scandis and their sweet talk!. My body was barely covered by the telephone kiosk-sized curtained enclosure as I wriggled oil the floor, only slightly embarrassed: this was adventure: strange customs in a strange land. I loved it. I bought two identical pairs of super skinny black jeans and one grey. As I said, this was years ago, in slimmer, or should I say, scrawnier days. I have to feed my feet through the ankle holes now, cautiously and with extreme determination, I followed the guy’s advice, wore them every day, but with occasional washing. How ever did I do it?cm closeout haul

The Cheap Monday closeout haul…

`Cheap Monday beanie

When H&M recently announced that they were closing one of their group, Cheap Monday, set for December 31 2018., there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing amongst my friends. Both the online store and flagship Carnaby St store in London were being eliminated. I stalked the store closing and managed to tumble in a day or two before Christmas.. Apparently, the sales had been so frenzied, they had to close shop early, so we had to beg our way in. by hook or crook. we made it.. possibly the last customers to see the store still alive, as our post-christmasy visit attested. We could only spy packing crates and bags through the shuttered blinds. #sad. our pre-holiday dash was so magnificent, it made my Christmas.

Every item was super discounted. I prowled the place in the bare 30 minutes we’d been allowed to browse after our pleading was successful,  filling countless bags with large, man-size puffers and sweaters, the obligatory fab red beanie and super-tight spray-on jeans. The black denim jacket I failed to grab is my only regret. now I’m spending the New Year swaddled in  hulking puffers, looking like a bodybuilder. I love it ALL. In the cab on the way home, our herts were racing wildly,  like the aftermath of a great party. Such a kick!

I’m almost tempted to throw shyness aside and do a haul vlog.