It's a Man's World
by Mark Goldblatt

"...notice how the hammer-buttons fasten
snugly through the sickle-holes."


"...sensible enough to stomp through the Killing Fields..."

The Following Transcript Was Recently Smuggled out of a Rehearsal for the Benetton Fall-Winter Menswear Show.

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of United Colors of Benetton, it is my pleasure to welcome you to It's a Man's World, 2000.

Strolling down the runway, to start our show, why that's Pol Pot! It's all about earth tones for the Khmer Rouge strongman who buried two million Cambodians, a quarter of his nation's population, in shallow graves. Fatigue will never be a problem in these wrinkle-resistant fatigues, in brown and khaki, sensible enough to stomp through the Killing Fields yet smart enough to wear to the office. Pol Pot? Pepperpot!



Stepping through the curtains now--well, if it isn't Joseph Stalin! The Russian Bear needn't go into hibernation this year, not with that sheepskin jacket and lush rabbit collar. The lining is pure fleece, and notice how the hammer-buttons fasten snugly through the sickle-holes. It's gulag and go go go for our Bolshevik bad boy, whether signing onto a non-aggression pact or signing off on a party purge. Re-education never looked so good. Stalin is stylin'!

And who better to follow the Soviet Example than the Chairman of the boards himself, Mao Zedong? To the Book of Quotations, please add one major fashion statement. Notice how the pleated trousers stop just short of the ankles to reveal a flash of red stocking. And from the look of the patch pockets on that duffle coat, in tan or tope, I'd say it's a Great Leap Forward in style. The Cultural Revolution may be over, baby, but Mao is now!

It's dashiki chic for our next model, that Kampala cut-up himself, Idi Amin! The black beret and mirrored sunglasses hearken us back to a time of colonial occupation, an ironic wink perhaps towards the puppet-rulers who preceded him, or perhaps a then-is-now retro turn that offsets the necklace of human teeth and sandals crafted from the skins of his political adversaries. You go, Uganda!


" ' I'm going to hell...' "








Finally, for the piéce de résistance, goose-stepping his way down the catwalk and into your hearts, here comes the Fuhrer himself, Adolph Hitler! Classic elegance is no kampf whatsoever in that brown single-breasted blazer, and notice the extra-wide lapels to show off the medals you've awarded yourself. The matching pants are studied in their understatement, the entire ensemble seeming to say: "I'm going to hell, and I'm not standing in line." Deutchland uber alles with sophistication to spare!

Thank you, one and all, and on behalf of Benetton of Italy, have a safe trip home!



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