Westfield

westfield

In an area the size of Kazakhstan, in a faraway land called White City, a mystical dome has sprung.

Filled with the promise of a fragrant bathroom, a smaller rear, a set of peepers without shadows underneath, it sends out an echoey whisper to every sentient being in Europe with a wallet:

‘Cooooooooooeeeeeeee… Come to paradise… Credit cards are not real money…Yes, you can buy love…’

For only wretches devoid of hope or filled with fear can be immune to its charms.

Those are not eyes in the heads of the warm bodies being sucked into its vacuum, like extras from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

They are swirling pools of bar-codes and gift-wrapped boxes and Wagamama lunch specials.

More than that, they are the torches of dreamers, of believers, of women who know they can drop a dress-size traveling up and down giant escalators.

On its marketing website this capitalist behemoth spews statistics at you like a fat man who has gorged on one too many cheeseburgers: 265 retailers! 13 million man-hours to build! 50 exciting eating concepts!

Still not convinced?

Construction used enough concrete to fill 117 Olympic swimming pools!

Well, in that case…

Squeeking cleanly only months into this world it rises Phoenix-like out of the ashes of a dazed and confused Shepherds Bush, where a hoodie who has lost his way would be forgiven for thinking he has died and gone to Dubai Heaven.

Housing futuristic runways of glistening tiled flooring and pod-shaped roof-panels it is Woody Allen’s orgasmatron, Huxley’s missing novel and SJP on steroids all rolled into one.

On a par with thinking too hard about the solar system its offering should not be contemplated in one sitting.

In fact, it is possible to walk 23 miles in a circle and never see the same outlet twice: at one point I ended up in Norway.

Holding up two fingers in the shape of a crucifix to the likes of Brent Cross, this mall is Different From All The Others.

It’s got no McDonalds and curvy minimalist touch-screen map computers so stylish they sneer at giving directions, forcing you to grab one of the mall slaves polishing glass panels and make toilet gestures at them instead.

Around the artfully scattered central sofa systems satellite the Enablers- shopping assistants who represent a greater density than the population of Tokyo and talk on average x 3.8 more bollocks, through sheer mind-warping boredom.

As Lionel Richie croons encouragingly each neon sign propels you forth along the yellow-brick road, eyes wide in wonderment, torn between a stop at the karaoke bar, a gawp at an electric vehicle or a scoop from the overflowing baskets at The Nut Hut.

Shall I sample a golden dog’s trotter at the juice bar emporium? Do I need to stock up on a wardrobe of coloured false eyelashes? Or shall I cut the crap and admit that I have come to roll in an orgy of fashion so promiscuous and deviant it makes Jordan look chaste?

Because if there is one thing Westfield does NOT do it is birthday suits.

Whether your look is faux peasant, retro goth or pixie whore you cannot fail to find something comely to drape on your frame: H & M even has a travel desk, where you can book a week-end mini-break to its Accessories department.

Or if it’s lingerie you’re after why not skip along to M & S, where the briefs alone could clothe the population of Spain in Winter. With material to spare.

Cut-outs of an ecstatic Myleene Klaas with an enormous head lure you towards banks and banks of bras for every occasion: Floozie by Frostfrench for that kitsch forty-something revivalist feeling; Star by Julien McDonald for the West London prostitute vibe; Fuller Bust, Magic Body… what, are these requests or promises?

Several hours later you emerge from a time bubble, glugging furiously at a caffeine concept with bagfuls of a sexier you draped around your feet.

And suddenly there’s a bitter taste in your mouth not altogether linked to stale coffee beans.

It’s one that argues strongly for the students of Central Saint Martins to re-train in the art of making wicker baskets.

A feeling that your happy buzz may not last as long as the hours spent earning the lucre to pay for it.

Because Westfield is unavoidably a Truman Show of consumerism of the sort that makes you want to invite Walt Whitman and Hugh Fernley Whittingstall to meditate on its rank motivations, their faces contorted in paroxyms of misery as they clutch at each other gasping, ‘Why?’

What’s that noise?

It’s me tumbling into the dark abyss- arms flailing with glossy carrier bags- the peroxide blonde Alfred Hitchcock heroine of Blind Consumerism.

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2 Comments

Filed under London Mumbo, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Westfield

  1. I’m stunned into submission. I will go and explore the inner workings of this magical beast. I too want pass by Norway on my way to the sunglasses hut. Sounds beautiful, man. Pass the doobie.

  2. Pingback: Post of the Week » Blog Archive » Shortlist for week ending 23 January 2009

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