Typewriters? Disguises? Long lines of Hong Kong’s fabulous waiting for a “fair and honest appraisal” of their personal style? It’s The Bumbys!
The big party was again held at the retailer’s IFC location in Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood. The highlight of the large assortment of snacks, drinks, attractions, and activities was a personalized assessment by The Bumbys.
The Brooklyn-based duo are equal parts performance artist, fashion critic, and improv comedian.
Seated at a long table, the two are heavily disguised and positioned in front of typewriters.
As guests made their way to the front of the line, one of the Bumbys, either Gill, the man, or Jill, the woman would give them a nod, a quick once-over, and start composing their appraisal.
The typewriter starts click-clacking away as they go about the quaint, retro form of word processing.
For those feeling fearful, their evaluation is more of a fun, good natured musing, rather than an acidic critique.
They take their cues from an item or accessory the subject wears and make up a fascinating portrait based on their quick impression. At the end of their typing, the subject gets a short report, hand-typed, with a very official stamp, seal, and signature.
Their evaluations include a paragraph and also a number rating!
The Bumbys’ appraisal routine is practically tailor made for events like Fashion’s Night Out where people get dressed up to peacock their individual style. It’s a brilliant counterpoint and adds a much needed dose of humor to today’s narcissistic ‘selfie’ fashion culture.
Check out the Bumbys in action during Friday’s Fashion Night Out at Lane Crawford!
To get a sense of their written humor, check out The Bumbys amusing Facebook page.
For more background on the couple, the New York Times has a good piece on the origins of The Bumbys.
Enlisting The Bumbys for FNO works on so many different levels.
- It’s personalized for the individual and based on the outfit and accessories that they are wearing that night
- The subjects get a special individualized souvenir to take home and share with their friends (a retro social angle)
- It’s an analog experience, as well as an immediate experience – which is so key in this age of instant gratification
- The lack of seeing the person who is evaluating you, and the comical disguises, (totally overdone with hats and scarves, plus sunglasses and accessories,) make it almost as if you’re being evaluated by Cousin Itt from The Adams Family.
- The non-verbal communication aspect is fascinating, as interaction is limited to a nod, a thumbs-up, or a handshake
Here are a few photos of some of the other attractions of the night.
Hong Kong boutique Kapok curated a selection of Lane Crawford accessories and lifestyle products.
Special thanks to Lane Crawford and Vogue for a fun night!