ALL FASHION becomes outdated twice. Once for the consumer, and once for the Consumer: the audience, the society of said audience, the culture of said society. Your new shirt will eventually get too tight for comfort, and in due time, the tides will have changed with the rest of the world around you, and it will become too uncomfortable for everyone else. In this way, fashion is disposable twofold; it dies twice, once as the product, and once as the idea. But there is a way to skirt around this fate, one which is very obvious and subconsciously rooted into the mind of any N.Y.C. tourist who has gotten lost on Fifth Avenue at least once.
The golden allure, the tall glass panes separating luxury from dreg heaps of the street, the soft pastel colors of soft fabric, all these elements of high fashion are unmistakable and inseparable. They are also usually indistinguishable from their competitors. They’re names which themselves become a sort of branding for fashionheads, walking around the streets like cattle herded by some Belgian you’ve-probably-never-heard-of-them designer. And so to the laymen and -women of the audience, of which I was one until the writing of this essay began, these are just eyesore commodities. Like, they just put high fashion stores in malls to fill up space and have high price tags. Surely, now, no one in their right mind living up a le tout-Paris- or -Milan- or -Los Angeles-life actually pays upwards of numerous thousands of USD or EUR just to look just as fine as your average street slob. So what —
(There is a sort of interesting contradiction in how this fashion works on a level of verisimilitude; traditional conservatives with conservative outlooks of lifestyle and décor will likely be disgusted by a lot of the excess these luxury brands provide outside of shit that’s hard to mess up like handbags, and so most of their marketing campaigns strive for a sort of common progressive inclusivity, but I cannot name a single person who would be so —)
— are these people thinking?
Not much, though they’d like to think so.
High fashion, as we see it on gala runways and in uncomfortable closeups in bus stop stations, is “justified” by excess. Justified in quotes. I would not be able to stand the reader thinking I justify it so. High fashion is meant to be a sort of artistic “bestretcheningation” of what appears in real fashion. Human fashion. This doesn’t really make it any better, or less wasteful, or less awful and garbage. But I guess that’s the shallow idea these gaudy colorways and styles spring from. And street dregs with apparently great income from an undisclosed location eat it up.
But as much as I've been critiquing this garbage-fashion-qua-worth-or-sort-of-status complex which a lot of these luxury brand obsessed nimrods employ as they numbly drool all over their abhorrent variegated (note to editor: insert any one of many eponymously-derived brand names here) knitwear and denim and jewelry and glorified carpal sundials, I can't deny that there is a certain allure to luxury brands, something captivating about these supposedly high class goods which entices me and causes me to want to hunt down every last entry in said brands’ catalogues and imagine a world in which I walk down the street, basically an advertisement incarnate for various Franco-Italian megacorporations aimed at vocal-fry-ridden fashionistas/-os, as people ogle at my wonderful opulent fabric. And so my greatest fear is that in ten years, after probably having over a couple years’ worth of my own steady income as an adult and —
(— ideologically disfigured so as to be both a progressive advocate and a prodigal paypig for these imported leather goods brands. Who is actually buying this stuff aside from socialites in the public eye who have a politically and mercernarilly charged public image to uphold? I don’t really know the type, but I know one exists. They’re easy to spot on the street, since they’re usually begging to be noticed. Oh, how it hurts to see them acting so nonchalantly, like they aren’t internally screaming for people to see —)
— finally being able to participate in the consumerspace, my mind will devolve into Gucci, Versace, BVLGARI, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Rolex, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Valentino, Chanel, etc. logos blurrily and aimlessly floating around like black, seriffed eye floaters, and when they hit the walls of my neurocranium they’re going to bounce off at a 90°-trajectory like the colorful DVD icon from the idle television sets of yore. My tangible proof of ultimate fashion-materialism will be comprised of faux-gilded boots and mid-nineteenth-century style opera gloves juxtaposed against neon sweater vests with roses and somewhat Paracas-Nazca-like figures in some vain attempt at just plain goofy and personable irony, because that’s what high fashion in the grimy, rat-infested city (i.e. America’s eternal squalor) really says about you, that you’ve got this —
(— them. And I’m sure most sensible people feel their inner soul slightly waver when they see the adjectival gucci outside its nomen proprium, capitalized form. Ingraining brand names into widespread urban lexica has to be an advertiser’s wet dream — think Q-tip but broader and like being placed next to any word as if it were of equal etymological worth — and once you achieve it, there’s not much left you have to do. Most people in any urban developed area will know the usage that I’m referencing. Willing advertising by the populace, doing the agencies’ work themselves.)
— sense of superiority and think it’s sort of cheeky to wear a generic logo with some vaguely European initials-turned-classic-motif tessellating in a hexagonal lattice on it. But then…
I remember last week sort of fading in and out of sleep while I was down in Copley Center on Huntington Ave. in Boston, my home, and while waiting for the T (Metro, subway, etc.) after it had in some way malfunctioned nine (9) stops down the way, I decided to explore the various luxury stores which I had previously treated like paper displays of themselves which no one ever actually entered. They had a Gucci location there. I went in and looked around and generally scoffed at everything for all my aforewritten reasons, and then I saw a pair of these sort of equestrian boots. My eyes watered and I picture myself now looking at them in the store, kneeling on the carpet, praying to them and worshipping them. To have worn them even for a second would’ve been amazing. They were around 1.3K USD, and in my grand stupor and delusion I looked at the heels (upon which GUCCI was either erected or engraved in gilded lettering) and promised to myself I’d do whatever it takes to get my slimy plebeian ephebic hands on them at some point. Perhaps that’s what drives the various extravagant subway-surfers I see at least one of whenever I travel trans-city: a real American sense of materialism from every empty show and movie and song and photographs we’ve collectively consumed; and perhaps my fate is sealed, no matter how much I try to rationalize myself, as a materialistic whore for leather consumerism. Sometimes I think that life wouldn’t be so bad, probably less painful than living cynically and hating everything, which is the path I’m on now. But I’ve never been there, and it’s probably an empty, hollow existence.