well, i have a brief contribution to a discussion of late about it-bags/ it-shoes, bags vs. shoes, etc.
disclaimer: this is not directed at or inspired by the above linked blog posts alone, but more of a follow-up on what i have gathered from reading a lot of fashion/style blogs late this summer and their comments sections and other discussions.
what i love about fashion talk is to share the passion. it helps to have like-minded individuals to talk with. sometimes it's great to disagree or just debate for debate's sake. but sharing the joy and analysis – telling people about the great things i found, wondering about the inner workings of the industry, explaining how i interpret my own style in reference to others – is what keeps me going.
as you might have noted, my love for fashion is not about fretting whether i've got the look of the season, whether i seem to have ignored to update myself for the current demands of the trend police or whether i can wear something i think is hideous just because it is fashion. i know that for some it seems to be and i find the sort of trend anxiety exhausting. following lists that editors comprise is not original and not an interesting topic of conversation to me.
nevertheless, i also realize that my knowledge about the history of fashion that is the result of years of keen interest does not mean that i am somehow above those who follow trends, have better reasons for wearing certain designers or have the right to claim ownership of certain looks.
naturally, i recognize also in myself the conceited thought that just because i know (or care?) more, i am somehow more entitled to what i know about, but also think it's extremely important to understand that the reasoning comes down to our neverending vanity. and not the sensible kind of vain.
i find it a tragic simplification about personal style to hear that a single recognizable item could make or break a look. style is more than a sum of its parts; a great bag or a pair of shoes does not a dazzling lady make, nor does it bring her down. that is, an it-bag (or it-shoes or cousin it) does not lift one's look above blase, but is not a sign of a dimwit either.
i cannot help but recognize fashion talk that is about credibility and credibility only. it's a form of competitiveness and because there isn't a combative cell in my body, i have to admit to finding it troubling because ultimately it is a discourse of fake exclusivity, shutting others outside. in fact, shoving beneath oneself.
no, i have no interest in talking to people who have nothing remotely informative to say to me, and sure, i love to rant about stuff i find worthy of judgment (q.e.d.). but to deem those who choose to spend 1500€ on a chanel bag less worthy than those who choose to spend the same amount on an owens jacket seems, to me, snotty and stupid if the only argument given is an insinuation that the former trend is less intellectual or whatnot.
to take it further, i just think it's ridiculous and pompous to frown upon people who like a designer or an item for "the wrong reasons" or for less than some prerequisite time. could someone just send me a list of the right reasons and the time one needs to like a designer or an item to be credible enough to like it?
nah, didn't think so.
i find people who judge others based on how trendy they succeed to look very tedious – whether they appreciate trendiness or think trendy looking people are mindless buffoons. but equally tedious are those who think that because they are so into fashion that they are above mundane trends they have the right to look down on those who are not in head'n'shoulders deep or have a different take on what they choose to adopt from the multitude of fashion choices offered around us.
sound too saintly for my own good? well, bite me. criticism is hard, but it is quite a different story to say that you don't think an alexa would compliment your look because it seems too obvious or you just do not like it than to say that women who carry them around sport a sign of below-average intelligence and slavery to some fad that took over all womankind by storm (except those who were above it all... or broke).
biting my own itch to keep on being critical, i'll just keep on chewing on my it-bag from 2005(?), the mulberry elgin. i bought it because i loved the color (olive), the very un-mulberry-like (i.e. few) details and simple shape. i love it still because of the same reasons, but also for the heavy leather that has aged gracefully despite, for example, acting as the ball of a very drunken soccer game at tavastia.
bag by mulberry, coat by vero moda, shirt by zara, jeans by nudie, booties by prada, accessories by tag heuer, bless, efva attling, chanel and h&m.
we don't need to share the same objects of fancy, we don't need to understand the choices others make and we can even talk critically about choices we believe are reasonably unhealthy. but i just don't see why we should have the need to hoist our own egos up by insinuating that our subjective preferences are somehow truer, better or more real than those of others in cases where we really only want to say: i like this, i do not like that.
oh, the irony of living a life so cool one must fear it goes unrecognized. do you, like i do, listen to bands that do not even exist yet?