This book is hitting home a lot of ideas that have been driving me crazy about the fashion industry. I'm only a few chapters in, but Dana Thomas (the author) describes the way in which women used to buy items and it makes me so frustrated I can't believe it. What I life! Listen,
"... shopping for clothes, be it couture or read-to-wear, was a pleasurable affair. you chose what you liked, often during a fashion show or a personal viewing, retired to a spacious, comfortable dressing room, tried on the garments leisurely, and had the seamstress on hand to do whatever retouching was necessary. Couture and high-end department-store saleswomen were counselors and confidantes. They knew who was wearing what to which event, they knew what suited you, and they advised you accordingly."
It wasn't about being a certain size or fitting into an image that everyone around you adheres to. It was about you shopping in a personalized and safe way. She continues,
"Today, by contrast, shopping for luxury brand clothing is an exercise in patience. Usually there are only a few pieces of clothing and only in the smallest sizes. This is where the slim sales assistants come in: they scurry into the back storeroom for ten, fifteen, twenty minutes to find your size, or perhaps another style that isn't on the floor, or even a dress that no one else has seen. If it doesn't please you, they scurry off again for another ten or twenty minutes. and so on." (page 5).
This is so true. Even if you aren't buying couture, shopping in department stores was so different. Luxury and wealth was so different. And it didn't feel like you had to prove something either. Wealth used to be more refined. After World War II and fashion became a business that was publically traded, things changed. I think for the worse. This quote says a lot,
"In the old days when luxury brands were privately held companies, owners cared about making a profit but the primary objective in-house was to produce the finest products possible. Since the tycoons have taken over, however, that objective has been replaced by a phenomenon I call the cult of luxury. Today, luxury brand items are collected like baseball cards, displayed like artwork, brandished like iconography. Arnault and his fellow luxury tycoons have shifted the focus from what the product is to what it represents ."
Now we are wearing the companies logo. Do you ever think about that? How we are advertising an item, for free, that we paid an exorbitant amount of inflated money on, for a company that doesn't care about quality so much as profit? Isn't that strange?
So this is what I'm reading in my downtime and HIGHLY recommend it. More posts soon, about products I actually love that are actually worthwhile!
What are you all reading, anything good? Ever heard of this book?