The Cost of Fashion
My father was flipping Harper’s Bazaar Australia (mine) when he suddenly screamed in agony which made me think he just got a heart attack (pretty convincing). But then, he groaned while pointing out a picture from the magazine; AU$ 8000 for a bag?! I jumped from my seat and looked down to what he was talking about and sighed with relieved; it’s Hermes! What do you expect? But my father still talked about good old days when people want cheap clothes (somewhere during world war II) and nothing sounds outrageous like ‘Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel’ and insisting they’re all bunch of ‘liars’ with no-sense of business. Geez, that’s harsh. Even though I love writing about all those items and pretty much understand the cost of all those gorgeous items, I began to question the real ‘cost’ of all those items. Is that true that designers are just a bunch of ‘liars’ with no sense of business, who choke us to death with their beautiful yet unreasonable items, and fashion houses are just fooling with our sense of buying (and living)?
To be honest, maybe they are. Spending 8000 dollars for a handbag that’s not going to last until next year (one day you’re in and the next day, you’re out. Always remember that quote) seems to be an act of stupidity, recklessness, irresponsible, and quite an example of impulsive buying. You can use that amount of money to repair your apartment (or move to a better, bigger, more human place), buy a new microwave/kitchen-stuffs or make some charities for cancer researches. Everything seems more…’worth it’ than a handbag. Even a Hermes handbag. The cost of fashion also seems to become even worse with global economy crisis, making even the richest becomes worried and eventually cut their fashion budgets. Haute Couture shows become unimportant, unreasonable, and people start to look for ‘cheap’ replacement. Fashion slowly looses it’s former golden ages, when people still understand what makes it really expensive.
For me, fashion is indeed can be expensive. It can be a little bit silly, yes. But it can also make sense and worth every penny you spend. When people think about fashion their minds focused on sewing, sketching, and parties, they simply forget how many hours of work designers, stylists, couturiers, farmers, businessmen have to spend to make one gorgeous gown. Materials need to be picked carefully, leathers (or faux furs) have to go through tons of debates, agreements, contracts, and markets before designers can finally laid their hands on its and make its ‘work’. High-fashion also gives that amazing sense of self-esteem. Imagine walking down the office with Chanel suits and compare the feeling when you walk inside mere unbranded and dull tops. You can easily be intimidated by your co-workers, bosses and partners with how you dress. Beauty might not be on the ‘requirement’ list when you’re looking for a job, but it’s a crucial first step before showing off your intelligence and fierce degree from, let’s just say, Harvard (remember Legally Blonde?).
Okay, maybe fashion has become amazingly expensive, but it happens to every other industry (food, technology, medicines, infrastructures, hardwares). I guess it’s just a matter of class and your own budget. I, myself, choose something less expensive, but still has good materials. I won’t dare to go for Hermes or Chanel, but Zara and Topman still seem to be a good (and reasonable) idea for me. And it always good to invest your money on fashion, it’s not about the ‘raw benefit’ like money, it’s more for inner benefit like beauty, confidence, sophistication, and…happiness. Those are basic morals that great designers build their creations on.
P.S: I really like doing article like this, even though a bit too serious for our style. But maybe we can do this kind of thing again sometimes. To refresh our minds from the glorious, too glamour blanket that’s surrounding fashion industry.