The democratisation of fashion is a polarising thing. On the one hand, luxury brands have by and large failed to connect with we the people, the notorious millennial, on their product as a way of life. Meanwhile, high street (our problematic fave) swooped in with their rapid-fire production lines and ripped off all the $2000 sweaters we’d ever liked on Instagram – which we pretend to resent on a moral high ground of design ethics and intellectual property.
But really, we love it.
And you know. Capitalism.
The reality is that most of us can’t sustain a brand new, seasonally relevant ensemble every day of the year. There are greater joys and necessities like food (I love food) and electricity bills (my humidifier hit mine hard this month – shit) to be addressed over the $5000 puffer that you can justify cost-per-wear over a
decade, but probably won’t wear in snow storm by virtue of it costing $5000 in the first place – therefore, don’t get it, you fool. Over time, you learn what brands cut their leather pants in the most flattering shape for your body without the knees sagging over time, or whose shirting has the right sleeve volume in proportion to your shoulder width, what things you can cheap out on and trash, and what pieces you really need to invest in for comfort and bodily health (shoes, ladies – always shoes).
Knowing where to put your hard-earned cash in the current retail climate where branding is everything and cost can have absolutely no correlation to quality, can be bloody stressful. In my styling/consulting/marketing interactions with product and the full spectrum of labels, my calculated observation is that most designer brands with price points sitting in the $350-800 range have not necessarily managed to improve their
production processes to sustain their start-up standards while meeting increased demand. Meanwhile, the Inditex’s of the world are manucturing at such astronomical quantities that their ability to reach optimum efficiency without sacrificing on fabrication et cetera makes them impossibly competitive, and all the more appealing. And yet, there remains a market for exceptional luxury where there is no question of the value and longevity of the product – cashmere, for instance.
Conclusively, the most cost effective way to shop at this moment in time is to make your investments at the high end, and fill out with the low, but nothing in between. Recycle, repurpose, layer, deconstruct, and buy transeasonally to get as much out of what you own as possible. Nobody cares if it’s “this season”.
At least, I don’t.
That is all.