Fashion Bytes

Still from MGM's 1933 film "Dinner at Eight"

Vanity Fair’s September issue is out, along with its famous “Best Dressed List”.  At the same time, the NYT Runway Blog featured a post discussing our simultaneous repulsion and fascination with those who spend huge amounts of money on clothes. Particularly in a world-wide recession.

The piece starts by recounting a moment on the television show “Morning Joe” in which Mika Brzezinski picks up the New York Times for that morning and begins proclaiming that the individuals discussed in an article about luxury goods are “shameless” for spending over $1,500 on a single pair of shoes.  And this has apparently been happening in larger numbers than people realize according to the article referred to and the statistics.  The piece then goes on to discuss the Best Dressed List, and the fact that it always seems to include those who can afford the luxury items, and whether or not — as with Princess Charlene of Monaco, for example — that is really enough to constitute true style.  The Runway blog seems to suggest that we are mesmerized by glamour.  I think perhaps it is a form of escapism for those who are struggling financially, akin to the over the top costumes worn by actors and actresses in Depression-era films. People don’t want to see the grit, they have that at home.  So they choose to look at the young and glamorous.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Is it ridiculous for people to be spending that kind of money on a single item of clothing, or is it their own money to do with as they please? Is there an over-emphasis on brands, and price tags when it comes to the public’s perception of style?  Is it a form of escapism, or is it a media bias towards those with money and power?

Please share your thoughts.

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