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28-05-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
identity should be something more than a label on a bag/blouse/perfume etc.. its been called conspicious (sp?) consumption.. eg. climbing the 'social' ladder

strange thing is that people are so ready to slave in order to aquire a plasic identity ..so many girls saving/in debt in order to get the 'it' item which (they believe) will improve their social 'image' or make them acceptable in a circle they really dont belong in

regardless how well i understand the motives for exessive consumption, the victimization of the consumer and the social 'preassure'/monitoring we are all exposed to, it does makes me sad to see people live-to-consume
I agree 100 %, but I also think it's really hard to resist the pressure... Unless you make your own clothes and accessories (you might, but not most people) you have to make choices about labels and styles...

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28-05-2005
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"Aspirational" dressing is what most people do, in a way, isn't it? You dress how you'd like other people to perceive you, consciously or not. It can be Juicy Cotoure sweats, a Louis Vuitton bag or a Yohji shroud.

I think it's a bit funny that conspicuos consumerism is practically always associated with flashy labels... I mean, you can be a conspicuos consumer buying "serious" labels as well...

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28-05-2005
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yes of course tott, one needs to make choices (even me) but i dont rely my identity on a label stuck on a product i bought (or i wish to buy)
e.g.i'll be the same ME with or without a Dries Van Noten dress.

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28-05-2005
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the want to consume and posses is very human and very natural, it's a survival urge. it's sad but true. This dose not mean that we have to succum to these feelings. It's important to be able to get happiness from yourself and the things and people around you.

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28-05-2005
  20
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As brian said, the truth is hard. We live in a materialistic world, it's undeniable. Most of us (of course not all) want stuff. We want success, we want money, we want to look good, we want, want, want. It's not odd, I see it as something very natural and not necasarily a bad thing. Of course things can go crazy, but the little materialistic 'me' that lives in everyone is welcome to show it's face once in a while I think.

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28-05-2005
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i think this is not about designers and collections and is really about 'shopping'...
and about the consumer and the society...

this is very little to do with the collections themselves...
imo...it's more about the CULT OF FASHIONALITY...
the brainwashing by the media to always want more more more....

these people are the ones who buy juicy couture...NOT dries...
dries is NOT a status label...chanel is...LV is...
even coach and dooney and burke are 'status' labels...
i find that most of these people with the problem are not necessarily buying designer goods...they just want what everyone else has...
it can be a pair of plastic $3.99 flip flops from old navy...but if everyone else has them...then they need them too...in every single colour!!...
it's a need to keep up or to belong or to be one of the 'in crowd'...

it's about 'perception'...
i think we have discussed this in various forms in other threads...

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Last edited by softgrey; 28-05-2005 at 01:07 PM.
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28-05-2005
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I don't really think this has a lot to do with keeping up with the masses. That is not the issue to be discussed here. The issue is more likely that today's society wants more. Not primarily to keep up with Paris Hilton, but to give in to its hunger for more. In this society where we crave to the big bucks and the success, it's all about owning more and more. And that is the main 'problem' with being materialistic.

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28-05-2005
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but we crave all those things because the media shows us images of people like 'paris hilton' with all of that...
so in turn...we want it too...

the media 'creates and perpetuates' materialism in society...

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28-05-2005
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Ok, but then again, it still does not have anything to do with owning Dries or Juicy...it's about owning on itself. But I can't deny that these days there seems to be a big connection with owning and Juicy or Vuitton or whatever...

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28-05-2005
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Democracy in America is the most amazing book ever written. Not only is it more relevant today than when it was first published, but it will be even more on point in the decades to come. Ending a class by bringing up de Tocqueville is kind of like saying, "Oh by the way, there's this thing called 'religion' that makes an impact on society." You need to spend more time on it to harness what this guy has to say. Even after just the first section it's eye-opening.

de Tocqueville doesn't judge one way or the other what should happen. Instead he merely points out what and why. Back when he visited the United States, the expanse of the country was beyond mind-boggling. "Freedom" wasn't a concept, it was a fact. He noted that Americans went into the woods with a bible, axe and a newspaper. What he meant was that faith (not being religious necessarily but thinking it's not a completely alien concept) facilitates democracy because it's all about governance, i.e., the person and then God and rules in between. In fact he said Catholics make even better democrats because they've got priests that add another layer of intermediaries, so it's more like a representative democracy. The axe part is that labor is rewarded with results. The newspapers part is really on point to fashion. Back in the day, newspapers weren't what they are today. At that time they were the main glue for bringing common interests together. He called these groups "associations."

We want and gravitate toward associations. There are lots of things that combat this: apathy, the notion of what's safe, plain laziness, etc. But assocations will find a way.

I'd argue that fashion creates assocations. Sure they might be exclusive, but they still add to a sense of belonging. It's not flighty either, because the clothes, accessories, etc., are tangible. de Tocqueville is big on tangibility. You can't understand something unless you see what effects you have on it, he says. For example, a person is never going to understand the government's interest in north-south debt disconnect if you don't see that your local mayor and council have the ability to vote on and appropriate money for fixing the sidewalk in front of your house.

Look at The Fashion Spot. It's clearly an association and one that's quite "American" as well, in the way de Tocqueville would mean. Our socio-economic statuses (sp?) encompass the full range. Plus, the "Pictures of Us" thread aside, we're not visible enough so that preconceptions ("memory," de Tocqueville says) aren't that much of an issue.

In short, I think your professor should balance his idea of materialism as a separating force with that of it as allowing an associative force too. I think that's what de Tocqueville would say but who knows because there wasn't that amazing Fall 2005 Prada jacket that I want when he was around.

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28-05-2005
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exactly, its not what you own, is what label its on it and how this 'helps' one fit in an illusionary image of 'hype' , wearing the same shoes as a starlet, or the latest 'alternative/quirky' designer out there.. its the same, people look for justification of their imaginary status, i seriously find this misleading.
a girl who lives in the suburbs and slaves for her L.V/Dries/no-matter-what has nothing in common with women who actually wear LV/Dries/no-matter-what in their everyday life, like in the supermarket.
its the illusion of grandiose which is a matter of choice.. i mean i dont live on the moon, i get the same pressure on labels as anyone else in our western societies..

label worshiping and conspicious consumption, its only a social phenomenon.. we all have the choice (and the right) to participate or not to participate.. for me, whats important is to understand the existance and patterns of materialistic/consumption-obsessed socio-economic dynamics and then make a choice

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28-05-2005
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atelier that was very very well said!!!! *clap clap!*

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28-05-2005
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atelier, i dont think its about 'assosiations' its more about 'social climbing' and pretending something one is not, its an illusionary thing, the latest Prada jacket, see?

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28-05-2005
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i agree with lena on one point especially...
these are the facts...
it's important to be aware of them...
and then to use your own judgement when making decisions about what works best for you...


but i agree with atelier...
it's NOT always about social climing...
it's more complicated as far as i can tell...
most if it comes down to 'insecurity' and a lack of self-recognition...
and a lack of self definition...

it's not just about comsuming 'labels'...
but about consuming...EVERYTHING...
just acquiring more and more STUFF...
not necessarily designer stuff...
that is why i don't think it's about designers...
jeans/denim is a perfect example...
it's a serious CULT!!...

i think that the luxury goods market
is a narrow view of the greater societal issues..

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Last edited by softgrey; 28-05-2005 at 02:14 PM.
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28-05-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
label worshiping and conspicious consumption, its only a social phenomenon.. we all have the choice (and the right) to participate or not to participate.. for me, whats important is to understand the existance and patterns of materialistic/consumption-obsessed socio-economic dynamics and then make a choice
Absolutely! But Lena, you are a seasoned industry pro, and you are interested in the mechanisms. You might be a bit disillusioned even.
And by not participating in the dance, you are also making a (stylish) statement...

Many people are dazzled by imagery and labels when they first get interested in fashion, and later mature and evolve into their "true" style. Be it loud glam or subdued minimalism. I don't think it's fair to judge adolescents as victims, they haven't really had the time to mature yet.


Last edited by tott; 28-05-2005 at 02:35 PM.
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