Saturday, November 10, 2012

Just Dump Her Already

Blog Post #2

 “We all find costly hand-wrought articles of apparel much more preferable…no matter how cleverly the copy may imitate the costly original” (Kawamura).

Excuse me.  I disagree.  I would probably buy knockoffs if I was fashionable enough, because I’m too darn poor.  The majority of the world is indeed too darn poor, unfortunately, so apologies to Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton - you’ll have to face the exhumation of demand from the cheapskate population a bit longer.  In "Knockouts for Knockoffs", imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.  Doesn't that justify knockoffs equaling reverence for a high-end product?  Doesn't it spark desire?

In other words, as a penniless college student, I have nothing against imitations.  Right?

Hey.  It's a hard world.

Coach is already near the cheapest end of designer handbags (among the ranks of brands like Express, Banana Republic, etc) (“Mixing High-End Designer and Low-End”) but is still a financially-strapped fashionista's nightmare.  But what’s one good thing that came out from exchanging out those poor Benjamins?  Quality.  Oh my toodles, the quality of every beautiful stitch (not to mention their backstitching – help me darling, I’m going to explode from sheer excitement) is to die for.  Its ability to keep itself together for more than five days is what I hold dear to my heart, not necessarily the fact that it’s fashionable. 

However, from the perspective of the fashion-conscious poor, what’s the point of quality?  If I really wanted to keep up with the constant torrent called ‘fashion trends’, wouldn't I don the latest articles only a few times, because the next new thing would soon be coming out - and oh no you didn’t guuurl [insert condescending finger waggle and/or head bobbling here] - you don’t want to be caught dead with those horrid monstrosities from last season, would you now?  That racks up costs.  High fashion is an expensive little bitch for the fashion-crazed.  She will always demand more.  So, what to do next?

Let's say we dump her, then have colorful one-night stands with the next worst thing – knockoffs.  Get out of that abusive relationship - and start another one.

Yes, it's tempting to buy fakes.  Yes, it's cheaper, it's more convenient, it looks almost exactly like those two-grand shoes, it whisks profits away from the elites and towards the lower-class, robin hood-style.  There's a dark side to Robin Hood Knockoffs, though - and there is more to it than the less-than-righteous ways in which that counterfeit $3 Coach bag was made.  Other than possibly having involved black-market dealings and much heavier crimes, piracy hurts the business - the designers - who created the concept.  Let's take the Snuggie as a slightly unrelated (and very not-fashion-forward) example.  The Snuggie was churning along fairly well, until the concept of monopolistic competition began to kick it down.  I believe that knockoffs have a similar effect that things like the Slanket and the Coz-E had on the original Snuggie - the profits and demand go down overall for the entire article because the market is being flooded with mediocre sleeve blankets, dulling its novelty.  In other words, fake fashion goods will slowly - but certainly - cause an actual decrease of desire for a designer product.  Imitations are not necessarily positive when they are insistently present, for they will eventually kill themselves as well as their source.

So now there's controversy - those conscience-wringing little tidbits of information that cause us to stop and think twice.  Knockoffs are a guilty convenience.  But I, as a fashionable individual, still want to keep up with the trends I see on the streets and in the media.  Is there any other way?

Instead of buying things that one cannot afford or fueling the illegal counterfeit market, how about another alternative for the fashionable lower class - DIY?  Creating one's own imitations, after all, is a fulfilling, productive hobby.  And yet, it still batters the business whom one had taken 'inspiration' (copied) from.  

My brain hurts.

Be Green Challenge:  Week 2

My bottle of Neutrogena is officially empty, and now my acne is gleefully taking advantage of the situation.  My face looks like a pizza (albeit a very cheesy one with too little toppings).  Dwindling BB cream supply, to the rescue!

Other than my mutilated face, the challenge is going fantastic.  This is the first time that sheer laziness has been rewarding, so I guess I can pat my lazy self on the back for what a good job I’m doing so far.  I'm far from the influence of commercial deals, and in terms of clothing and trends that I notice, I admire more than I envy.  Sure, it's great to look nice, but I don't feel like I need to prove myself as worthy or express my individuality to others when I'm swamped with school work.  I can always do that later, because in a school with thirty-thousand other individuals, judgment is few and brief.  Which is the justification of the lazy.  It all goes around.  Life is good.

To Be Continued,

Jing Mai

Outside Source: 
"Mixing High-End Designer And Low-End". Demand Media, 2011.  Web.

Inside Sources:  
Kawamura, Yuniya.  Fashionology: An Introduction To Fashion Studies. Oxford: Berg, 2006. 21. Print.

Decker, Melissa.  "Knockouts for Knockoffs: The Global Implications of Fashion Piracy". Reader.

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