Today was a day full of very few ups and quite a few downs. To cheer myself up I pottered into town after work with the intent of buying something nice. At the weekend my mother gave me a gift card for a rather upmarket department store here in Dublin that stocks designer gear (Irish people, you know where I mean) – the card was given to her as a present nearly 2 years ago & she’d never used it but was unsure if there was an expiry on it, nevertheless, she passed it on to me.
For years, literally years, I’ve wanted an Alexander McQueen skullprint scarf, black with white skulls please. I’ve previously toyed with the idea of just buying one out of a month’s wages, but often backed out at the last minute, enticed into other shops along the way and spending the money i’d put aside for it. Today, however, I was on a mission. I was pissed of and I was buying that scarf. I went in, I clocked the scarves, I walked calmly over…I spotted the sales assistant looking at me and swiftly moving towards me. At this point I felt like Vivien from Pretty Woman, yes I had just come from work but I can assure you that I was clothed under my mac.
Unfortunately they had none of the black with white skulls, but they did have the inverted colours, white with black skulls…did I really want to spend €175 on a scarf in a colour I wasn’t sure about? I walked out of the shop, I walked up the street and back into the shop through another entrance to’ing and fro’ing in my mind about whether or not to buy it. As I walked back through the doors, I spotted a street vendor selling MY scarf. Black with white skulls. For a tenner. The scarf was ruined.
Of course i’ve seen many high street version, and i’ve bought the odd one in the past, but to see it there smirking at me, calling my name and teasing me that I couldn’t buy it’s sartorially older sister in the big shop beside it. I didn’t purchase the one for a tenner and I didn’t go back and purchase the white one, despite circling the shop 2 or 3 times (and, might I add, being questioned by every shop assistant who looked at me like pondscum, I have a loyalty card dammit, with THREE EURO worth of points on it! HA!)
On the lone, emptyhanded walk home I passed a woman with what I presumed to be a fake Louis Vuitton bag. And that was when I started questioning my own fashion obsessions. Do I really want to spend my usual monthly clothing budget on a scarf just because it’s designer? Or will people just presume it’s a fake anyway?
Do I want to buy it because I think it’s a classic design that will never go out of fashion or have I been brainwashed into thinking this because EVERYONE knows what the iconic design is and will immediately know it’s designer?
I’ve often tried to justify spending money on an item because ‘it’s good to invest in pieces you like’ – which is true, if they’re pieces that aren’t easily replicated and copied all over the high street and beyond. Not only that, but if I only have 1 or 2 items that I deem ‘investments’ that happen to be designer, am I buying them because I love them or because I want to show off that I have an expensive bag? A bit of both, truth be told. But what’s the point in that if people, like me, will look at a handbag and presume it’s a fake because it’s a well known designer or the person carrying it doesn’t appear to be otherwise dripping in gold?
I think my point here is, if a designer item is not immediately accessible to you because you don’t have the cashflow, but it’s an item that is popular for being popular’s sake i.e. aforementioned Louis Vuitton logo bags, Alexander McQueen scarf, Chloe Paddington bags, would you save your money and ‘invest’ in one and run the risk of people assuming it’s fake because it’s a design you still love no matter what, or would you admit defeat and think you’re better off spending your hard earned cash on something original?
I’m not sure if I lost my point along the way, but it’s certainly not designer vs fake. Screw it, if I had the money I know what and where i’d be purchasing.
As an aside, if it were a pair of shoes that I was thinking of buying, there’d be absolutely no questions asked. I seem to justify the money spent on shoes, at least in my head I do.