I think it started getting under my skin when I saw the most god-awful excuses for purses going for more than USD600, then 1200, then 4300. And you can’t blame the euro for the prices.
These “luxury items” are covered in buckles, straps, and were the size of my pregnant abdomen at about 34 weeks. And unlike the miracle that was my changing body, they’re hideous. Women, who weigh less than the handbag fully loaded, carry them to show – what? – to show they have more credit line than sense? To claim fashionista status? Because they really do live out of a handbag?
If it was only about handbags, it could be written off, but anyone can tell you it’s not. I keep thinking I’m going to have an 80’s flashback – more red suits, more coke, a big hair revival – though the 70’s references still seem to be seizing the day, aesthetically and perhaps a little bit culturally, in terms of the dissonance between expectations of “moral” behaviour and the actual practice. But the greed, the mainstream label fetishism, it feels like the worst of conspicuous consumption on steroids (ah! another revival.) And of course, the publishing industry is following suit, both with tomes celebrating the “luxe” phenomenon and analyzing it.
The catalogs choking my mailbox also take the reader/consumer down the glittering, ermine path, just in time for the holidays where we celebrate the notion of one day’s worth of oil giving 8 days of light, or the birth of the divine, of hope and love, in the most humble of places. (I’ve been thinking that one out in terms of how to explain Christmas v. Christmas lights and Santa to Ben – perhaps another post.)
So, it all got me to thinking, a little less luxe, a little more lovely. Not only in the sense of aesthetics (though it might help), but also the spirit of how we live, what we choose to do, what we call fun, what we decide to present to each other, share with each other, what and who we celebrate. And perhaps what “luxe” comes from in the first place – light.