There is something about the heft of the magazine, the glossy surface to its pages, the implausible looks that have been semi-ridiculous since. . . oh, always. But I adore them all the same – it’s fashion.
Ideal for a case of Spring Fever, no? Not to mention, to check out the upcoming trends in tones or textures?
Passion for Fashion
All in all, my hour of looking at Vogue in order to imagine being in vogue was delicious. And then I paused.
I am fully aware of the ways in which my life has changed – for better and worse – over the past 10 years. And I simply don’t live a “Vogue” life any longer – if I ever did. And that’s just fine with me – though I certainly enjoy my periodic visits!
I also thought of the word vogue, of what it means to be in vogue, not to mention how tied some of us are – to appearance and names, and to the judgments of others.
What’s in a name?
Do you drop names? Do you care about designer labels? Do they signal a level of quality – or exclusivity?
And so I ponder pretension – the need to wear the latest designer, to shop in the right stores, to drive the right car, stay at the right resort on the next vacation.
- I thought about name droppers, and why they do what they do.
- I thought about trend setters – or should I call them early adopters?
- I thought about marketing and branding, advertising in all its increasingly viral forms, the extent to which we wrap our identity around the things we purchase, the objects we aspire to possess, the people with whom we seek to be seen.
And as I thumbed lovingly through the thick March issue, trying to pick out items that were especially appealing, it was hard not to think about those whose lives are about things and trappings and comparison. Mine is not.
It was hard not to think about those who must have the latest look, the newest gadget, or consume the most current in pop culture news. Not my style.
What if we can afford it? Are these simply variations in consumer behavior, and instilled in those privileged enough to use their disposable income as they please? Don’t we all make choices as to big ticket items – clothes or cars, homes or schools? Is it a matter of priorities? Of values? Of how we grew up – or something missing in our sense of self – if we can’t have the name brand, the flashy accessory, whatever is most in vogue?
Are you in vogue?
Naturally, I looked up the word vogue, and found:
The prevailing fashion, practice or style; popular acceptance or favor, as in – in vogue.
What about you?
- Do you care about being fashionable?
- Are brand names important to you?
- What about the latest trends?
- What drives you to consume them – or aspire to do so?
Trend-setting and Name-dropping
Recently, I had lunch with someone I hadn’t seen in some time. I threw on jeans (nice ones), a comfortable jacket and low-heeled boots. I put on my make-up, an unusual cuff bracelet, and dashed out the door. We had a lovely time catching up, but there were very subtle references to my lack of seasonal style.
The old friend in question is also not averse to a bit of name-dropping (I had forgotten). Not excessively, but noticeably.
Being a trend-setter is important to him. He drives an expensive car and wears fashionable labels. His budget and lifestyle allow for that. Mine do not, and most of the time, I couldn’t care less. But over that lunch?
I will admit I felt less than great, and slightly annoyed. But is there anything wrong with being a trend-setter, however you define it, if you can afford to be?