Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Design & fashion have humble origins, get over it.

Composite image - Prada, Supreme, Raf Simons, Tiffany's
The pens on my desk are housed in a mug a student designed for me. It was done at a local print store, cost of a few bucks but was part of her end of semester project in one of my courses. I never drank from that mug, but when it came to putting pens it seemed to be both, a meaningful and practical choice.
But well, the new Tiffany "every day objects" tin can could serve the purpose just as well. It costs a cool 1000 USD, and is made of sterling silver and vermeil. Twitter was having none of it, and jokes went galore over the brand.
But let it be known, all luxury is based on everyday items. Marciano, the owner of pseudo-upscale brand Guess got inspired by French prostitutes in Bois de Boulogne for what - in the 90s - turned out to be the iconic look of the brand, namely distressed jeans, sky high stilettos, and shirts tied in a knot at the belly with oversized sunglasses. Designers have been ripping off mundane objects shamelessly, the Jil Sander lunch bag? Anything punk-inspired by Vivienne Westwood?  The whole existence of Maison Margiela replica line which takes objects found in flea markets and upgrades them to the best possible standards including their best selling sneakers? (do read the convoluted story of the sneaker in question here).
Let's try again, Off White by Virgil Abloh with the new Nike collaboration which says "shoelaces" on the, err, shoelaces? Just to be clear, to be able to buy that collaboration you need to enter raffle draws. Or perhaps the Vetements super over expensive jeans which are made from two older ones? Still not convinced? A Prada paper clip that doubles as money clip (Paul Smith has a similar design by the way)? Or a Supreme "brick" whose use is yet to be understood - you might need perhaps the special Raf Simons duct tape to glue those bricks together (exorbitantly expensive for a tape but a bargain when compared to the prices of the rest of the items).
Anything we wear and use or store or collect is based on humble origins, funnily, the more "pre-distressed" it is, the more expensive it is (the Shanghai model from Church's proves it). And if you are going to go shopping for a pair for me (size 40, thank you!) you might as well arm yourself with a Balenciaga bag which is an exact replica of the plastic bag one takes from grocery shops. But then, the Church's are big so perhaps a bigger one like the one shown here, could do the job but - gasp - this seems to be very close to the Ikea Frakta bag.
Ikea had an incredible reaction to the Balenciaga copy of its own iconic product. But hey, if you want to go luxe, you know which one to pick! Actually, Louis Vuitton has another option in case you want a bigger spectrum of choice.