(not so) random links

-apparently, it used to be so, so easy to hawk those luxury fashion goods, when the economy was riding high. times seemed to be good, money flowed so freely, and it seemed like everyone (and their financial status) felt pretty darn invincible. the rich were ever richer, and the less rich were willing to shell out the dough for the latest “it-bag” or the like in an attempt to aspire to the life or lifestyle of the aforementioned rich folk. it felt like it could never end…but it did. but the looming recession has started to pinch the wallets of multiple classes, and by extension, it’s pinching the profits of manufacturers and retailers. consumer spending is down in general. (via the baltimore sun) some are asking, how will luxury brands, and we, the consumer, survive this downturn in the economy? (via slate) what will sell? what will we actually buy? the fashion industry is ‘cautiously optimistic’. let’s be honest: they almost have to tow that line, as of course, they don’t want to project too much doom and gloom, lest they want to see the confidence of consumers falter even more…which would of course affect their profits…

in thinking about all this faltering economy stuff, i find myself seeing both a good and bad side to this potentially bad fiscal trend.

on the pro side: will constricted budgets force consumers at large to think more critically about the things they DO choose to buy? could it convince them of the value of recycling via thrifting and sustainably-made clothing and other related goods? is it possible that people will increasingly buy in a less trend-driven or frivolous manner, instead choosing to indulge in a little bit of delayed gratification, only purchasing that which seems to have a more classic bent, or a longer life-span in one’s closet? will more folks turn to doing-it-themselves…and actually, will this DIY trend continue to be haute, or even more popular than it already seems to be?

on the con side: when the economy is weak, manufacturers and retailers may be less likely to take risks, less likely to take a chance on more innovative designers, lines, or their products. small businesses who aim to make original wearables may have a hard time staying afloat or finding capital to start or continue…all of which may make for less ease in finding and purchasing more experimental or innovative fashion, should a person or persons be interested in such styles.

can you see any other fashion-related pros or cons to a weakened economy, particularly if said weakening is sustained over a period of time?

***

fops and dandies (one of my fave fashion-related blogs, btw) made a little post a few days ago about how she makes living and looking stylish work whilst living in notoriously expensive new york city. in that missive, she referenced an article in the new york times about how other young and just-starting-out ny-ers do the same. i read both her post and the article with great interest, because boy oh boy, can i relate, having lived in NYC, and now SF (both VERY expensive locales with near insane costs-of-living). the husband and i have had to make a lot of “sacrifices” to live in both places as well, in order to afford other things and live the lifestyle we desire. yes, we have to forgo luxuries others might take for granted and it’s not all perfect, but we make it work.

what about you? if you’re an urban dweller living in an expensive city, how do you ‘make do’? what ‘cons’ about living in a city or dealing with great expenses do you stomach in lieu of being able to enjoy the ‘pros’? how do you ensure that you are able to afford certain luxuries (‘luxuries’ to be defined by you, of course)? do you pinch the pennies harder in one or many areas so you can spend with relative abandon in others? what are the ways in which you do this? how does this creative budgeting and creative living affect what you do end up adding to your wardrobe or how you dress/express yourself?

***

-and sort of related to the last two: what about the notion of giving up all that stuff, all those clothes and whatevers, in order to pursue a life of voluntary simplicity? (via the new york times) sometimes, some say, all that stuff you own can really end up owning you. do you really NEED it all? do you really NEED a closet bursting with clothing, if you really only need or even wear a fraction of it? HONESTLY, do you feel more is more, or do you feel that is less more? can being free of THINGS make one actually feel more ‘free’?

i love pretty things, i have to admit. i probably own too many things…but do try to sort through said things and aim to consciously stem my acquisitions, both with increasing regularity. but i am not perfect. to give it all up might prove a challenge for me, personally.

but…could YOU do it? could you give all your things up and live the simple life? do you ever get the urge to do so? do you know anyone who has? can you shed some light on how they make it work and they manage to maintain that almost ascetic level of simplicity in their life? what keeps them motivated?

***

and just a few of the quick and dirty today…

-forget that they are being worn by celebs (really, who cares??)…check out this round-up of great leggings sewing patterns that was recently posted on the threadbanger blog.

-ranna of only shallow posted a link to a gallery of photos her fellow stylish finns as snapped at an event put on by finnish retailer stockmann that apparently featured/celebrated the work of some of finland’s finest young fashion talent. i love the statement and sentiment of the sign the folks are all holding: ‘this is me, who are you?’

finnexhibit.jpg

said statement kind of succinctly reminds me of the ethos and motivation of/behind why i started/why people post to wardrobe_remix, in a way, i must say! 🙂

p.s. i wish i could read finnish!

altered couture magazine, a periodical all about altered and embellished wearables looks like it’s worth a look. thanks to outsapop for the heads-up!

5 comments

  1. pamela

    I love to visit historic houses; places like Plymouth Plantation in Mass., General Vallejo’s Adobe in California, etc. etc. The sorts of places where pioneering people lived on a much reduced scale. Obviously these houses are constructions; the stuff in them is rarely the stuff that the residents’ actually owned, but it’s always reflective of the status of the people who once lived there, and the period in which they lived. The domestic objects may have been expensive imports at the time, and so the family owned only what they needed and could really use. Their few items are displayed proudly, because they represent the hard work of family members – whether directly made by them, or accessible to them because of the way they husbanded their resources. I always want to come home and toss 80% of what I own, and only live with that which I – as William Morris said – know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. The things you keep in those circumstances really mean something to you, unlike half the disposable stuff we drag into our houses, from store shelves populated with scores of other such items.

  2. Jenn

    I love the idea of voluntary simplicity! Though I do still live in a large (to me- 700 sq ft by myself) space. I am not so much tied to stuff and to feeling like people would feel bad if I gave away stuff they had given me.

  3. pamela

    Oh, and Altered Couture magazine is pretty cool. I stumbled on their table at Maker Faire, and then purchased an issue at Borders. Not cheap though; the cover price is $16 an issue! yow!

  4. Sal

    So many admirable folks are opting for voluntary simplicity these days, but I’ll admit to adoring a full wardrobe and a home full of squashy chairs and personally meaningful art. Growing up with a family who actually had plenty, but maintained a Depression-era conservation-of-resources mentality has fostered in me a need to feel abundant. To me, abundant means safe. Just as inheriting my husband’s video iPod, which can house my ENTIRE mp3 collection, gives me a feeling of well-being, maintaining a wardrobe bursting with options calms me. I, like you, cull often and purchase selectively. But to quell the anxiety, I basically resist simplicity. Kinda awful, but if we’re being honest …