Saturday, September 01, 2007

To tag or not to tag

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.
~ Coco Chanel
French Fashion designer, King of Parisian haute couture for six decades, 1883-1971

The takeover is complete. Every single inch of their consciousness overwhelmed, stupefied by the dazzle that modern fashion is. And it has permeated deep down, to the level of fathomless obsequiousness. I can't help smirk when I see fashion-toadyish bands of boys, raiding branded stores, laden with disposable incomes. Linkin park loving. Rapcore fans without following a word of what is being sung. I can understand an African-American teenager – with his soggy pants - in the 1970’s crooning the un-intelligible hip-hop, swear words and all, as a means of breaking free of the dominant discriminating attitude of those times but what has become of our fellas.

Sadly it all passes as Fashion. Sporting a Nike is mandatory. That is being branded. Rich. How does it matter that Vietnam Labor Watch, a respected activist group, painstakingly documented that Nike violates minimum wage and overtime laws in much of the poor world, where their goods are typically manufactured. Sources of this criticism include Naomi Klein's book No Logo and Michael Moore's documentaries. A $ 15 billion company knows how to gloss that over. Fluent sales gals in ultra-stylish showrooms -- showcasing the latest apparel to our Linkin park-adoring guys -- do the needful. In an intellectually-bereft generation, everything is cool.

Donning famed tags is not a problem. I – for record -- wear a branded perfume, wear Lee. As someone’s correctly pointed out, the most important thing you can take anywhere is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; it's an open mind. It is about sensibility. Recklessly aping the west to the extend of deranged fascination, bordering on sublimation, is not sensibility. It is fakeness and it smothers originality. As they say, it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

The media makes the plebeians think that imitation is cool. That behaving in a certain way is hip. Ironically what we read and hear is Corporate Media. Media, funded by the same companies, which sell you a floater for a ridiculous four grands or make you shell out a fortune for some nutty, cranky gizmo. Fashion! So we have neo-fashionists with often no sense of style. You can be fashionable but the style quotient cannot come without proper exposure. Understanding one's culturescape is also key. Fashions often fade, style is eternal.

True, in a globalized world, we can’t question the west’s flooding of our markets, music and minds but shellacking its impact is important. To tell clever marketeering from genuine fashion. The problem is that we are all carried away by the high pitch hype. It has gotten too shallow. Ad-gurus with their finger on the society's pulse, know the Bull's eye: The collective psyches. Results: Free SMSes. Premium packages. Discounted apparel. Keep them transfixed, sucked up!

Market forces will rather have you take an extra something – Coffee shots for example -- for a price, which can buy you a work of John Paul Satre, the greatest thinker of our times. The gentleman refused the Nobel Prize in 1964. But who cares? We got to send another scrap to another chum – who by the way we not too chatty with -- on Orkut.

Such is being cool!



Anjali said...

That is a brilliant piece by a brilliant guy, who must I say is both original and cool.:))))))

Muntazim 32, London said...

Beautiful blog. Excellent posts.
Keep up the lovely work.


Namrata, Mumbai said...

Today everyone is slave to the fakeness of fashion, every one worth hi salt thinks its cool to flaunt brands. You cant expect to change anything thru your hi-octane blog

Namrata, Mumbai

nell said...

I really do hate going to boutiques. It's not just any shopping that I love. Although I do love going to dollar stores to see what housewares I can buy in bulk! u write good

Joy, Calcutta said...

People have lost all sense of style. You have so beautifully put it in words

Anonymous said...

I've never seen you without a brand and look who's talking.

Samir Bhat said...

I welcome positive criticism. I think, I have mentioned in my post that I wear tags, did I not?

Criticism for the sake of criticism, is also not good, Ms Anonymous!