Fashion Victim: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Dressing, Shopping, and the Cost of Style

By Michelle Lee

A riveting glance contained in the model international that exposes the reality approximately shopaholics, sweatshops, and superstar closets.

Fashion—from the $1500 Prada bag to the $30 Kate Spade knock-off offered at the sidewalk—has been remodeled from a commodity reserved for the elite to a robust presence in mass industry tradition. As a society, we're keen about model and elegance, racking up bank card debt to help compulsive purchasing behavior, scouring magazines for the newest tendencies to shop for, and focusing extra on who’s donning what on the Oscars than on who’s successful. In Fashion Victim, award-winning journalist Michelle Lee blows the lid off the style undefined, and spotlights the fascinating—and usually disturbing--ways within which it really is morphing our tradition, our economic system and our values.

Dishing at the lords of the label, together with designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Kenneth Cole, Fashion Victim unearths a global that's occasionally ugly, occasionally glitzy, yet regularly exciting. From undergo hides to the Victorian bustle, Lee lines the function of style throughout the a while, taking us from the sunrise of ready-to-wear in 1865 to the trendy pattern cycles that incite us to clamor after leg heaters, bumster trousers, and Manolo Blahniks. She information the beginning of “Speed Chic”—the hamster wheel of fashion that retains us caught in an unending cycle of intake and has develop into the crack-cocaine of style, delivering us with a brief excessive till we spot the following pattern and achieve for our wallets. She additionally explores the phenomenon of “McFashion,” the uncanny proliferation of outlets just like the hole and previous military which are creeping into each city in the USA and stripping us—and the designers they knock off--of individuality and innovation. and she or he finally probes the human fee of fashion’s decadence, together with the distorted perceptions of attractiveness fueled by means of high-end designers, the risks of dry cleansing, and the grotesque monetary disparity among those that make the garments and people who purchase them.

An unparalleled glance at the back of the runway on the forces and personalities using this $200 billion buck undefined, Fashion Victim is a trendy, provocative and hugely pleasing contribution to the research of yank pop culture.

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Qxd 12/19/02 9:25 AM web page sixty nine McFASHION in-store hassles can draw back invaluable funds. for that reason, they dissipate hundreds of thousands of bucks to conceive new ideas for purchasing shoppers to stick longer and spend extra. each element of the procuring event has been brainstormed on and mulled over through executives at corporation headquarters in order that strangely little is left to likelihood. consumers may perhaps think like they’re easily searching, yet they’re rather being led. clothes and niknaks saved in “dump boxes” recommend a very good purchase.

This used to be a daring movement for Donatella Versace, who may have seated P. Diddy or Salma Hayek or any variety of different superstars in her 124 electronic Composition 135506 Lee_0767910486_4p_01_r1. qxd 12/19/02 9:25 AM web page a hundred twenty five NONSTOP style assurance! position, yet made a play for a wiser, more youthful demographic through deciding on the made-over daughter of an ex-president. the most important real-life product placement occasion of the yr, in fact, is the Academy Awards. The Oscars are watched live to tell the tale six continents by way of greater than one thousand million audience all over the world (73 million within the U.

Frugality at its best, certainly. 2 T H O U S H A LT C O V E T U S E L E S S U T I L I T Y To the style sufferer, there’s not anything unsuitable with outfits that serve no objective except taking a look cool. but when a garment can create the semblance that it’s useful to boot, it’s all of the higher. part of us understands that style is frivolous, so we strive to justify our participation in it through making our outfits look invaluable. We’re greedy at straws to rationalize making a few of our pointless purchases. Shirts include hoods whose sole function is to hold in the back of one’s neck.

A winning Californiabased corporation that reinterprets fashion designer and famous person attire at low costs, operates on a ninety-day turnaround, that means A. B. S. models of runway types seem in shops whilst the dressmaker originals. In a 1996 profile, Miuccia Prada expressed her frustration on the knockoff marketplace. “We are experiencing a massive assault from those that need to know what we're doing,” she acknowledged. “They loaf around our textile generators, they wish to work out our prototypes—it’s rather turning into insufferable.

Different parts of the area mixed clutch up merely nine percentage. the typical American contains approximately $6,000 in credit-card debt month to month. however the style sufferer, due to her profligate spending conduct, is liable to wearing even more. at any time when we purchase the must-have merchandise, we force ourselves extra into debt. This not just provides to our pressure levels—requiring us to spend much more funds on “retail therapy”—it additionally steers us right into a relentless cycle of overwork. As Schwartz asserts within the bills of dwelling, humans may perhaps stay happier lives in the event that they fed on much less, which might let them get rid of a few of the pressures of creating cash.

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