The power to destroy lives: fashion is not superficial

November 4, 2010 in Fashion, Fashion Anthropology by alliemcc

{Warning : the second half of this article is a downer…}

If you chose the green t-shirt instead of the blue one this morning…

If you prefer briefs to boxers…

If you like the feel of a cotton sweater instead of a stiff, scratchy acrylic one…

You just negated your own argument against fashion.


But this was a strangely intimate moment, one I would ordinarily flunk by pretending it wasn’t happening. Realm is essentially Randi Jacobson’s own closet writ large, with the doors thrown open. The black leather Jitrois dress I was trying on was directly related to her own wedding gown. I realized it would be ungenerous and arrogant of me not to share my enjoyment of it. So, I zipped myself in, got over my gothically self-conscious bad self, and submitted to being a blushing Cinderella.

“Oh!” Ms. Jacobson enthused.

“I’ve never looked this good in my life,” I said, stupefied at my reflection. “I look like Jane Birkin.”

With the possible exception of a Gucci wrap-dress I tried on in 2007, this was true: The short leather dress and low-slung hip belt made me somehow taller, sexier and French. I got an unexpected yelp of approval from a young man working near the door — heady praise for a girl pushing 39 from the wrong direction. If I had a car, I would have sold it that afternoon to buy that dress ($3,825), regardless of the fact that I’d probably be too shy to ever wear it. (But, like that neutron bomb, I wouldn’t need to use it to know I had the power to destroy lives.)

via The New York Times


And, proof that it might help to study geography and economics if you want to work in the fashion business:

Cotton inventories had been low because of weak demand during the recession. This summer, new cotton crops were also depleted because of flooding in Pakistan and bad weather in China and India, all major cotton producers.

But demand from China, in particular, was rising. And as the economic recovery in the United States began, apparel makers and retailers placed orders for more inventory, spurring even more demand. As prices rose, speculators entered the market, driving prices even higher.

“So far, it has shocked even the most veteran traders,” said Mike Stevens, an independent cotton analyst in Mandeville, La., in an e-mail. “It has resulted in panic buying by mills worldwide in order to ensure that they can keep their doors open.”

As of Tuesday morning, the price of cotton (measured by cotton futures for December delivery) had hit a record high on worries that cold weather in China might have damaged some crops.

via The New York Times, again

Continue reading, to see how wages will be pushed down, synthetic (i.e. petroleum-derived) materials will be substituted, and of course prices will go up.  I imagine cotton farmer suicides rates in South Asia won't decrease either…