Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Haute Couture: A Right to Philanthropist Luxury or Fortunes Shamefully Spent?
Since I was a little kid and up to my 20s, fashion and beauty were the two things that I loved. I used to love all the expensive products and clothes, because I thought that the price I spent on them added value to them, regardless of the actual quality of what I bought. Quality didn't really matter honestly. It was all about the brand and the money I'd spent. I've changed since then quite a lot and I myself don't value these material things anymore. Mind me, I still love some things, just for what they really are, not because it added value to my closet, as I thought it added value to me. I believe that I wasn't the only one thinking like that, and even though now that I'm writing it, I'm not particularly proud of that period. But I thought it was important to say it because if I was thinking like that, many people probably did or do too. So, in order to tackle with this subject of spending incredible sums of money because we were lead to believe that it buys us a value, what better theme than Haute Couture, the luxury hand made clothes?
I saw a documentary on Haute Couture, and I collected the main ideas that were stated to explain why people, all women, bought and wore these so expensive clothes.They want and feel the need to acquire these pieces of art, as they say. There are about 200 such women in the whole world who buy Haute Couture, and they have become a very discrete and very demanding club, in which being rich isn't the only virtue that one must have! You need to know people who will introduce you to them, and who will start accepting you as you spend much money and prove your belonging in this private club. So, basically, a crucial aspect in all this is wanting to be a part of the circle, even though all members pretend that no one should enter the circle for the circle, but love Haute Couture and thus enter the circle to share your love for expensive clothes. Huh. One of these sayings that make an even better impression of its utterer, don't you think?
Then, one of the other reasons one would love to be a part of all this is philanthropy, some of these women say. It is their way to contribute to art and history, like a sponsor if you'd prefer, whose generosity allows works of art to come into the world. So, as the costs start from about 10.000 dollars for a little top, and end up in a sum somewhere beyond 6 numbers, and since these women actually keep their grand act of generosity until their death, I wonder really to what extent this really is an act of philanthropy... Because even if I were credulous, which I am not, and believed this justification of outrageous sums of money spent over clothes while others on the earth die of famines, I'm afraid these women didn't really get what philanthropy means... Just as a reminder of the definition of the term, according to the Longman dictionary, philanthropy means "a feeling of kindness and love for all people, especially as shown in an active way by giving help or money to people who are poor or in trouble. I'll let you ponder on that and see if you can see the link between philanthropy and the act of buying Haute Couture for oneself. Oh I forgot to mention the grand gesture of giving it afterwards to a museum, once they're dead! Oh but did I mention that these women have no kids, thus no legacy? So, basically they don't really have a choice, do they? They either die and all is thrown away, or they give it away and are finally rewarded of spending their own money in a world that is so cruel and judge them so harshly (me being first in line!).
The good reason, as they all say, to buy Haute Couture, is to want the best, and so be ready to pay what it costs to wear the best. They say that when you wear haute Couture, you wear some of the greatest textiles that are very light and that you were not annoyed by anything about the clothe, since it felt like a second skin. Obviously, these clothes are made on command exclusively for the person who purchases it. It is unique. They feel like a princess! Oh my, they believe that all girls should feel like princesses! Pardon me madam, but most of the world's girls and women can't experience or can't purchase that feeling, AND most of all, women now have other aspirations in life for themselves than buying clothes to feel like princesses. And by the way, Walt Disney princesses, have nothing to do with real princesses, except for the expensive clothes, all the rest seems kind of a burden (to me,at least).
Now, I'm not saying that Haute Couture doesn't look lovely, and that I wouldn't want to wear it, let's not be ridiculous! If it was affordable to dress like that, I probably would. I'm saying that it is outrageous that because some women have their husbands' money as occupation they buy things that have no purpose (putting the artistic invention itself, of course) whatsoever but to be put in a closet to feel proud about. These women, even though they have all the money in the world, are the less engaged and developed of women. They depend on their husband, consider it a full time job to look good, be thin, look young, fit in dresses, spend enormous amounts of money, and be part of an elite community of people who don't contribute at all to the world, but spend more in a lifetime than some countries in a year! And don't even get me started again on the philanthropic deeds they pretend to be doing. Please. It is just an excuse to justify their acts to the world and comfort themselves in the idea that they're good people who do things for the greater good of humanity. Who are they fooling? Probably no one, not even themselves. What a sad example than that of these women who are presented as the elite of our society, and who sheepishly live a life of non-being. So, yes, the title of my article is harsh, my article itself is harsh, and I, myself, am harsh, but I don't care. It is time we stopped seeing these extravagant acts of non-being as glamorous and enviable and start facing them with what it is they're really doing. There is no excuse not to help people around you. And there are even less so when you have all the power to do it! Let them buy these clothes! But couldn't they make sure a part of the profit went to some charity, to some sick people, to some people in need? I didn't hear any of that in these women's speeches. Now, to me, that would be some respectable deed.
Here is a BBC documentary called "The Secret World of Haute Couture":
Have a great day, and keep your mind sharp!