Is It Okay to Love Fashion?
I have a problem with fashion.
I have a problem in the sense I'm addicted to it, with Shop Til You Drop, Madison and Marie Claire among my favourite magazines. I drool over LV signature scarves, $1,000 skyscraper heels and Chloe handbags. My real problem, however, is a moral one: is it wrong of me to desire these things?
To me, fashion is about having fun, but not at the expense of others, the planet or people starving in Africa. If you're lucky enough to afford luxury, it's easy to hide behind it, afraid that if your outfit doesn't cost the price of a mortgage downpayment it won't look good. The real skill though, the Holy Grail of shopping, is to create an outfit that looks wonderful, expensive even, but costs little. To me, people who can do this can truly call themselves stylish.
While some dismiss it as little more than a glorified clothes catalogue, this egalitarian approach to fashion is why I love Shop Til You Drop magazine. It may not be loaded with articles on serious issues, but in a way it's more honest than other mags, not disguising the advertising and consumerist objective behind a token selection of articles. In Shop, there's something for everyone, no matter what age, figure or wallet size.
That's why I was so thrilled to stumble across Peppermint. It takes egalitarian, ethical fashion to the next level, aiming to promote cruelty-free, environmentally-friendly materials, brands that support charities and other wonderful initiatives to ease our yuppy guilt. For my part, I try to pick up my high street and quasi-designer buys on sale or eBay, or win them in competitions. I'm also slowly getting over my prejudice against vintage clothes.
I guess it's all a matter of where you feel comfortable drawing the line.
Where do you draw it?