- May 24, 2002
- Reaction score
I am an international man of mystery.I am becoming increasingly curious about your identity.
An excellent point. Of course, marketing in general relies on such distortions. Usually, they're of the baser kind: i.e., buying Brand X will get you laid. (New campaign: Coke drinkers get more sex than Pepsi drinkers.) In the case of the suits, the marketers are simply playing to the pretensions of the people who can afford to buy them. One would think such people would recognize quality and the value thereof without the need for a bogus pedigree, but I doubt the marketers would keep employing the same schtick if it weren't working.My original critique of the bespoke craze relied not so much on the fact that bespoke clothing is generally inaccessible for economical reasons, but rather on the fact that those who marketed the bespoke trend have elevated class distinctions by plucking the suit from its democratic roots and planting it in a mythical, unassailable past before the traditions of the ancient and noble order and had been usurped.
Well, again, this sort of "populism" is, in its own way, as suspect as the "traditionalism" of the suit. Certainly the aesthetic begins with populist influences. However, I don't see how couture can ever be truly populist. These designers are "elevating" today's streetclothes in much the way Paone, et al., "elevate" the streetclothes of a previous generation...in concept, in class consciousness, and in price. The modernists, or post-modernists, or post-post-modernists, may be doing it with a greater sense of irony"”although I wouldn't guarantee it for all of them"”but they're still usurping the common and reinventing (or simply redeploying) it as rareified. Even "hip" diffusion lines are marketed on the premise that you're buying into the class of the marque at the entry level. Once you see past the hype, I don't think it makes much difference, socially or politically, whether you wear an Attolini bespoke suit or inside-out Evisu jeans with "eat the rich" scrawled on them in crayon. It just comes down to what resonates with you on a purely personal level. As I'm a man of moods"”as well as mysteryIn contrast, many modern designers are inherently populist, either taking inspiration from inexpensive streetwear and symbols of youthful rebellion or consciously looking towards the future.Â The designs of Raf Simons, though not particularly subtle, are a good example of the former, those of Hedi Slimane, the latter.