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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Forget the Fake, Let's Get Real

Tomas Maier may not be a household name, but as designer for luxury goods maker Bottega Veneta, his legendary bags have been popular prey for the designer knock-off industry. In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Maier caused a small stir when he denied that his goods were too expensive for middle class people to afford. In fact, he said that the middle class has "simply been trained to want too much stuff."

That last line really hit me, especially as I peruse Purse Mountain in my closet! We women of a certain age have all imagined ourselves, once or even twice, as a local Carrie Bradshaw knock-off, substituting her substantial sample-sized overstuffed wardrobes and Cosmopolitans for our hot-off-the-street fake Fendi bag and an asiago cheese bagel at Panera. And I'm sure one of us has spent a bit too long in the handbag haven that is T.J. Maxx - although I do stop short of calling myself a "Maxxinista", that's a little too close to Sandinista for my taste!

If I'm to follow the advice of Tomas Maier, then instead of dropping a few hundred dollars in a year on knock-off products that smell just a bit weird and that end up discarded, then I should, instead, save for the one I want the most and, once purchased, enjoy it.

I know, the men out there are rolling their eyes and wondering what's the big deal, I mean, it's a freakin' purse! But it's more than that. If I want something real but settle for something less, who's to say that this stops at purses?

Well, you have the final say!

If you settle for what you can get, but don't wait for what you really want, then ask yourself "why". Do you fear that no matter how hard you work, you'll never get to that mythical, magical land of "there."? Do you think that you're not worth it? Are you afraid that once you have that precious thing that it will be taken away from you, or destroyed, like Smeagol from "Lord of the Rings"?

I think that our purses are a metaphor for our lives. Does the inside of your purse resemble Fred Sanford's junkyard? Are movie ticket stubs from 1999 through 2010 living at the bottom of your handbag? Are you carrying a big bundle of backache in your overstuffed bag? Is there a Misfit Land of Purses festering at the bottom of your wardrobe?

Here's your assignment: take a voyage of discovery through your purses. Look at all of the purses that you own - inside and outside. You'll find forgotten treasures, as well as some highlights and low lights of your fashionable self, but the point of this is to ask yourself why you bought each of those bags, how you felt when you got it, and how it makes you feel now when you carry it (if you still carry it). Maybe Tomas Maier was right and we have been trained to want too much stuff. So forget the fake - it's time to get real!

I'm just saying:)

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