This weekend’s NYT magazine has a sob story from Cathy Horyn about how she can’t afford expensive designer clothing, and–can you believe the embarrassment?–she had to buy an Alice and Olivia tunic instead of the YSL tunic. It’s a tragedy, really; I don’t know how she summons the courage to show herself in public.
The Times has recently been writing an awful lot about the middling problems of wealthy people (witness last week’s “I’m sad because my kitchen remodeling project is over!” story), and this is particularly troubling when the class divide is widening so noticeably in our country.
I wonder if Cathy Horyn and her friends know that for every person who can’t afford Balenciaga anymore, there are probably thousands who can’t even afford its “affordable” replacement of Peter Som (whose dresses are around $1,800). I just can’t feel sorry for anybody who complains about not being able to afford luxury goods while, uh, there’s a war going on. I know fashion in itself can be considered a frivolity, but this story exemplifies not only what’s wrong with fashion (the ridiculous price tags) but also what’s wrong with our materialistic-to-a-fault culture.