How did it comer to this? The fact I need to remind people that when it comes to fashion we get our head turned by marketing ploys and aspirational stuff. In fairness before I tell you off I have severely admonished myself. When I say fashion I don't just mean clothes but food and lifestyle choices.
My head has been, over the years, turned by what can only be described as 'middle class marketing madness'. Take granola or Innocent or Dorset Cereals. All three have hijacked the notion of breakfast and sold us a lifestyle option of wholesome goodness and proper parenting. They have been riding on the back of those expressing moral indignation of Nestle and its third world dealings. Those people who couldn't stomach the idea of supporting a company who despite poor water and little income were selling baby milk as an aspirational choice to the developing world and therefore adding to infant mortality.
Anti capitalism and anti global initiatives and uprisings have paved the way for modern wholesome capitalists to fill the gap of the big bad boys. These new boys (for they are mainly male) come in the shape of shorts, ruffled hair and an unassuming manner. I can't swear for sure what they look like but they convey a bountiful sense of nostalgia, a love of camper vans or a cute retro Fiat or any small cute retro car, they cite camping as pastimes or sporting interests that don't involve F1 cars or helicopters. You get the sense that they prefer a Jamie Oliver style get together with friends rather than a recommended Giles Coren Michelin star restaurant or current in place. In essence as you inhale in their world, you inhale goodness and love not the love of luxury and exclusivity. We get the feeling we are them or they are us or something like that.
In vague notions of FAQs and lovely crafted titles of 'things we do' - Innocent and Dorset Cereals sell us honest natural goodness for ourselves and more importantly our kids. In fairness if you stick to a tiny glass of orange juice and a bowl of porridge from these companies then you are ingesting health, but beyond that if you think they are selling you goodness and you are eating healthy then think again.
I watched a marvellous programme hidden on BBC2 called The Men Who Made Us Fat - in which Jacques Peretti investigate our notions of healthy food. It shocked me to the core and reminded me of all that is wrong with marketing and our obsession with goods. The issue is so complex I really am not going to enter any further on this matter in this post but I am building up to it!
Simply this programme really got to the nub of the tosh we are being sold. My favourite line was 'if you eat organic ice cream and organic chips you will get fat in the same way if your were eating non organic ice cream and non organic chips'. There were lots of slim older male academics and great female journalist who have encountered and challenged the food industry. Do watch if on iPlayer if you can and then lets all have a chat on how we can sort out the fashion industry and challenge the notions of design, taste and the workings of it all.
I'm sticking to the simple things and am going to design a traffic light system for fashion to help people buy wisely and within their means. I want to debunk the notions of luxury and status on many layers maybe it is time to reread No Logo again. The food industry traffic lights was to help consumer with their choice red is obviously bad, amber ok and green good. Porridge would be green but the rest of Dorset Cereal stuff would be red - have you seen how much fat is contained in their products ditto Innocent with sugar. It may be natural sugar but it is in far too high a quantity to be good.
I freely admit I want a Louis Vuitton card holder, for that is all I could realistically afford, I know that on one level it is aspiration and on another I have bought into a collective view when any old card holder would do. I want the logo in short. But soon I hope I can free myself from these trappings as I have done on the breakfast front. By switching to the humble sturdy no thrills Weetabix I am saving my waistline and saving the pennies. Those pennies won't be going to purchases but towards reducing the debt in the shape of the mortgage. I'm keeping it simple. Which is why only the humble Weetabix will do ...don't go touching their Alpen and Weetos ^&*t. and come the winter it will be porridge all the way.
Talking of humble, good and not a bunch of blokes, I'm dedicating today's post to Who Made Your Pants? A truly honest, marvellous company who had it not been for weather issues mucking up my work and the demands of the last week of school I would have been at their open day today and have reported back on their wonderful workings.