October 22, 2009

thank you.

"It's always a bit discombobulating when people raise their voices in anger because they've gotten wind that designers are making and selling $25,000 dresses. After all, it's not as if the existence of a dress that costs as much as a car negates the availability of cute $25 frocks at Target. And it isn't as though edicts have been issued that all women must now dress like one of the superheroes on Balenciaga's runway.

For personal and sometimes tortured reasons -- I can't have it so no one else can! -- observers declare that they just don't understand the attraction of these strange and expensive clothes. That would be a fair argument if those same complainers lashed out at people who spend thousands of dollars on Redskins season tickets, vintage wines, first-edition books or midlife-crisis cars. But those industries don't stir nearly as much ire from people who are uninterested in them.

Everyone has a passion that is lost on others."

-Robin Givhan, The Washington Post, October 18th. Yes, Thin's In, But Why Is That A Surprise?

99 comments:

brandon said...

Thank you, kind ladygirl.

aandhblog said...

SO. TRUE. MUST MEMORIZE MONTAGE AND REGURGITATE IN FACE OF SMALL-MINDED NAY-SAYERS IN MY DAILY TRAVELS!!

Thank you so much for posting this!

xx
Ava
http://www.aandhblog.wordpress.com

Emily Cato said...

First of all, I love the word 'discombobulate' a lot, though I have no idea why!

Also, I'm writing this in my notebook, because it's brilliant. Thanks for posting! :)

Michelle Yue said...

worded perfectly! saving this for sure :)

In-tree-gue said...

ugh yes this is so true!
i absolutely hate it when people rant about how unwearable and nonsensically expensive runway stuff is. No one is making them wear it!
Another horible question is why fashion is so important, i just answer "it's not".

Ganymede Girl said...

Nice to hear a voice of reason amidst all of the criticism of designer clothing and the accompanying prices... I personally can't afford most of the clothing that I like but I wouldn't criticize the people that can.

Heather said...

true

Isabel said...

It's never been said better, truly.

Elena said...

I think this is a good point. Just because everyone can not afford or justify spending that much on clothing does not mean that is should not exist or is frivolous. I do have a huge problem, however, with the expectation that everyone should be striving to wear this stuff to be considered fashionable. I think it was in an interview with Conan or Letterman where Anna Wintour was asked how people without a lot of money could be fashionable (I could be totally butchering this quote) and she said that they could buy a designer lipstick. Lipstick is not going to cover very much.

Chloe said...

Well said, well said. Bravo, Mr. Givhan.

-Chloe
http://chloeconspiracy.blogspot.com

mom & son said...

you're truly a smart girl.
keep up the good work!
i adore your style so much!

http://momfashionworld.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth said...

yesssss. spot on, robin givhan. Everyone has some sort of obsession (sports, music, food) that they really care about, and fashion is no more shallow than any other passion.

fashion westie said...

Eureka! Someone gets it!

Tavi said...

Elena-You make a really interesting point and in some ways I agree..But Anna Wintour has the good majority of the fashion industry on her shoulders and she has to promote designer SOMETHING. The "you have to wear this to be fashionable" thing is stupid and I don't like when magazines are so dictator-like but the same kind of thing also sort of has to exist or some fashion houses don't exist. Plus, it's not like the only options of what to wear are really expensive designer clothing; a lot of magazines call attention to finding deals (not magazines that call $500 shoes a deal, but you know what I mean.)

Soren Lorensen said...

i think it is more like buying a piece of art, isn't it?

so that is good and happy

Tavi said...

Soren Lorenson-Depending on the piece, yes. Oh, my favorite argument is "art is more important!" when people will buy cruddy artwork just because it's well marketed and by a big name. Not much different from a Louis Vuitton monogram.

WendyB said...

You know I've always agreed with this! http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2007/10/why-does-buyers-guilt-focus-on-fashion/

Tavi said...

I remember when you wrote that post Wendy! And now I'm going to read it again because I remember how EXACTLY! I felt after I did so the first time.

dalidoo said...

thank you, indeed.

Jennifer said...

Amen Sistah! I was just having this very same discussion last week. or rather argument with someone who did NOT understand fashion. so frustrating sometimes!

Emily Cato said...

"Oh, my favorite argument is "art is more important!" when people will buy cruddy artwork just because it's well marketed and by a big name. Not much different from a Louis Vuitton monogram."

Very well said Indeed!

Maialen said...

you are right!

Luce said...

When someone uses the word "discombobulating", i sure am listenin'! This quote is very interesting indeed.

Penélope Sierra said...

Si este blog lo ha hecho una niña de 12 años, o 13 actualmente, tengo que decir que es un genio. Pero eso es algo que se ve y se siente, tendrá que demostarlo en el tiempo o todo será una mentira.

¿Hay protección para esto?... y detrás hay un adulto visionario y original?


Sea lo que sea se verá, y si ella es así.

Ha nacido un genio!

zoomslow said...

No one has to justify their interest and/or love of fashion - and especially not you! Look at the excitement and joy you're bringing to so many people - and you're only 13! Fashion a frivolous waste of time and money -me thinks not!!!

Pearl Westwood said...

That is the perfect quote, I wish I had a good memory and I would go around quoting it back to people, perhaps I could print in on a piece of paper and make them read it.
I have been subjected to the narrow minded tronks such as this. Why do people need to almost defend there own lack of designer, I dont care if the whole world chooses to wear Primark - just leave me alone in my Chanel induced fantasty land!

Roz said...

This is a really interesting quote, and funnily enough, in a bit of a strange way links in with what I was writing about on my latest post. My argument was that people assume that if you like fashion, you must be frivolous- without finding out anything else about your character first! It's obviously a point that many people are thinking about at the moment.
As mentioned by some other people, I do have a bit of an urge to learn this and recite it off by heart whenever it's needed.
I basically think that some people just won't accept that some fashion and style is an art form now. Looking at a designer like Hussein Chalayan, or Alexander McQueen-I think their work is so much more innovative than a Damien Hirst animal in a tank!
Thanks for posting this, I really enjoyed reading both the quote itself and the comments from other people...

http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

cr said...

hm, Ive been reading some of the comments, and it's a really good discussion. And I rage over the fact that expensive clothes causes raised voices in anger too while expensive other crafts don't.
How much a garment is worth is not but sometimes a cost of the soul put down in it, as a craftmanship, and when that soul speeks to your soul haven't we the right to buy it? Thats how I see art. (and who does'nt!? monogram vultures but besides them...) Something with soul that speeks. And I find myself cought in my tourettes syndrome- twitching and ticksing when finding a piece of art, wheter in a garment or a chair. Or lipsticks. Someone out there have giving the time to found the perfect colour or the perfect shape, or managed to put down their broken heart or twisted mind in an avant gard dress. Why do we have to apologize for supporting art and craftmanship? We do not have to agree about loving the same creation, or see what the others are seeing in that craft, we find love in diffrent creations since we've been through diffrent shit but the essence in beeing creative and behind the creation that speaks, is the same although reaching diffrent klients. We are amazing creativ people, let's celebrate and support that, instead of celebrating the creation of the hiarki of people that rule over other people suffering. Hm, but still that can lead to other discution of Who are making the clothes and the sewers condition, environment and so on. But............blah, I got tired. I'v been writing to much now and about shit we all already know.. haha. Either way, Let's celebreate today - peoples guts, currage, brilliance and soulgiving that make them creating pieces we feel like dying for. HURRAAAAY!

(Fashion is not nuclear)

http://www.bymyalterego.blogspot.com/

Harun Hilton said...

AMEN BROTHER!

Laura. said...

ive posted about this very fact before how everyone turns up their noses at what they dont know about.

great quote im going to read the whole thing now.

http://aforteforfashion.blogspot.com

Vicki said...

very well written.. you sum this up pefectly! if only you could come with me when people argue with me about this and be my debater! :)
magpie-girl.blogspot.com xx

Marta Represa said...

Haha, you are ABSOLUTELY right. Especially, I think, about mid-life crisis cars!
x

KEREN said...

Finally, someone who made that point. A $25,000 dress is a piece of art, and people are willing to spend much more on a painting. I'd continue this and make it a rant, but considering I have to get to school.. ♥

Emily said...

soo true! i love the very past sentence.
xx
neutraltuesday.blogspot.com

Kirsten Leigh Kuehn said...

so true! i love this!!

www.maisondepeanutleigh.com
{uninhbited fashion blog}

joana said...

i love your picture on models.com

Samantha Nandez said...

He said it right!

SAUVAGE said...

I want to print this on a large sign, and shove it in people's faces next time they question something I'm wearing.


WIN.

misspollyhadadolly said...

very good point to make!

www.misspdolly.blogspot.com

ElasticHeart said...

A great point to share. Thanks, Tavi.


samichami.blogspot.com

TheShoeGirl said...

Thats great! Thanks for posting. :)

cadmiumgold said...

I collect quotes that try and explain why those of us who love fashion do, and this quote is just great!! Thanks so much for sharing it!!

jennine said...

i cant wait until someone buys a million dollar dress... maybe then average people would take fashion seriously.

maybe its that fashion is like water, s necessity, and like some gawk at at $600 meal or a $5 bottle of water, they can't make the connection that because you need it, it shouldnt be worth anything? i don't knowm, its crazy

sorry about spelling, i hate this keyboard..

[ StrawberiiStarz ] said...

Ugh~ I love that fine written piece of work!
I am into many expensive things (What isn't expensive these days though...? Even collecting stamps...they're getting closer to a dollar everyday =.= Not that I collect them. >_>')but I do have hobbies that people go, "WHA? Why would you spend that much on making a costume?!" I'm like, "People spend way more money on a saddle for their horse riding hobby. -__-;
If someone isn't into it, they will never see the other side of their argument. Unless they're very open and put themselves in your shoes, which most people don't do. I gave up arguing with people about how I spend my money though... and if I see a nice pair of expensive shoes. I will buy them. As long as I know I can afford them. ;]

Ohhh Yeaaaah and TAVI! I drew a picture for you...so you can check it out on my last post! I wasn't sure how to give it to you, didn't want to spam up your emails since I'm sure you get a lot!
http://strawberiistarz.blogspot.com/
^~^; I was just inspired and you're too cute NOT to draw~!!

Anke said...

i don't mind what price designer's sell a dress for, it's their own business.
i wouldn't buy it, but i also wouldn't buy season tickets (what rubbish!), wine (ewww), cars (i don't like cars) or first edition books (i love the library). hehehehe :)
xo

sofiasophie said...

yes

why not....

Sam said...

I completely agree with her. I absolutely LOVE Robin Givhan. She is always so brilliant in her articles.

-The Wish List
http://wishwanthave.blogspot.com

Izzy said...

TOTALLY agreed. Love the quote :)

lisa bandit said...

Hmmm...I don't neccessarily agree with this quote. I understand his point, but am turned off by the justication of dropping that kinda flow on ANYTHING. Be it sports, wine, clothing what-have-you...Granted, a dress that spendy would not likely be mass produced, so I can understand the steep price tag, especially if there's hand detailing...However, I can't stand how our culture seems to push consumerism as a means of status. I'll go ahead and shut-up now.

lisa bandit said...

*her point.* sorry 'bout that.

Ross said...

This is one of the reasons I only read my local paper and the washington post. They are both so far removed that they can be truthful about...well i guess the truth....(?).

Kitty said...

haute couture is an artistic medium. works of art have intrinsic value. the dress of "fine sewing" is worth $25K the same way a painting can be worth $25,000. duh! you're such a smart young lady, tavi. thanks for posting this quote.

kaila rain said...

owned, win, and i agree, thank you, robin givhan.

Iheartfashion said...

I thought this article was great too, especially Givhan's point about buying season tickets to a football game not being considered a frivolous expense vs. fashion, which generally is. I've always defended my obsession with clothes using sports analogies.

E. Von Bertalanffy said...

Maybe we shouldn't question the fashion industry less, but the other industries more.

Countering the critique by defining it as a lack of understanding is all well, but surely there's a lot of rich people out there who buy expensive clothes for the sake of the sum, as a status symbol, instead of art? (Then again, they buy expsensive everything, not just clothes.)

It's obviously a gender thing though, the criticism. A woman spending a lot of money on clothing is considered frivolous, but who in his right mind will comment on a man buying a yaught to enhance the size of his penis?

Lexi said...

The "everyone has passion that is lost on others" is so true.

suee-la said...

so true.


I don't agree with the cost of designer clothing. but I understand why people buy it. I'm the type of girl that will spend a lot of money on books. I'd be the type that would spend thousands on a first addition book. so I completely understand why people pay the prices of expensive clothing.

I'm passionate about clothing too, but I tend to go for vintage, which is much cheaper.

Sophie O said...

TAVI, regiamag.com, link us !
You are soooo amazing, really admire you.
Best,
sofi

daisymay said...

Nicely put Tavi!!

zoomslow said...

thanks for the word list and writing article - you're really cracking my head open (in a good, metaphorical way of speaking, of course)! :-))

emlily said...

the only good part of this entire quote is "everyone has a passion that is lost on others."

KD said...

YESYESYESYES. Must get published in my school's fashion magazine.

CMA said...

preach it, sister.
love the blog, keep it up!

-cma
visit my blog @
cosmicaroline.blogspot.com

Regina A said...

HAHAAAAAA FASHIONISTA.... LOVE ITTTTT

FOLLOW> higher-than-heels.blogspot.com/

Floz said...

That is really rather inspiring. If you ask me.
Ask me again.

www.floz-fashionista.blogspot.com

You complete genius, you!

Andrea said...

I think this is a great quote, Tavi, but Givhan really missed the mark with the rest of her essay. Journalists trying to be sociologists - argggghffppp. Dismissing fashion's agency and responsibilities in regards to body weight and diversity simply because the outrage against the industry stems from an overweight society? She's mistaking symptoms for causes and that's both misguided and irresponsible.

Ms.Charlie said...

You are just a dream girl ! You are so clever !

Meg said...

An invaluable point. Thank you for posting this!

-Meg

JULIA said...

I don't care where it comes from, aslong as its cheap (see student budget), approved by me/stylin, and preferably ethically made.

Sandha said...

Lisa bandit - I have to agree with you. I don't really think it's justifiable to spend that kind of money on *any* consumable good: champagne, football games, etc. And I do think that clothing can be art, but in this quote it isn't being regarded as such: it's a good to be worn and flaunted. It's the sale of an identity, which should be created not from $$$ gear, but from personality and personal ingenuity. If you have that kind of disposable income, I hope you're also trying to save the world, at least. I love fashion, and I love you Tavi, because you're all about being real and unique, not meeting some socialized norm... And I'm done

Jaclyn said...

Oh boy. I read the rest of the article, and I agree with it completly! People are getting fatter, so more people are complaining about models. finally someone says that

Roz said...

I know I've already commented on this post, but all the other comments are so fascinating! It's great when you find such a like-minded community who understand how you think. And whatever the price, a dress will always beat a car in my opinion! But then I suppose each to their own, as long as that doesn't mean judging them for their choices (such as fashion.)
Oh, and I also realised that I probably sounded a bit pushy in my other comment on the Miu Miu post. I didn't want you to feel obliged to look at my drawing or anything (as I realised that's kind of how the comment sounded), just if you had the time, to maybe hear your opinion. Just wanted to clear that up. I think I'll just leave it now. (:

http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/

E. Von Bertalanffy said...

Gee, I just read the rest of the article, and the western focus of the whole thing just startles me. Fashion worldwide focuses on superskinny because... the average person is fat? Seriously. In America, maybe. And okay, obesity in Europe is increasing too. But come on, the average Asian woman is like size -2 and they look at the same models as we do. :) The logic of the post is completely twisted, and it's all too easy to deny the writer's point with historical arguments.

Which is all completely besides the point of your post, though. Sorry!

Molly Rose said...

Love it, perfectly said! I hate when people are trashing fashion and saying how they 'just don't care about appearances' when we all know that the only reason they feel that way, is that the insecure in themselves, and their income for not being able to afford that $25,000 dress.
THANK you for sharing this.

zoomslow said...

Discombobulate yourself, Tavi! ;-))

Shino said...

LOVE THE ARTICLES!!! Thank you tavi! I just started my fashion blog, http://styletodie.blogspot.com please visit if you wouldn't mind. thank you.

DustyVelvetBallgown said...

Mmm...discombobulating...my word of the week

natalia said...

true

;))

Signe said...

True and proven.
True, and proven.

Love your blog.

wreckedstellar said...

such true words!

x ws x

Tavi said...

Yeah, I'm not sure how I feel about the rest of the article..this is the part that really stuck out to me.

But I'm saving my own elaboration on this quotation for a post..

hannahcouture said...

very well put.

Catherine said...

Well said. Thanks for posting this!

-Catherine

nicole said...

today I was introduced to your blog while getting a hair cut with a friend of mine who is an independant fashion designer (and cuts hair at her store)
she was flipping out with your blog.
so curiosity made me check it out once i got home (with so much less hair)
so you blog rocks!
as do you tiny lady.
All my regards to you from Santiago, Chile.
thanks I will continue to visit.

Natalie said...

The rest of the article is a different matter, but for the sake of this isolated quote and your point alone, I think it's a good one. I think the issue of people's disapproval of such costly pieces of fashion stems from the idea that there is some "club" that exists that they cannot get into. That is the club of the super-rich, with I think fashion is emblematic of because people see it as a field SOLELY for the rich. A Lamborghini, for example, is a rich man's car, but the average guy on the street can still have a good car that isn't $100,000 and feel proud. Though this is definitely true for fashion as well---you don't have to be loaded to be chic---I think a lot of people don't understand it that way. Fashion, for them, is not a work of craftsmanship and ingenuity. It is either a status symbol or purely utilitarian.

Maybe it's being elitist and snobby to say that most people just don't "get" it, but I think it might be the case.

momo said...

Hi! You are on japanease fashion magazine.So maybe japanease people eyes will be on your fashion.
You are amazing girl!

Noelley said...

im so in love with all your little head pieces that you wear,so jealous,your amazing darling :)

Stephanie Erica said...

Dear Tavi,

Fascinating.gorgeous creative blog!!.. i just love love adore keeping track of your articles!!!.

98%helium said...

this is one of my favourite articles on fashion. it is an art form. like any other famous work of art, it is expensive, and luxurious, and some just do not care for it. except people do not ridicule fine art as they do the fashion industry. anyway, thanks for posting this. it really is so true.

Martine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martine said...

I like your blog, and think it is very fascinating!! I am on your age, and I think you are tops most. I am from norway, and its cool to read somthing different. Good luck :D

Kath said...

Fo sho.

Kath said...

Fo sho.

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