The fashion world has been always too comfortable with the definition of luxury and the connotation it brings. Soft silk and cashmere, supple lambskin or ostrich, exotic alligator, 24-carat gold or ideal-cut diamond jewelry: these items are luxury in their own terms. It's undeniable that fashion is a business-based sphere and to steer away from overt use, or sometimes, misuse of the L word is somehow too farfetched an expectation - luxury is the pinnacle of fashion and it's understandable why consumers easily fall into the perceived luxury, all thanks to many brands' marketing strategy that succeed in creating that illusion of exclusivity.
I'm not saying that all of the products out there are downright phony in their luxuriousness. Notable leather accessories houses like Hermés, Moynat or Bottega Veneta, for example, provide top-tier products and personalised services, and are very well known for their exceptional workmanship and hence the right to brag about the fact that they ARE the epitome of luxury.
What I'm trying to say is that sometimes a person's certain brand obsession (which is somehow strongly associated with the Asians) clouds the judgement to properly appreciate the item at hand. We all know too well what kind of luxury powerhouses I'm talking about. There's a flawed logic going on in this situation: if a certain brand is deemed luxury, then all the goods they offer is luxury, even though that the consumer does not really like the item in the first place.
Such experience had unfortunately happened to me when I bought a product from the esteemed, refreshed LVMH-owned Céline. It was a Trio crossbody bag (had too actually Google for its official name). Don't get me wrong, I do love Céline leather products under Phoebe Philo creative direction, especially their strapped Bi-Cabas (I like it for the apparent design genius, and the suppleness of the lambskin - a quality that I find synonymous with luxury).
The lining is just a fabric, even though the outer lambskin is what makes the bag special.
To add salt to injury, my so-called luxury moment was tarnished during the tax-free claim at the Charles de Gaule airport in Paris prior to our return to Kuala Lumpur. The queuing line was considerably long, beelining till outside of the designated claim area. Most of the people lining up are of Asian descendant, just like me. Everyone perhaps had a similar logical thinking when they bought those Longchamp pliage bags at half price or that Chanel 2.55. We waited patiently and much to our amazement, we faced a rather harsh Parisian customs officer. And on top of that we also had a problem with extra baggage. As a consequence, we almost missed our flight!
This incident made me really think about justifying the buying of something luxurious, and the extent one would reach to achieve their purchase. Honestly I'm sensing that I'm beginning to fall into the traps of the clichéd label-whore category, made ever more apparent with the purchase of this slice of luxury. This is a lesson that I have learnt from making a rushed decision, that is, a lesson that cost a few hundred Euros.
But looking from another perspective I probably have to live with the mistake and might as well try to love this new piece of accessory instead of lamenting...
wearing Raf by Raf Simons t-shirt, Peter Jensen capri pants, random sunglasses
Words by Hafidzudin Zainal
Images by Arman Shahril