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23.8.06

musings & hermes bags


Today I pulled my most treasured possession out of my rather overloaded closet - my black vintage Hermes bag. It cost a bloody fortune and took years for me to build up the chutzpah to actually acquire it, but once it was mine it but was worth every penny.

If you are a true clothes girl like me, clothes often are a deliberate conscious decision. Selecting a certain jacket, a pair of shoes, the right handbag, can set the tone for what lays ahead in your day. Your attire can become your own personal set of armor, setting the way you will choose to deal with the world from the moment you step out that door. It can set your mood, change your walk, and make everything you do that day follow a certain rhythm. Whether done consciously like all of us little fashionistas do, or unconsciously, it is what it is.

Really, a Hermes bag is no different then any other well done bag. And to the Hermes collectors out there - yes, I know they are hand-made by a single craftsman, each stitch done just so and I know they are wait-listed and so are set apart from the norm, but what I mean is that for the very large majority of the population one bag when compared up against another means very, very little. Hate to break this to you - but TV land aside - the large majority of the world does not know one bag from the other, nor do they care.

Yes really, this is true.

But to the wearer - oh what a difference a bag can make. Carrying a well broken-in Hermes is like a shield. When you place it next to your chair, it reminds you that you have made it far enough along in life (on a monetary scale at least) to be able to justify its acquisition. It's like wearing pretty underwear - it does NOT matter if anyone else knows because YOU do. It's about having it for you, and who cares who else knows.

That is the type of shield I am talking about.

On a particularly challenging week - like the one I have had this week - it is a personal reminder that validity comes from within. Which seems contradictory at first, I know. How can validity come from within through an outward object? Well ....because.... if helping your own validity along means popping for an obnoxiously expensive bag, or a dress or whatever it is that does it for you, well at least that means you know yourself pretty damn well. And isn't that half the battle to self-validation right there?

Maybe that does not make sense and I know all the arguments about why spend that kind of money on a handbag are good arguments - trust me I have had them in my head - credit card in hand at the Neiman Marcus counter. And the more altruistic amongst you are probably thinking them in your heads right now. However - in our lives that seem to scoot by so very, very quickly, is it really wrong to surround ourselves by beautiful things?

If they are acquired simply as an exercise to spend money then you need to take a look at yourself. And if in acquiring them you put your bills or family in a bad position then you are just selfish. But if you work hard and use those things as a reminder of what you are and where you have come from, without attaching overt meaning to them - than does it really matter what they cost?

3 comments:

Magarite Elaine said...

I totally agree with you! Acquiring a fashion staple such as your handbag is so refreshing. It's a bag that you're sure to carry for years to come.

Yin Yee said...

Well said! My sentiments exactly. At the end of the day, what we wear, carry and use -- and how we wear, carry and use these things --probably say a lot more about us than what we can say about ourselves using speech. More than just a projection of ourselves to the world, our clothes, bags, shoes etc are building blocks that we put together piece by piece day by day to build our identity and strength. It is a fulfilling experience -- we learn what we really are and want, what we are comfy with. Enjoy the journey!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you mean!! I have a vintage dress that I wear whenever I need to feel good and its was worht every penny!

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