Material Emotion

Many labels are applied to those who love clothes. Frivolous. Materialistic. Shallow.

Materialism is what seems to be most pertinent to the people I know and people in the fashion industry. The glorification of accumulation and consumption of more stuff is no where as present as in fashion. The ‘It’ Bag. Sweatpants. Shoes. Bike Lock.

You have just got to have it.

The fashion of the times and of this economy are the same. This perfectly articulates it:

That’s our entire economic system: buy things. Everybody buy. It doesn’t matter what you buy. Just buy. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have money. Just buy. Our entire civilization now rests on the assumption that, no matter what else happens, we will all continue to buy lots and lots of things. Buy, buy, buy, buy, buy. And then buy a little more. Don’t create, or produce, or discover — just buy. Never save, never invest, never cut back — just buy. Buy what you don’t need with money you don’t have… Buy like you breathe, only more frequently.

Sometimes, people just don’t want to buy. Then the economy collapses. I had this weird sort of premonition that life in the future will turn into a unseen totality of a few huge companies, think Google and Apple, holding everyone to ransom and getting rich off of it as they own all our data or controlling us through the never-ending need for new stuff. Like new slaves.

Supreme, while being a small brand, have cornered this age of materialism amongst us. By controlling supply, people actually want more. Even the crap service in most of their stores, though I have noticed it gets better if you are a repeat visitor, compels people to come again or buy something out of a meta-spite that will actually help the company. It’s hilariously ingenious.

I am one that cannot say they don’t give in to consumerism. I actively participate in it. Though the accumulation is of quality, not quantity. I want the best. Supreme, inherently, is the best for quality streetwear, and so I go there (repeatedly).

But this, ironically, adds no value.

To nothing, not the economy in the long term, or my life of any term.

However, it seems like emotions are applied to make it feel that way. Because no object has any capacity to feel. Materials, made into clothing, have no emotional capacity yet are applied emotion daily.

Like the feelings come out of them and make me want to buy it. Christmas is a great example of an emotional event being applied to the most unemotional products. Only 32% of the world is actually giving thanks for Jesus’ birth, and their children even less.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, because everyone is happy. But why does everyone’s happiness come from material wealth?

It doesn’t work, because as Kanye said; And all I want is what I can’t buy now.

Also this article, while one-sided, shows the pitfalls of our itemised obsessions. This is some part of my view that capitalism doesn’t work, but what else is there?

Those two questions most likely have long, extricated answers that books could attempt to answer, and I don’t have that time right now to write. I’ll think about it though.

In the meantime, I try to bamboozle my consumerist tendencies with the idea that the appreciation of human creation for all items somehow leaves me exempt from consumerism.

For me, magazines have the most passion and surprises that another can put into them and make me feel something, mainly because I wonder why and how they created the content I enjoy.

Clothes too, I find, are more about the ideas behind them. It’s probably why designers such as Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Raf Simons and J.W. Anderson  get the most airtime on here, because I find the ideas that come out of their brains most fascinating expressed through the process of creating and finalising cloth, pins, stitches and shoes. Abstract ideas turned into the most tangible of things.

Lauryn Hill has rapped militantly some and more of the ideas mentioned.

Music is something I am not sure is material or immaterial, it comes in both forms, digitally and acoustically and needs the presence of others and other forces (gravity) for its creation.

A misnomer I love a lot.

This is the latest minimalist (he, used to be, but this departure is great) electronic music I have been listening to.
Burial – Rival Dealer. It’s great and with each play, I find its relevance changing.


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