Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby WayneWuss » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:24 am

What jawnz are you gonna buy with your 1200 dollars?
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby maj » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:10 pm

honestly every day which goes by where nike does not release vegan airjordan 1 lows, or hi's, makes me ever increasingly likely to just kill a cow
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby maj » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:12 pm

forreal my animal crossing dude is looking fly as fuck in these straight cut jeans and purple aj1's
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby maj » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:13 pm

they just make you want to bite the toebox
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby mooncorp » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:16 am

taking this online course about fashion and sustainability, an interesting question was brought up: if the goal of luxury fashion is to provide us with a special unique product/experience, what does it say about the authenticity of that goal when it's met using propaganda (advertising)? or other manipulative tactics like creating artificial scarcity?

thinking about taste as signifier of class, but in this understanding of mainstream luxury/hypebeast fashion, good taste just means listening to the right advertising? thinking about something i read somewhere that was like "even my friends instagram posts feel like advertisements"
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby windowflowers » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:07 am

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who the fuck wrote this lmao
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby popcorn » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:34 pm

mooncorp wrote:if the goal of luxury fashion is to provide us with a special unique product/experience, what does it say about the authenticity of that goal when it's met using propaganda (advertising)? or other manipulative tactics like creating artificial scarcity?

thinking about taste as signifier of class, but in this understanding of mainstream luxury/hypebeast fashion, good taste just means listening to the right advertising? thinking about something i read somewhere that was like "even my friends instagram posts feel like advertisements"


I've been thinking about how the really basic psychoanalytic word "cathexis" relates to fashion for a little while. The concept sort of carries the economic sense of imbuing "use value," but in a more explicitly sexual way (because psychoanalysis is determinately sexual, in the sense of sexual possession of the other, and blah blah blah). The concept can also be understood as vaguely as using cathexis to understand all conceptualization of matter.

I think that advertisements can add value to, but also lend a mythological belonging, to things for obvious reasons. Like when you're flipping through one of those $25 editorial things and wondering why there are so many full-pages adds that showcase an outfit by an expensive brand, or a very regular shirt on a model, or no clothing at all from a brand; it always produced this sort of mythological labyrinth beneath the advertisement, some kind of world in which the brand "Prada" means so much that this advertisement makes sense. It's a thin presentation of the brand's meaning because the sensible meaning isn't hiding anywhere, it's a huge amount of smoke emanating from no fire at all. So the garment that's imbued with all that doesn't just hum with the sensible meanings of it - maybe I received this from someone on grailed, maybe I found myself a good deal, maybe this was in my care share from the care-tags website - but with a more tremendous and less sensible meaning.

Now this suggestion of an insensible advertisement, that I think luxury brands genuinely use, is probably the opposite of the suggestion that your friends' instagram posts feel like ads. It is sort of grim to think that people are trying to craft some meaning for themselves that is decentralized and difficult to understand, or broader than what any single person should be, but I do also think that's a fair treatment of what a lot of posting is trying to present. Maybe it's just a more negative value judgment of what would otherwise be regarded as "seduction"? And it isn't as though advertising is monolithically vague and thin, misleading and seductive; there are types of advertising, almost certainly for a different target market than luxury fashion, which center around disruptive pricing and how the audience would be wise to choose this product.

If we treat people's presentations of themselves along this binary - making seductive presentations of an unreal self, or making openly biased value judgments on themselves and providing information - I'm not sure what escapes except the meta above and the unconscious below. Surely a real way of understanding communication, but also a dreadfully boring way.
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby fun_yunchables » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:42 pm

mooncorp wrote:taking this online course about fashion and sustainability, an interesting question was brought up: if the goal of luxury fashion is to provide us with a special unique product/experience, what does it say about the authenticity of that goal when it's met using propaganda (advertising)? or other manipulative tactics like creating artificial scarcity?

thinking about taste as signifier of class, but in this understanding of mainstream luxury/hypebeast fashion, good taste just means listening to the right advertising? thinking about something i read somewhere that was like "even my friends instagram posts feel like advertisements"


xpost long reads but https://medium.com/@dabuzon/design-thin ... d31aa55831

i always think about stussy when advertising comes up to be honest. and the whole cultural cachet of "cool"
i forgot when but kyle ng also touched on this on "meaningless" streetwear brands, i.e. there's no substance / no sort of identity that is cultured or incubated. idk, it's always been pretty tribal in some way -- by signifying wearing ____ you are saying something about yourself and your interests. as luxury goes, i'm honestly a bit stumped, but (strong) grassroots brands have always been culture first, fashion second until they sell out. high fashion on the other hand in my experience is generally fashion first, culture as an afterthought
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby jylt » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:51 am

not sure if this is the right place, but Minh-ha T. Pham is someone that i follow to learn more about the racial, gender, and class dimensions in fashion. i wanted to plug some of the things that she works on because it's GOOD.

she writes *against* the popular move to locate the deep problems of fashion in so-called "fast fashion." and then she relates that analysis to the exploitation of Third World garment workers.

here's a quote from her piece in jacobin to get started (it's a good piece, but jacobin is a trash publication):

"The high cost of cheap fashion”: there’s no greater cliché in the popular discourse about ethics and fashion. Countless books, articles, documentaries, and online social spaces are devoted to presenting and reinforcing this idea.

For its purveyors, the phrase is meant not only as a wake-up call but a call to action. “The high cost of cheap fashion” alerts consumers to the degrading labor conditions and environmental practices that are involved in the production of cheap trendy clothes, or so-called fast fashion. It implores consumers to quit shopping at fast-fashion retailers, to stop being duped by cheap prices and the short cut to fashion trends.

What may feel like a fashion steal, we’re told, is actually robbing workers of a living wage and safe working conditions, and robbing legitimate designers of their creative property. Like fast food’s convenient but empty calories, fast fashion offers a quick but ultimately empty fix. Paying more for clothes, fast fashion critics insist, is not only the ethical thing to do — it is the fashionable thing to do.

Opposing fast fashion is intuitively appealing. It often springs from a genuine desire to make the world a better place, to limit exploitation, and foster creativity.

But it’s critically flawed. To decry this low-level, already stigmatized market is to either misunderstand or intentionally ignore the structural relationships and realities of the larger fashion system. Anti–fast fashion stances give rise to racist, class-biased, and ahistorical myths about garment workers, budget fashion consumers, and luxury fashion. And in doing so, they leave intact the very practices they’re intent on decrying.


here's a useful thread by Pham to (1) see which companies refuse to pay their workers for work that is already completed, and (2) links to orgs fundraising for worker relief

edit: made some small changes to not seem so hostile... lol i am working on it
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby titkitten » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:19 pm

@jylt i mean there's so much to unpack about the "don't buy made from china [or any other developing country]" advice

Spoiler:
first and foremost, i do agree that's is pretty much an ineffective heuristic about whether something is made with high quality, artisanally, ethically, eco-responsibly, or any other number of "good" traits. i'm reminded of this article, which talks about how leather goods and designer handbags with a "made in italy" tag are largely made by sweatshops in italy that employ migrant chinese workers. at that point, there's no denying the racist undertones of the "buy made in italy" branding, because you literally have a chinese person working for a chinese boss with chinese manufacturing methods (and likely not adhering to italy's labour laws) making the bag. it's just geographically located in italy.

beyond that though -- let's put the racism point aside and pretend that things made in china/asia/sweatshop countries are truly how they're painted: made exploitatively, of low quality, not made in a environmentally responsible way, etc. still, the "buy american" crusade (or whatever other country) is not the clean moral stance that i think people think it is. a lot of people argue that the "jobs are going to china", which cheats with bad labor protection laws so that it can afford to do things super cheaply, stealing jobs away from the american worker. i can't see that as anything other than just tribalism. so the american worker is losing out because china is cheating on labor laws. what happens when you re-instate that job in the us? now are you concerned about the jobless chinese person whose employment was stolen away with american propaganda? also: buy american and don't buy things produced in sweatshops because they're exploitative -- is that going to fix the exploitative nature of those jobs? now those people are just jobless. that's arguably worse than having an exploitative job.

overall though, i think coming down on consumers for whether or not they're thinking complexly enough about the ethics of their purchases is inappropriately democratising responsibility and ultimately letting the people with the ACTUAL responsibility to shirk it. it's like telling people to take shorter showers. it is not SUPPOSED to be the consumer's responsibility to think complexly about the ethics of their purchases. (in the platonic ideal.) it is supposed to be the government's responsibility to properly regulate companies so that every available purchase is adequately ethical. if everyone believes the responsibility is on the consumer, it distracts from examining the role of the politicians or the companies who have a bigger hand in these injustices than all the consumers combined.

obviously we are not in the platonic ideal so i appreciate whistle blowers who bring these issues to the light. but i think the message of these ethical consumption thinkpieces should never be "given these moral problems, rethink your purchases". it should be something like "given these moral problems, think about how policy has failed and what you expect from policy, then apply pressure". an individual's consumption behaviour has negligle Big Picture effects. adjusting your own consumption behaviour is martyr-like and gives you moral peace of mind without actually affecting much (or conversely creates anxiety about your consumption choices which again have little effect), like pushing down on the long side of a lever. policy has a longer reach, most importantly affecting the Big Players. just like wealth and power, the Really Consequential Actions are concentrated in the hands of a few. we want to get them to change their actions, have them take responsibility for what they're doing. (betraying my economics education here i guess.)

anyway.
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby fun_yunchables » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:31 pm

seems like a real grey area tbh

on one side fast fashion is essentially economic neocolonialism (i suppose globalization of supply chains in general — not only limited to the American hegemony, but even East Asia engaging in neocolonialism in SEA and Africa)

on the other hand the victims residing in neoliberal economies are marginalized in this fast vs slow fashion debate (not to mention some questionable fetishism of mingei but thats more debatable imo)

its almost like theres a double tiered exploitation — within a nation the poor are forced to consume from multinationals while one tier above is one nation exploiting another in neocolonialism
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby jylt » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:04 pm

@innit not an expert, but you might wanna check out "the specter of global china" by ching lee. it takes an ethnographic approach re: the ccp's economic presence in africa
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Re: Random Rhetorical Hypebeast Fashion Thoughts

Postby jylt » Sun May 03, 2020 7:17 pm

@titkitten

thanks for the thorough engagement! sorry that it's taken a while to respond. i agree with the points you've made, which also go along with pham's argument, i.e., i don't think there's a way to think about something like "justice" via the flawed framework of ethical consumerism. the pham piece makes me want to read more about the political economy of fashion & the history of labor organizing in fashion.
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