High-end fashion is so highly regarded, as it is advertised to be of the highest social status to which we as a society have been programmed by popular media and consumer culture to revere. It would seem that the higher the price tag reaches and the more exotic the material, the more desirable a fashion item is. But is this necessary?
Fashion in a luxury sense surpasses the base necessity of clothing in favour of an expression of prestige and status, as it has been for centuries. That is; higher quality garments set the wearer apart from common fashion ware to express a higher social status. High-quality clothing typically comes with a high price tag, and to sport such ware is to publicly state that one lives a wealthy and prosperous lifestyle.
If one can afford to dress in expensive fashion ware, then why shouldn’t they? But when does it become excessive? Luxury fashion wares can quickly be seen as unnecessary for the price tag outweighs their purpose.
Perhaps best known example of excessive fashion is the famous range of bags of Luis Vuitton, being named the world’s most valuable luxury brand in 2012 for the seventh year in a row by Millward Brown Optimor. (Holborow 2012)
Louis Vuitton Bags can reach up into the thousands of dollars with the most expensive being priced at $150 000, realistically appealing to the 1% and being attainable by those of wealth and celebrity status. (Top 10 Most Expensive Handbags In The World n.d.)
Still, they are coveted widely with their celebrity endorsements from actors like Catherine Deneuve, Bono, Madonna, Scarlet Johanssen, Keith Richards and Angelina Jolie, (Holborow 2012) who are beloved by the media and their followers. Such inspirational icons naturally inspire tastes in fashion, thus making the pursuit of a product like one from Louis Vuitton desirable.
A $5000 handbag would be inaccessible to a lower or even middle-class citizen, and yet the trademark LV monogram of diamonds, circles and flowers is so dearly valued, despite its bland design.
Holborow, O 2012, Who’s Who: Luis Vuiton, viewed 25 September 2015, <http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/biographies/louis-vuitton>
Fitzgerald, F. Scott 1896, The Great Gatsby, Penguin, London.
Top 10 Most Expensive Handbags In The World: Louis Vuitton, Hermes & Chanel, n.d., viewed 25 September 2015, <http://financesonline.com/top-10-most-expensive-handbags-in-the-world-louie-vuitton-diamonds-crocodile-skin/>
Label Victim, image, n.d., viewed 25 September 2015, <https://www.behance.net/gallery/9758721/DELTA-MONOGRAM-PARODY-OF-LV>
Urban Satchel Louis Vuitton Bag, image, n.d., viewed 25 September 2015 <http://financesonline.com/top-10-most-expensive-handbags-in-the-world-louie-vuitton-diamonds-crocodile-skin/>
Angelina Jolie’s Style, image, n.d., viewed 25 September 2015, <http://www.popsugar.com.au/fashion/photo-gallery/23421408/image/23421387/Angelina-Jolie-Style>