Go Publique – Well Priced Duds
Well, folks, I didn’t make it down to the orgy that was the Topshop opening the other day. As the result of some profoundly poor decision-making last week, I had one of the more brutal hangovers in recent memory all day yesterday. Needless to say, feeling as I did I was unable to bring myself to face screaming hordes of NYU girls clamoring to shop.
I did however, go to Film Forum to see Valentino: The Last Emperer. I won’t go into the film itself here as revewin’s not really my “craft”, but the reverence shown by everyone in the film to the man and his work really got me thinking about the quality of the garments I wear and what we are buying when we buy cheap. It goes without saying that owning couture is currently out of the realm of reality for most of us. As a sort of consolation, disposable fashion shops like H &M and Forever 21 are here to bring us the off-off-price simulation of the designer styles we can’t afford. But there ‘s a reason that a Valentino dress costs about as much as a year at state college and why Forever 21’s garments feel and look like they were home sewn by an arthritic, partially blind elf.
Unlike Italian and French people, who buy a few expensive pieces a season and wear them until they fall off their backs, we in the USA are plenty happy to buy 8 shitty, be-sloganed t-shirts, rather than one beautifully made shirt with staying power. Switching from quantity to quality is a tough transition to make though, especially in springtime when I just want to set fire to my closet, march into Barneys Co-op and ravage that place like a fucking wild animal.
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The happy medium is often vintage–clothes that were put together well in a time when quality garment making was more widespread but are often around the price of the Disposo-clothes places. This is why I like Market Publique. A less overwhelming Ebay, it satisfies the urge for something different than whatever Urban Outfitters dress everyone else will be wearing, and because the quality of most vintage clothing is leaps and bounds above the stuff at H&M it probably won’t be in the trash –or a landfill–by Memorial Day.