“Luxury is above all an attitude of the heart. I never considered it as something…that revolves around money, jewels or fur. It’s mostly a respect for others that makes someone luxurious in their gestures, in their attitudes. Luxury is something interior which is translated in external terms. The biggest luxury in life is to love others and to understand them, whatever level they may be on.” Yves St. Laurent, 1978
I saved a magazine scrap with that YSL quote for so long, until I had a place to share it. I almost tossed it several times (neat freak.) And here I am, with a blog, so I can broadcast it everywhere. Yes.
Wow, YSL got it right, deeply. I love his words. I am amazed. YSL is the founder of one of the most respected, enduring couture houses ever. He loves women and they flock to his work. Yet, he sees luxury with a humble attitude. I love that he says, “Luxury is something interior which is translated in external terms.” Yes, it comes first from the heart. His heart is and must be beautiful, because his clothes are beautiful, and they celebrate women and bring out their beauty.
So, for me…
I love finery, luxury and all of that. Fine things are often well-designed, effective, and intelligent. They save money over time and are good for you. I love it when I can enjoy them. If not, I pointedly make do with what I do have, and enjoy being frugal. Luxuries are like secretly enjoyed little truffles. (No one else need know…and 1 or 2 are good for the soul.)
I am down to earth. I am not a slave to things. Things are here to serve us. I am real. I buy from thrift stores and from upscale retailers alike. I don’t broadcast the designer status of my dress. I will, however, share that my shawl was a killer steal at a thrift store. I will give directions to the shop.
I am not pretentious. But, here it comes…
Funny. People see you in a mink coat and they judge you. Dependent on what their hearts contain or what their motives are, they resent you and their glacial stares make it clear, and it hurts. Other women have hurt me; more than an ocean could hold. Why do women compete? Why are we so judgmental? Why this JEALOUSY? I think, ironically, a lot of competitiveness is fueled by the Fashion industry, YSL aside. I say that as a proponent of fashion and a lover of fashion! But still.
Let’s look at it. For millions, isn’t your handbag “who you are” somehow? Is that ridiculous, or what? I think we should rebel from manipulation. Don’t buy into it. Don’t buy clothes to impress someone else! That is silly. Ultimately, it is just rags and bags. Keep perspective. My perspective includes checking the labels to see if the items were made in human-being abusing countries (usually are, too.) I love Chinese people. But, I NEVER buy from China if I can help it. The government there continues to be the most hideous human rights abuser IN THE WORLD. Buy “Made in China” if you want. Just remember: God sees, God knows. He loves you…but we reap what we sow. (I will do a piece on the impact of “fake” and counterfeit merchandise. It traces back to Human Slavery, the Forced Prostitution of Women and Children, Child Trafficking, and lethal Drugs.) Still salivating over your fake LV?
So, in this “small city” we live in (or even in too-cool NYC), I am rarely in fur without being hated on. Can we get further than that at least? Furs are fairly old news, ladies! My furs. The response to them fascinates me. I have avoided wearing them this Winter. I avoided them like ‘flu, in fact. They are so warm and a comfort to me, but I don’t want to deal with the attitudes, every time we go somewhere. Yes, I admit it, I let them put Baby in a corner. It is not like me, really. I was just fed up and too sensitive this season.
I am such a proponent of other women. “You go girl!” is regularly screamed by me. I screamed for Venus and Serena at the French Open until I was hoarse. I cheer all powerhouse women who are excellent. (I have to truly ask, sometimes, where is the LOVE for me? I get depleted. I would appreciate a little cheering on, too.) I am grateful for the graceful ‘luminarias’, like my little sister, who light my path.
At some point, I am more likely to say, “To hell with this.” And wear the fur, the (faux) fur hat, fur gloves, the fur scarf and fur boots…just to outrageously freak people out (imagine the gulps!) and to make a real fur statement! OMG, fashion disaster, I know. Oh, and my cashmere sweater and gloves.
You know something? It takes sophistication to recognize that it’s not “pomp” but a pure gem, with no desire but to shine and illuminate her environment (that is me.) Yes, that is ME.
I dream that women will wake up…and that they will freely and deeply love, acknowledge, open up and bond with each other as sisters!
To start the ball rolling, really see and love another woman today – a stranger, perhaps one who you would formerly judge. She is your sister. Be well, sisters of mine. All the best and I love you, Kris