Here’s a reason I’m glad I sew. I just read an article in the September, 2006 issue of Harper’s Bazaar titled “How Much is Too Much?” It’s a good read, if you like reading about insanity in the corps de la mode. Now, I have come face to face with the Balenciaga platform booties that are all the rage with the fashion cognoscienti. They look like the dog’s dinner to me, but if you have size 10s like mine, you don’t necessarily want to wear anything that makes them look that much bigger than they already are. But even if I didn’t think they were ugly as sin, would they be worth $1200? In my most spendthrift, Manolo Blahnik buying days, that number would have been tough to swallow (witness the fact that I never ponied up for the black lace stiletto boots back in 2001).
But that’s a drop in the bucket next to some numbers that are floating about. You like the Calvin Klein cashmere/mink coat?
(photo courtesy of Style.com)
$29,500. You read correctly. $29,500. My godson is going to Eckerd College. That’s roughly a year’s tuition – for a coat!
How about a dinner outfit? This one from Balenciaga:
(Photo courtesy of Style.com)
$101,000 and change. My mortgage isn’t much more than that. As my husband said, “What happens if you spill spaghetti sauce on it?” What happens, indeed? It wouldn’t be so insulting if it weren’t so instantly dated, not to mention butt ugly. The ugly comment is my opinion. The dated comment is fact.
The article talks all about the weak dollar, the increased fuel costs, the increased labor costs, the costliness of the fabric, and other lame excuses for these obscene prices. Whah, whah, whah (think of the sound that Charlie Brown’s teacher made). It still is just voodoo economics if you ask me.
So what would it cost me to make a mink/cashmere coat? I have a brown mink/cashmere fabric in my stash that I bought ages ago at the now defunct DiCarlo Fabrics in Boston. I think I paid the princely sum of $100 for the fabric. Add in another $50 for lining, interfacing and notions. And I’ll splurge on the buttons – let’s say I get really nice ones at M&J Trims in New York for $12 each, that’s $48. My time is worth about $150/hour, so 5 hours to make it, and I can still afford to send my kid to college! That’s why I sew.
The Balenciaga? If I were to make it… Never mind, it would never happen. But even the most expensive dress that I have ever made totalled less than $600 in fabric costs, and took about 10 hours to make. That’s a lot less than my mortgage.
The shoes? I don’t make shoes. But I can go to any number of places and find some vaguely comparable (but more flattering) style for 1/5th the price, or less.
I did like these boots by Christian Louboutin:
These I could see me wearing. They are $1,190 at Barney’s New York. As one woman said in the article, “The Louboutin wedge boots are a must. You’ll just have to bring your lunch to work every day for a month to afford them!” That’s $60 per day for lunch? Wow – that’s a lotta baloney, if you ask me.
Yes indeed, I’m very glad I sew!