Op-Ed: Phoebe Philo Does Not Exist

In his seminal 1981 book Simulacra and Simulation┬áthe French philosopher Jean Baudrillard posited that in our postmodern world we no longer live in reality – meaning, we do not process our world directly and immediately, but in hyperreality – a world created by and mediated through a system of signs and symbols. In other words, we live in a simulation – via screens, through social media, soaked in a semiotic system created by the vast leisure industry – entertainment, news, advertising, and so on. The simulacrum of reality makes the direct experience of reality impossible because our brains are so full of received messages that we are only able to process and reference reality through them – like a twenty-four-hour Disneyland (or the Matrix), or like a 1:1 scale map overlaid onto the real world.