On Ownership, Fashion Tourism, and Walter Benjamin
Fashion is often shunned by the thinking types. It is considered frivolous, shallow, and materialistic. And so much of it is. But there is something in the word “materialistic” that is not all bad. At its root is something grounded, tangible, graspable. There is something to be said for ownership. In its truest, considered form there is something like strength of conviction in ownership, a passion of sorts, and a deep sense of appreciation. Collecting is the most passionate form of ownership, a pursuit that is not all that shallow if carefully examined. Ownership and collecting are loaded with history and experience, with memory of things past, with respect to those who have created what you own. There is no shame in ownership of garments, and there is no shame in relating to material things, be they clothes or otherwise. In our rental culture, from streaming services to Rent the Runway to constant reselling, the pride of ownership and a sense of care that true ownership implies is diminishing in favor of display. Everything is transient, exacerbated by social media, especially Instagram.