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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 July 2018

Fashion notes: Attempt to control the call of the new

As much as I love fashion, and its ever-­changing climate and unstoppable onward bound, it can be dangerous.
Brand new: a selection of street style at this year's Paris Fashion Week featuring Gucci. Kirstin Sinclair / Getty Images
Brand new: a selection of street style at this year's Paris Fashion Week featuring Gucci. Kirstin Sinclair / Getty Images

As much as I love fashion, and its ever-­changing climate and unstoppable onward bound, it can be dangerous. It can be unhealthy, and it can also make you embarrassingly dim-witted. Take a closer look at some of these self-­proclaimed fashionistas that dominate social media for no reason but their wealth and talentless ability to pair multiple big-name branded items together. They may know the exact pronunciations of ­Versace, Lanvin and Loewe, but they wouldn’t last one round in a high-school spelling bee.

Are we all in danger of becoming mindless fashion drones? With seasons that seem to fly by, designer pieces quickly become “old stock”, and there begins a cycle of buying expensive items, then discarding them once they're last season’s news.

Giving in to the pressure, and constantly striving to be seen in the newest, latest launches, is a more common syndrome than you might think. The all-consuming vortex just keeps sucking you in, until you have all but sold your soul for a Dh7,000 pair of plain white trainers by Tom Ford.

You surround yourself with like-minded shoppers, and the pressure builds even more. You’re ingrained to believe that the Bottega Veneta Knot Intrecciato clutch (Dh5,810) is an evening wear staple, and should be owned in at least two classic colours. Basic espadrille shoes, which have roots in very casual intentions, are only appropriate if they’re stamped with the Chanel logo (Dh2,300). And if you’re considering wearing flat sandals, they must sport the crocodile-textured Hermes strap (Dh2,500).

If you’re still stuck on the wedge trainer trend from a few years ago, only those by Isabel Marant (Dh2,190) will earn you nods of approval. More­over, if you’re threading a black belt through the belt loops of your jeans, it's better to have ­Moschino (Dh920) spelt out in gold letters.

If you rummage around your wardrobe and find nothing worthy enough, you may even choose to stay home, rather than be seen in nothing ­"memorable." Given that there are some serious psychological disorders and insecurities that afflict people, a fear of being seen in fashion that isn't currently making the rounds on ­Instagram is a rather deplorable excuse for staying home.

These days, the going rate for the popular Chanel slingbacks heels, resembling nurse shoes, or granny fashion, is about Dh4,000. The Gucci pearl-adorned loafers spotted all over street style at last month’s fashion weeks cost about Dh4,150. A Saint ­Laurent monogrammed quilted shoulder bag will set you back Dh4,900 – and that’s just the small size.

You might view accessory splurges to be harmless. But after you get used to giving in to cravings for designer shoes and bags, you could start drifting in to the realm of clothing, too. All of a sudden, that basic white T-shirt by The Row, priced at Dh4,100, doesn’t seem so expensive. Just look at Kanye West. He’s minting money off of unsightly, ripped clothing that one might find in a rubbish skip (although that hasn't stopped him claiming to be millions of dirhams in debt).

The moral of my little rant is to keep a tight grip on your wallet. If you must treat yourself to a big spend every now and then, tighten your shopping habits and limit yourself to a well-thought-out splurge schedule. Dropping Dh10,000 a month may get you kicked out of the house, but if you plan to buy a new handbag every four months, you may just survive – financially, and among the ranks of your fashion-­pack clique.

hlodi@thenational.ae