Last weekend we headed off to Brighton to scout for houses. Laines, the seaside, a bustling town that's compact enough yet near London, an artsy vibe-- what more can one *really* ask for. Unfortunately, it was Bank Holiday weekend so all B&Bs were booked. And owing to some impending change in the laws, most flats are snapped up meaning. . well, I am still looking. Tragic. After two hours of sleep, the day obviously kicks off with some Photobooth-ing before leaving at 7am. . Sometimes 7am is the time when I sleep, it is quite odd going to bed at 4-ish and waking up at 630am. It was at the train station that I discovered a major glitch. I had selected 'return' tickets on the National Rail site, priced at £44.30 for us both, and when I was directed to the First Capital Connect site to pay, it became £56.30. No matter how I checked the timings, it seemed like the other fare was a hoax. Stupidly enough, I didn't double check if they were returns, single tickets came out at the station. Nevertheless it got me moody for the rest of the day, wondering if we had to pay another sixty quid to travel back-- which would be ridiculous. "You didn't click 'single' so we could somehow stay there overnight, did you?" I was asked teasingly, which I got rather upset about, because, let's face it, I can't travel anywhere without contact lens solution, skincare, etcetera. You get the picture. Plus I am not so lowdown and sneaky. Allegation completely out of the window. Dropping by the train offices in London were only greeted by "Call this number" and calling that alleged-customer support line only led to patronising "Sorry you have to buy new tickets. . tube upgrades. .disruptions. ." and all kinds of shite. Whilst I acknowledge I was stupid not to double-check (it was 3am) and I couldn't possibly call them up to enquire about fare discrepancy at that time, I would have had some faith in believing that my 'return' choice would have stayed when directed to the vendor to pay. Nevertheless, a kind ticket officer at Brighton heard our case at night-- because it was only £0.15 more for return tickets as compared to singles!-- and so we didn't need to take the 'friendly customer support' advice and paid £56.15 less. Well, in essence, I really bemoan the lack of cheap (and efficient) public transport as compared to Singers.
It was going to be a full-on day (e.g. three-hour train ride each leg) and coupled with barely any sleep, foundation/powder was skipped and red lips used as distraction point. Went for a Pinup Girl By The Seaside look-- floral jumpsuit and large gold earrings-- yet the insane amount of walking warranted flats and D spent the whole day counting the number of people starring at my socks. Lol. "Aren't you going to wear socks?"/"I don't have any other than anklet ones?"/"Well what's wrong with them"/"People are going to think I am a fetishist"/"Well maybe you'll score rentals easier that way". Unfortunately not. My whole life has me surrounded by mad people getting the kicks out of watching people watch me or becoming some kind of stat tracker. Oh well, free entertainment, perhaps. Good karma accumulated, I tell myself.
As you can probably tell, Brighton is quite a pretty town. The pebble beach scores-- I love the roar of fierce waves and the sea, a carousel on the beach, and a fairground by the pier makes it slightly surreal. I was quipping about how scary it is to have some slightly-rickety thrill rides suspending you over the water. It seems extremely creepy. Now, I am a sucker for adrenaline-pumping thrill rides (I'm sure I've taken the most extreme ones in my international pursuit of a heart attack) but as I was explaining my rationale, those seem way more secure and even if you're unlucky enough to fall off, you hit the ground and probably die quite quickly. But, when suspended over the sea, the torture of death from drowning seems incomparably painful. Or maybe it's just because I cannot swim. The food selection over at Brighton seems extremely international (and way cheaper than Cambridge), with loads of different food stores which makes it convenient for cooking a selection of international cuisine as well-- another important consideration. There are markets, music stores, vintage stores, erotic boutiques, loads of bookstores mixed in with contemporary high-street and higher-end goods. It's a bit of London-meets-Camden-meets-Glastonbury vibe and beyond. A mix that appeals to me. The fierce winds means that your lips are constantly assaulted, necessitating loads of lip balm. Next I'll just hafta figure out a way to get a nice home there, and a few jobs to take up . . whilst wondering what's going to happen to me. This month is definitely going be a little of a mad rush. Oh well, c'est la vie.
Mango denim jacket; Primark oxfords; LegAvenue anklet socks; Jane Norman floral jumpsuit; vintage belt; MiuMiu handbag; Accessorize earrings; Diva & Aldo rings
As for Friend Friday organised by Katy Rose of ModlyChic, here's the quick (succinct) rundown for this week revolving around the theme of Copying.
1. Which side do you take… Copycat designs are a way for the average consumer to stay current and wear runway styles without breaking the bank OR Copycat designs take business from the designer and cheapen the value of their work. Explain.I am rather torn about this issue. There really is a thin line between 'inspired' and 'rip off'. When you think about it, the vast amounts of profits that high-end fashion houses reap also rips people off. Sure, there might be 'hand-sewn', 'specially-bred reptiles' and what-nots, plus the fact that you pay for quality, but behind this is alot of copious advertising and blatant conspicuous consumption at work letting some laugh their way to the bank. And it is really one's fault if one goes into massive debt trying to afford the It shoe/bag/dress, which in the first place accounts for how the big fashion house piles up its fortunes. At the same time, one thing I've also learnt is that you *do* get better quality with higher-end goods, vis-a-vis cheap knockoffs. So say, if something is 'inspired' (but not a blatant, shameless imitation) and is either so drop-dead amazing or worn for a disposal one-time look, I might get it. Otherwise, no. Still, if we extend this debate beyond the fashion houses and into independent designers, perhaps I have a softer spot for the latter and would not get copies.
2. Sometimes we do things, even if they are unethical or illegal (downloading music for free, watching full movies on YouTube). Do you think it is unethical for a designer to copy a vintage piece, make it current and sell it?
Perhaps he/she should acknowledge it if he does it. I must admit that sometimes when I look at breathtaking vintage pieces (which therefore become almost one-offs due to unavailability), I cannot help but feel these could be reproduced. After all, fashion is cyclical and follows the pawprints of the history it treads, albeit with some tweaks and adjustments here and there. That said, vintage pieces, in my opinion, tend to be of better quality vis-a-vis today's mass-produced run-off-the-mill numbers. If one were to reproduce a vintage piece, I'd say do it well and acknowledge the origins. Do it justice.
3. Would you buy an items that is a very well done copy of a runway garment if it fell within your budget?
4. According to the fashion laws, at least in the US, apparel design is seen as too utilitarian to qualify for copyright protection. Would you think this is detrimental to the industry or beneficial. (Check out this video on The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe to get a better idea of this concept)
Detrimental. Whilst there is an argument that nothing is original, and everything is based as a mishmash of ideas originating from a variety of sources, to see apparel design as utilitarian would be to sound the death toll on creativity. The 'nothing is original' stance can be extended to books, scholarly research, art, etcetera, yet copyright exists for many of these. But that aside, I don't see this as a potential impediment in the industry-- it has a life of its own.
5. Own up… share the things in your closet that is a knock off. You know those things you got in China Town, on the streets of New York, or where ever.
Hah, I used to be really disturbed by the fact that I had about 5 knock-offs, purchased when I was younger, broker, and less discerning about quality. I think these days, there's only about 1 or 2 pieces, which I barely use. This bag I bought in Phuket is the only one I remember offhand.
In other news, Mini Shopaholic is wickedly hilarious! Just received it in the mail today and devoured it-- you get half-price if you order online. I was grinning insanely the moment I collected it, mauled the packaging apart, wrapped myself with a throw, and began laughing like a mad hyena whilst sipping warm tea, albeit slightly conscious that D was in the same room probably thinking I'd lost even more marbles. Spent last night tweaking the site so it looks neater and pictures are way larger now (i.e. in your face); plus I've been blogging for a month here already! Have a glorious weekend :)