Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The "WANT" vs The "can have"

/wɒnt, wɔnt/ Show Spelled[wont, wawnt] Show IPA
–verb (used with object)
to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.

The word "want" is described as a verb indicating wish or desire. But want is a powerful thing. Anything that has to do with passion or desire has the power to balloon into this ginormous monster of need. When that happens the simple verb "want" becomes a thing, a separate entity known to me as "THE WANT".

Now "THE WANT" is not a thing to be trifled with, it can consume, "THE WANT" can lead to jealousy, coveting and a slew of unpleasant emotions. It takes various shapes and can come from a need for the emotional like love or happiness, something life changing like marriage or a child, something material like a car or home.
"THE WANT" can and will keep you up at night, it will turn you into a schemer, a planner, sometimes even a manipulator(of people or truths), "THE WANT" can and will wreck you at times.

I want to talk about THE WANT today, but even in this very exhibitionist/voyeuristic world dominated by social media I have to keep some things to myself. And while I admittedly have the "THE WANT" for some powerful and possibly unattainable things, I'm going to focus on "THE WANT' for material items. This is not to discount the severity of the "THE WANT" for material things, many a person has lost family, homes, even jobs in their search for more things. I have put myself in and find myself in a precarious situation due to "THE WANT" and my inability to tell it to FUCK off.

While I haven't bested the beast, I can trick him a bit. If I can't get that thing that I want but can't afford I'm going to find something like it that I can. This is especially easy to do when dealing with handbags.

I always look for the "Steal vs Splurge" sections in magazines where they profile similar items. However I'm frequently frustrated by the high end designer vs what is often a low end replica.

I think that when you fall for a bag you can't have you should look at the shape, texture, coloring, and then find something that offers a similar aesthetic in your price range. Not a replica so much as having something you like in common. My comparison is between high end designer bags and the more accessible yet also respected "contemporary" designers. In other words I'm talking about looking at bags in the Louis Vuitton price point vs bags in the Tory Burch price point (although I'm not going to look at those specific designers) :

Hermes vs Proenza Schouler

This is the iconic Hermes Birkin, you cannot just stroll into an Hermes shop and pick up this bag even if you did have the $10,000+ to buy it. Wait times for a Birkin can take years. This bag is all about exclusivity and is often thought as the Holy Grail of handbags. This bag is not me so its easy for me to keep "THE WANT" at bay. If I were to ever purchase this bag It would be a trophy "oh look what I have " purchase and I really don't want to be that person.

If you don't have $10,000+ or a generous significant other/friend/family member to buy you the Birkin I present to you the Proenza Schouler PS1 Keep All. Similar to the Birkin in shape and size, the PS1 is a very modern interpretation of a carry all. The front features a flap over and multiple cut outs and straps. The beauty in this bag is in the architecture and that it is not trying to be a Birkin or any other bag, the girl who carries it wants to be carrying a PS1. With a price tag of $1,275 it is not cheap in the least but it is accessible with some short term saving up or by using a paycheck whatever floats your boat.

Chanel vs Rebecca Minkoff

This is currently "THE WANT" for me. The Chanel 2.55 in lambskin. Nothing says timeless like Chanel. Coco knew what she was doing and her legacy will live on for a long time. Chanel is about the classic and the sublime. Its luxury personified. But that chain strap while lady like also brings a bit of the badass. And I live for a bit of the badass in my accessories. Chanel does not promote it prices on the websites of it's authorized resellers like Bloomingdales and Saks, which is a good indication that it's not for everyone. A typical 2.55 can start at about $2,100. Right now "THE WANT" for this bag has me doing all kinds of rationalizing and planing, like if I eat cereal for two paychecks I can put money towards the bag, if I find a friend who works at Bloomingdale's maybe I can get a discount, maybe I can do a good consignment purchase (used or vintage)  reducing the price to $900. There is all kinds of plotting going on in my head for this bag.

While "THE WANT" forces me to do all my scheming and planning for a 2.55 I needed a stop gap. A bag to fill the void left by my non existent Chanel. I went on a hunt for a chain strap bag as that was the one element I wanted most. Enter the Rebecca Minkoff "The Affair" for $325. I did a ShopStyle.com search for chain strap bags and of the hundreds that came up "The Affair" was my instant favorite. While the bag has the similar quilting and straps of a Chanel, it's not a wannabe or poser Chanel. It may be Rebecca's ode to Chanel while maintaining her young and edgy aesthetic by using circular quilting, studs throughout and washed pebbled leather. She makes a great bag for a great price, while its not lambskin, the bag is made of quality Italian leather and heavy hardware. I bought this bag last week and looooove it. While it didn't annihilate "THE WANT" for the 2.55 it's definitely alleviated it.

Lanvin vs Kate Spade
I have spoken of my love of Lanvin recently so I will not dwell on it for too long but Alber I love you and your love affair with both luxury and femininity. This is all evident in his Amalia bag. This metallic leather chain strap shoulder bag sells for a pretty steep $2,195, And I won't lie, if I had it I would drop it on this bag in a minute as it is very inline with my aesthetic. But alas I don't, le sigh....

Kate Spade has done her own metallic , chain strap, bow embellished bag that I honestly think feels closer to an actual copy of the Amalia than a similar look. Lanvin made this line in various sizes, colors and shapes and the Kate Spade is similar to more than one. She used the same texture, straps and embellishment but has changed the shape making her bag a structured tote and by eliminating the quilting she changed it up just enough. If you love the Lanvin Amalia and are looking for something a bit more affordable and practical at $445 this is the way to go.

Now I know that these bags are still quite pricey so if you are looking for something similar to any of these three styles, Topshop has bags similar in style to or inspired by each of these three bags all for under $100.