Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Unattainable Thing

    There are so many things we seem to be hard wired for. We have an innate desire to categorize and file experience and sensations, we are intensely curious, even about things that we might better leave alone, and we are always attracted to anything we think is unattainable. We seem incapable of really accepting that limitation.  To my mind this is one of the real motivators behind our seeming inborn attraction to opulence and luxury. 
    We may not be interested in living in that sort of world in reality, but it draws our attention anyway.  This urge spans every culture and every era, every stratum and both sexes with equal depth. 

    But why?  What is it about the obvious display of abundance or wealth that grabs and holds our attention so?  Is it the rarity of it?  Is it a desire to have it ourselves? Is it the dazzlement of strange beauty? Is it the inherent sexuality of such lushness?  Frankly I think its all those things and more.

    For many of us, the need to create this opulence in our lives manifests in the clothing choices we make. It may be a kind of dramatic color that we cling to. It might be a penchant for gold jewelry, (even when its fake). It might be a reliance on silk clothing. Or simply in a need to wear "all the things" all the time.  However it makes itself known to us, it shows up in small or large ways in our life.

    In my own little world it has recently reared its beguiling head as a sudden need for more interesting shoes.  Previously I was one of those people who maintained 5 or 6 pairs of very basic shoes and that was it.  So part of what I'm discovering here is that not only does this addition access that opulence thing a bit, it also expands my own sartorial vocabulary significantly. 
    And that effect, is one of the signature players in this whole thing.  The desire to express a kind of lavishness leads to a greater set of expressive terms.

    Now let me clarify something. Opulence is not all about overstatement or massive amounts of detail.  Opulence can express in severity of form and simplicity.  But to work in that way, every element chosen must be perfection.

    But whatever way we think of or see opulence, and however directly it is a part of our lives, it is a hidden motivator to our choices and expressions of self.  It comes back around to something I've mentioned before, the desire, when we present ourselves to the world, to be a more perfected, idealized version of ourselves.

    So indulge in what way you can, this desire for opulence.  It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, because you can grab a piece of it by wearing your hair in a more dramatic way, of tilting a hat you already have to a saucier angle.   Do it, and take your piece of the pleasure pie.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting piece, as usual, Paul. I am dying over that hat in the last picture. Swooooon...