April 3rd, 2013: What You Need to Know in 60 Seconds. Tales of Communism, Vintage Hermes & Bottega Veneta
I keep telling you that there’s no other way to become an extraordinary bargain shopper without learning as much about the trade as possible.
I grew up with a tailor in the house, my beloved grandmother, who “created” most of the dresses I wore by following my sketches. Both of my parents were engineers, so we were not poor. Still, my communist country did not believe in fashion any more than it believed in free markets, so I had to get creative.
Their disinterest in garments and accessories, forced me to learn about the style world on my own. For example, I now know what fabrics are made of just by looking at them and can also tell the difference between quality and non-quality leathers.
Speaking of quality, you have to appreciate the workmanship and technique of Bottega Veneta, a brand famous for its intrecciato work (woven and interlaced fabric).
The Italian brand was born in the ’60s, in Venice, an area known at the time for producing ready-to-wear garments. Because they couldn’t get the manufacturing equipment they were looking for locally, they adapted by using super fine leather that allowed them to use ready-to-wear equipment. And that’s how their most recognizable element of the brand was born.
Another example of extraordinary craftsmanship comes from Hermes. The company continues to use one expert craftsperson to make a single handbag at a time. Hard to believe, but there are no assembly lines and no giant machines. It takes the craftsman 18 to 24 hours to hand stitch one bag. That’s why, my darlings, these bags cost what they cost. Enjoy, even if only to look at them. Why not? They are, after all, little pieces of art.
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