Wiksten

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

wiksten

wiksten

wiksten

wiksten

The label Wiksten, designed and created by Jenny Gordy, is one of my favourite independent boutiques. I'm yet to purchase anything from Jenny's Wiksten shop, primarily because I typically can't afford it and her shop usually sells out too quickly for me to catch the pieces I want. But I'm happy to covet her pieces from afar and appreciate the time and effort that goes into making them.

The fact that I often can't afford her pieces though gets me thinking about where and how we buy our clothes. For example, I'd rather wait and save up patiently for one of her pieces (which I'll hopefully own one day), rather than buy a similar style of clothing cheaper, but without the same attention to quality and detail. This is usually my philosophy, which means that my wardrobe isn't extensive, but does contain well-loved and long-lasting clothes. So when I read Anabela's post on this very same issue, I was struck by how fairly she articulated the subject.

Do we buy something cheaply from a larger company, or should we support smaller independent boutiques who may be more expensive, but are often preferable? Of course, not everybody has the luxury of making this choice and there should be a certain level of realism and sensitivity to people's financial situations. Just because you don't have lots of money doesn't mean you shouldn't have nice things. I think Anabela presents this topic in a really interesting way.

This same debate features quite a lot in other art forms besides fashion. For example, one of the biggest debates in film studies is this tension between mass-produced, big Hollywood blockbusters and independent films. So I find this topic really interesting.

For me, there isn't always a direct correlation between the price of something and its quality or value. Rather, I tend to pick my clothing based on mood and personality. If we take money out of the equation for just a little while, clothing for me is like an extension of my personality, so in that sense, I don't see it as something superficial.

What I like about the label Wiksten is the fact that it has a narrative behind it: I know who I'm potentially buying from. It's not just that the pieces that Jenny makes are well-made and display my type of style, but also that she takes us into her creative process. We see her life, her blog, her home, her studio and even her lovely kitty. This is what I like the most. My grandmother was a fantastic dressmaker. She used to make me dresses and costumes that would literally make you gasp. It's this same level of personality and individuality that I'm drawn to when I choose my clothes.

How do you buy and choose your clothes?

All images are by Jenny Gordy, from her blog and flickr account.

18 comments:

Alison Coombs said...

I completely agree with your thought processes, here. I continually swoon over Wiksten garments (see here: http://wannabeatelierista.blogspot.com/2010/10/wiksten.html) and feel as though I have a connection to Jenny via her blog, etc. I am making a conscious effort to begin editing my purchases to quality pieces that I truly love and represent my aesthetic (an extension of my personality as an artist and creative individual) and will hopefully be classic, long-lasting items in my wardrobe! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Make it Easy said...

pretty pretty pretty!!

Enia Is (Almost) Here said...

again, totally with you (we need to stop doing that). i've become massively zen about things i need and don't in the last two years, which means my wardrobe like yours is relatively small but all from stores i love that last me a long while. and that is also my purchasing philosophy. that being said, i don't always buy from independent retailers, partly because i've not really found some i can swoon over. i am pretty much a whistles (a uk brand) girl these days... jewelry and books is where independents come from.

p.s. OF COURSE clothes and being interested in them is not superficial. it annoys me to no end when people appreciate art, but anyone with a passing interest in fashion is such a girl (a negative, clearly) and a ditzy blonde to boot. sartre has this wonderful quote about a grocer not being allowed to be anything but a grocer by society. god forbid a girl who reads books by sartre also reads vogue...

ahem, rant over...

Vanessa said...

Another great post about a topic I've often thought about and thanks for introducing me to Wilksten's amazing shop. I tend to buy more everyday work things from the high street since pencil skirts and polo neck sweaters make up my functional wardrobe. Although I try try to buy things in the UK since they have a bigger range of affordable shops than here where we're pretty limited to H&M, Zara and Mango whose designs you see on everyone. There are certain pieces though which I'm happy to splurge on and they're the ones I take out of my closet and try on during rainy afternoons. It's nice having a connection to the plce where you bought it, to know you're supporting someone talented locally, that you have something special which will last.

etre-soi said...

Like you I can't afford buying from all the independent designers as much as I would love. Fashion is something really important in my life, at the same level as art and literature I need them all because they are a part of me. I have an extensive wardrobe I admit it, but since the last 6/7 years I've been buying almost vintage especially when it comes to shoes; I can't afford the great leather pieces from designers so I prefer to buy vintage leather shoes whenever it is possible and that's what I've been doing.

As for clothes I buy them and upcycle them as much as I can and that's the same about bags and whenever I can I buy handmade. I also buy H&M (maybe 2 or 3 times a year) and I even buy H&M from Ebay (such as the cute beige lace dress I was wearing the other day).
I don't know if what I do is the right thing, but I know that 10 years ago I was ONLY buying from this massive companies, so today I feel like I buy differentely and I know it's better than it was, I don't know if one day I will be able to buy ONLY from independent designers and vintage but I hope I will because if I could now that's what I would be doing.
At work I get a lot of compliments on what I'm wearing and people ask me where I have bought this and that and it's almost second hand items and I can see in their faces that it's not something that they could do, when I look around at my close friends, family and people I work with I only have one that buys second hand all the others go to Zara, H&M, etc and they don't even think that there are other ways of buying clothes....

Wonderful post Hila :)

Megan Champion said...

My husband and I own a shop that sells handmade monsters. It is entirely a labor of love because the cost that goes into making them is so high. We tried to raise the price before but many people find it utterly ridiculous to pay more for something handmade. They compare it to “toys you can buy at Wal-Mart” which is crazy. Mass produced, outsourced items have nearly obliterated the many artisans who create lasting well made things. I like you, love my few simple pieces that are unique, they really add character to my mass produced items ;-)

{ I V Y } said...

such a cute dress.

danica said...

i prefer to save up for pieces that i really want from apc and independent boutiques in hong kong, as i usually regret cheap purchases. sometimes i get so caught up in the fact that something's inexpensive that i overlook whether i actually need it and whether it will work in my wardrobe.

great topic, hila!

Erica said...

its very accurate that we tend to buy from cheaper stores while longing for beautiful pieces like the ones in the images above. I think, in this case quality really does outdo quantity. In the end if there is substance and quality in the piece- that ultimately, adds so much value to the object. Its just that sometimes we get caught up in consumerism (which is a shame but also a fact of modern life). But these pieces are amazing and I have a feeling i'm also going to start dreaming of owning a few of these beautiful pieces too. I'll just practice patience and save up. Thanks for sharing! :)

Indie.Tea said...

Such lovely pieces. I would love that greyish cardigan you featured for myself.
I actually prefer waiting and saving up to buy a few choice pieces. Which is why I own so few pieces....friends are always shocked by how small the selection in my closet is...but I prefer it that way. I personally feel very guilty for purchasing clothes overall though.

Lotte said...

lovely post, thanks for stopping by and your kind words

Hermine said...

This is beautiful. Love the title of your blog to !

See Hear Say said...

i have to say i'm not really a big spender and i don't shop that much (this is quite subjective i guess, but i just don't spend that much on clothes and accessories for compared to my friends). i guess it all quite depends on my mood and what / where i'm going to wear it. for instance for special occasions i do prefer to save for nice special pieces that last longer. but for day to day clothes e.g. for work, i prefer to spend less so that when they become worn out that means it's time for me to go shopping again :)

hila said...

thanks guys, it's been really interesting reading your responses on this topic - I like the fact that you've contributed some thoughtful discussion here. I wish we could continue this in person!

Niki said...

You have a wonderful blog,

hila said...

thanks :)

annelouiselikes said...

some really interesting comments...

i - like many of us - TRY to only buy things that i really love (or need), but i admit to getting sucked into cheap thrills at times (usually after a long day of work).

but i think the things that i wear the most are then things that i really wanted, regardless of the price or where i bought them.

but often, it is the handmade things that i treasure the most. i make things myself, so don't mind paying extra for something that i know someone has poured their heart and soul into...


(lovely blog, by the way. it will be a challenge to stop myself from commenting on every post. bookmarked!)

hila said...

thanks for your really thoughtful comment. I find it interesting to hear about other people's habits. And thanks for the compliment!