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.