Day Thirty-One: Authentic Degrade

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I came back to sunny LA. I have to admit its not quite the same fashion scape as NYC but it reminds me that I have to go out and find it here. I know its here and some of it is pretty great.

Believe it or not one of my favorite places for people watching and their style choices is the Whole Foods in Venice. In a matter of minutes you can see a Buddhist hippie cross dresser, a perfectly trended, thin young woman with all the right accoutrements just in place or a yoga teacher from one of the local studios in clothes that cant help but be about their amazing bodies.

The photograph you see above came as a surprise as I went to check out of Whole Foods yesterday. I was wiped out from the airplane trip and wondered what would I have to write about for todays post. The woman sitting in front of me on the plane who was browsing the internet for colorful skimmers on Zappos reminded me too much of me over thirty-one days ago. Not much to write about there. In fact, when I went to get a manicure in Venice and saw all the girls running up and down Main Street with their bright packages hanging off their tanned arms, instead of craving I felt a slight nausea. My mind  seems to be in deep respite from that form of busy-ness of going to “shop.”

Back to the photo- does anyone remember this season of Prada? I think it was sometime between 2007  through 2009? They made handbags that had a degrade that went from white fading into a red, a brown like the one above, a blue and probably other colors. I dont recall if they did one or two seasons of it. They were pretty wonderful and it was a total surprise to see one of these since I thought they were all but extinct. The one above is still a treasure for this  young woman in boyfriend jeans and a cool shirt. This ‘old thing’ hung off her arm, you can see one unapologetic gash in the center of it, the Prada logo piece still intact, she clutches it close to her body, reaches into it to pay for her things and swings it around as if it were the latest, greatest Celine bag that so many women seem to want these days. For me, to love a bag this much, no matter the condition is simply – the way to love anyone or anything. We dont give up our parents when they get too old to clean themselves, we just help them out, we dont give up our pets when they cant be as fun as they were as puppies, they seduced us easily into an unspoken contract of unconditional love and so we give them everything we can when they need it no matter their condtion. And while the comparison of people and puppies to handbags seems vulgar, it is, but love is love. While I could easily sell a handbag, even a beloved one for money and certainly not my dog, cat or parent ever, it does remind me that the people, objects and episodes in our lives need to be, must be, personally inspiring. Not just inspiring because we are told to be by the latest magazine or celebrity but inspiring because we are attracted to what lights us up and makes us want to live to the fullest.

So family and friends aside: if you can truly afford a great handbag like the Prada here without going into debt or sinking your cash flow and you really want it and love it, go ahead – love it until its in stitches because it will only get more beautiful as it wears. You will love it for whatever it is at anytime. At the end of its life the bag will be a record of you and what the two of you lived through together.

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