Tag Archives: publishing

Aspirational Vs. Inspirational

Yes, I have a lot to say about Bohemia today.

I read a lot of magazines. I will name them not. But they annoy me. They sell me things I cannot afford and they sell me the notion that the only way to live is to be rich, rich, rich but with the tastes of Bohemia. Also, that women need to be thin, thin, thin.

I don’t subscribe to these magazines. They come to our home, unsolicited. And I throw them across the room after reading about people who had just bought a penthouse, and were surprised to discover a beach home that they just “had to have.”

Today I discovered a quote that explains an actual theory behind this philosophy: it comes from Andy Warhol, and his mission for Interview, a magazine about the high/low differential: the “difference in the classes: the ultra-rich and the ultra-bohemian.”

It’s messed up crap that doesn’t speak to most of America.

So, I live in Marin County. The “high” ones are the anorexic ladies who lunch at the club and flirt with the tennis instructors. The “high” men are the financial wizards or tech-loving outdoorsy people or the landed gentry who come here because it is just too damn beautiful. Us townies who were actually born here and grew up here? Yeah, not so much luck settling here. Most of my childhood friends have moved.

I was reading the NY Times “Vow” section tongue-in-cheek on Sunday at my in-laws. The story was quite gripping until the mention of the bride’s family, who have a “second home” in Bolinas, here in Marin. Bolinas is not only outrageously expensive, it’s incredibly exclusive: Martha Stewart was banned from buying property there.

Why mention that? Why say “second home in Bolinas” when it’s not a necessary detail readers need to know? I asked my MiL about it.

“Oh, my husband and I love to read about these stories. We think we could apply a few of the not expensive details in the story to our events and that makes us happy.”

In other words, the very rich have tastes they learn from the bohemians that the middle class then adapt into their own lives.

I know there is a lot of criticism about lifestyle blogs, but this is the very reason I love them so much. The main tastemakers are fashion-oriented women who can curate their own styles. Like Pandora’s Box or Atlantic Pacific. By following them, we get to bypass the “aspirational” and move straight into “inspirational.”

For example, this outfit was directly inspired by Blonde Salad.

What say you: do you like this movement of relative nobodies suddenly dictating style based on their own talents and instincts, or do you prefer cultural “gatekeepers” to limit style from the higher-ups, like Karl Lagerfield (who cribs from bohemia) directly to the rich, then filtering down to the masses via hip-hop stars, and actresses and H&M? Do you aspire to a wealthy aesthetic? What inspires your style?


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