Faux Love

Though I love a good episode of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” as much as the next wise soul, I’m generally not an advocate of anything fake. The world has enough terrible Louis Vuitton knock-off purses and wallets to fill the province of Alberta twice*, and more slightly oblong Chanel double ‘C’s’ than I can count (my knowledge of numbers gets fuzzy after the kajillions). Authenticity is important if you want to be taken seriously, and while I’m not suggesting that consumers should be slaves to expensive brands (or brands at all), but as the enlightened Judge Judy once said, “Don’t piss on my foot and tell me it’s raining.” Capiche?

A month or so ago I was shopping in one of my favourite thrift stores when I spotted (ha, pun intended) a faux leopard print coat. I tried it on, noticed the busted seams and decided to forego a purchase that would need too much fixing up. I did the stupid If-You-Love-Something-Let-It-Go thing – ladies, you know the drill. Find something you love, don’t put it on hold, leave the store, go home and fantasize about said something, return to the store in a frantic mess four minutes before closing, find that your precious something has been sold, swear it wasn’t meant to be. Why do we do this?!

So I did the drill, returned, and discovered that the leopard coat and I were not meant to be, but something remained. Are you there God? It’s me, Carmen. Thanks for replacing the leopard coat with a…er…a Cruella Deville coat? I guess that’s one of the joys of faux fur – you have no idea what animal it’s supposed to be faking.

I can say with confidence that I would not have worn faux fur last year, or even six months ago. In a lot of ways this is what I like about fashion, the transformative aspect. What’s ugly one day is acceptable the next and we are forced to re-evaluate why we even like certain shapes and textures in the first place. I thought bell-bottoms were downright laughable when they came back in the 90’s, but quickly grew to love them. I maintain that Uggs will never find their way into my heart, but bless your little soul if you’ve made peace with them. I suppose my sense of personal style has been formed, in part, by embracing the ugly of yesteryear. So for me at least, it’s out with the old and in with the new. I promise, no boob jobs and no collagen lip injections, but for now I’m going fake on your asses.

-Carmen Vicente

*This “fact” is not grounded in truth or verifiable research.