Remuneration and other benefits in this economic climate has been under much debate but sometimes what I read in the news (I don't watch TV because I don't know how to turn the TV on) could be PR strategies, news to 'please the peeps' or simply ignorance.
I am not defending the (former) masters of the universe but when I read about Obama's plan to cap top banking executives' salaries at USD 500,000, I had to laugh. Doesn't his finance staff know that traders and brokers sometimes make more than board members? Last week, the US media criticized Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO, disembarking from a private plane that costs USD 5000 an hour to run. Little do they know it would very likely cost BofA shareholders more in time and logtistics if their CEO flew commercial.
WHHEELL---but that's just my opinion, I certainly not being of the private-plane crowd. (But still HOPING to be...very likely dreaming....)
Now on to topics at 'ground level.'
Yesterday at lunch, amdist the ooohhing and aaahhing of one of the ladies' new fierce-gladiator 6850 HKD pair of heels (plus 10% Lane Crawford discount) ---Balenciaga? Givenchy? Who knows! They all look the same these days!---I mentioned that I never thought, in my fashion life, that I would ever see the day of 1000 USD shoes.
That day arrived last year (or maybe two years ago), the final year for all of us to be shopping dangerously. Plus the shoes have been ugly! (In the last two years I have only bought the following brands: Alaia, Rupert Sanderson and Roger Vivier) Yesterday we also bemoaned the weakening of Dries van Noten, a line I shopped every season until about three or four years ago.
Anyway, back to shoes. Everyone said they could still remember the last time they paid 100-200 USD for a pair of shoes---Walter Steiger, Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards (I spent all of my food allowance on a loafer), Helene Arpels, Joan and David....(Yes, we are all THAT OLD!)
On the way home, I thought of the times when I 'really got it' from my parents for spending too much and I will tell you what I bought in the name of fashion and at the expense of my allowance or rent, but never tuition.
When I moved to New York for school, my aunt told my Mom I had to have two pairs of boots for the winter: a plastic one for the snow and a sturdy leather one for the rest of the winter including when it rains. My Mom and aunt had LL Bean and Clark's in mind. I ended up buying a super soft pair of dark brown Andrea Carrano calfskin boots which I still have today and a burgundy Fendi rainboot plastered with its Zucca (double F) logo. Strike One.
Strikes Two and Three happened in Hong Kong. Strike Two was when I took a childhood friend to Matsuda and both of us proceeded to buy a t-shirt each, probably the cost of a night's stay at a 5-star hotel. I didn't hear the end of "How could you have brought that kid to such an expensive place that even WE WOULD NEVER think of entering?" "What is it, anyway? Is this T-shirt made of gold?" (Now you can see I can never escape this question---I still get it from my husband)
Strike Three was when I bought a small WHITE leather day bag at Bally and a super soft (again!) leather cosmetic case at Basile, both of which I still have. The Basile make-up case now has some kind of oil stain and the Bally bag I have dyed black.
I AM THAT OLD!! (Basile and Matsuda have closed ages ago and Bally is under revival)
This is what "I got" from my Dad, "Do you know I only have ONE pair of Bally shoes and you go out and buy a bag? What is that other expensive thing whose name I don't even recognize? If it's so expensive, how come no one knows the brand? Who TOLD you about this brand? Can't you use a plastic case from Rustan's like everyone else?"
I realized I had to leave home. QUICK! Because my peeps and I did not share the same (fashion) universe.
Now I can laugh but I didn't for many years growing up. Maybe that's why I have hung on to those things. (I had to throw out the Fendi boots when they finally leaked. The Matsuda t-shirt ended up as a rag)
NOW they wanna know what happens when I meet Karl, Donatella, Vivienne, Alber or Arnault....and how is London, Paris and Rome?
Speaking of laughter, have you kids laughed at all this week? I HAVE!! TERRIBLY!!!
The comments on the Bryan Boy=Chikatime entry are so hilarious but the one that really killed me, and I haven't laughed as much since Chikatime was:
from Anonymous:(v Pinoy!)
3 ways to eliminate fagot (sic) worm:1) death by elephant katol, 2) death by lethal injection of vodka, 3) death bu firing squad using tirador, 4) Ipako sa cruz!
THEN after reading that, my manicurista tells me that she lives at the Belchers in Kennedy Town/Pok Fu Lam and IF and ONLY IF I remember right, Wendy Puyat used to live there!!!
(I couldn't stop laughing...Someone please tell me I'm wrong)
And finally, this piece of gossip which is not so funny but can you picture Xeng packing them all in and running away with them? Xeng supposedly ran of with 13,000 USD worth of bathing suits from a Brazilian designer based in New York City and is now selling them in Manila.
So you guys in Boracay, check your suitcases for STOLEN GOODS!!! hahahaha!!!
Now if you'll excuse me while I leave my desk to get a pair of new Roger Viviers. Which I INTEND to pay FOR!