Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cars as Coats, Coats as Cars

A couple of years ago, my friend and I went on a romantic two-day trip to Venice. We had snagged a four star hotel room for 90 euro per night that came with plushy robes, which we wore while we ate Magnum ice cream bars and taught ourselves how to mix Adele and Glee on Garage Band (you can listen to the final products here. Disclaimer: your ears will bleed). This introduction has nothing to do with the rest of the post, except to note that I once went to Venice for two days, where I noticed that everyone and his mother (but, actually) wore a Moncler jacket.

My Venetian-tripping friend and I spent a good portion of our time discussing where we would eat next and why everyone seemingly had a Moncler jacket. It didn't make sense. Surely, if Italy is in the economic crisis in which Angela Merkel et al. claims it to be, most of the Italians mazing through Venice couldn't afford a Moncler jacket. So we formulated a theory.

Most Americans consider cars to be status symbols. For those of us who don't live in this ratty (ha!) concrete jungle, the car that you drive is an extension of yourself. Kanye West sums up this American car-as-a-status-symbol theory pretty well: "What you think I rap for, to push a fucking Rav-4?" I take a little offense to this because I used to drive a red Rav-4, but back to Moncler jackets.

In Venice, people don't consider cars to be status symbols. If you don't have to drive anywhere, why would you waste your money on a nice car when nobody can see it? (This isn't my view, I'm just sayin'). The thing that people always see is your chosen piece of outerwear. So it only makes sense in the status-seekers eye that wearing a nice coat implies that you can afford a nice coat, so in short--you've made it. “Debt? What debt? I’m wearing Moncler. It’s shiny.” That's why everyone has a Moncler jacket in Venice.

I can't really remember what the point of this post was supposed to be, but I think it had something to do with me waking up this morning and thinking how much I wanted a light down coat, so I thought of Moncler. But here's what I want to know: are they really warmer than Uniqlo's ultra light down coat? Why buy one Moncler jacket when you can buy ten Uniqlo jackets? That's shallow. I hate myself.

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