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Cameron Silver. Photo courtesy of Frederic Aranda.

It’s so much fun. It’s couture. It’s reference. It’s memories. Everything is disposable now. Ownership is nothing. People take selfies at stores pretending that they have bought something. Clothes are actually representing the way you live.

Cameron Silver – celebrity stylist, fashion director of H by Halston, and owner of Decades, the renowned vintage clothing store located in Los Angeles.

This quote is from the book California Elegance: Portraits from the Final Frontier, by Christine Suppes, photographs by Frederic Aranda (Mondadori).

Through photographs and interviews California Elegance takes an up-close look at some California originals. People such as the fashion design duo Kate and Laura Mulleavy, sculpture artist Ruth Asawa, and cryptologist Whit Diffie. People in business, tech, retail, PR, farmers, artists, activists, scientists, even an aromatherapist! Covering up and down the coast and inland as well, Suppes and Aranda introduce readers to a diverse group of Californians highlighting what makes the Golden State truly unique.

In his quote about vintage clothing, Silver makes a few interesting points. I agree that vintage is about memories. A personal memory or a general memory of time and place and what was going on in the world, say when miniskirts were all the rage during the Vietnam War. Disposable clothing takes with it to the dump both our personal and general memories. How sad to not be able to pull out a sweater and instantly revisit a particular moment, day, or event in our lives. Clothing is another keeper of personal stories, like a photo or a journal.

I didn’t know about people taking selfies at boutiques, but I’m not surprised. It seems these days it’s all about costume and pretending and living our lives for and on social media. Take a selfie, post it, and then move on to the next “experience.”

There’s a trend now for renting rather than buying and I understand that’s an attempt to address the issue of sustainability. We can rent furniture, clothing, accessories and so on. But where’s the fun in that? If I like a chair or a dress or a handbag I want it in my life permanently. I want it to figure in my story, because what we own and wear and use is a part of who we are and how we live our lives. We don’t have to own a lot of things, but a few important quality pieces that make us happy to me is essential.

Thank you to Cameron Silver for a great quote. Thank you also to Christine Suppes and Frederic Aranda for granting ODFL permission to use the quote and photo.

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