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When I was a teenager and in my early teens, towards the start, luxury was clearly defined: Seven jeans, Juicy Couture tracksuits and maybe a Louis Vuitton Speedy bag, if you were really into it. Today, while ‘status symbols’ undoubtedly exist, they are more vague – loosely defined and tied as much to a person’s lifestyle and health as to his material possessions.
January 10, TikToker Charles Big (888,000 subscribers) posted a video response to a comment: “hey charles I have a question: what isn’t widely considered luxury that you find luxurious? I love you and your content!!!”
In his signature ASMR voice, Gross responded. Here is a summary: “People who carry large bottles of water and take large sips throughout the day” and “People who carry their phone without a case”.
Tinx (1.5 million TikTok followers) has made a name for herself with her cheeky descriptions of “rich moms”. They became so popular that Gwyneth Paltrow even participated in the Brentwood Edition. Another Tinx hallmark is the ‘Wealthy Moms Walk’, which is…a walk, reinforcing the idea that well-being and time spent on self-care are the truest luxury of all. Chriselle Lim (2.7 million followers on TikTok) also has a continuous following Song “Rich Mom”, although it satirizes the realm of more traditional definitions of luxury. The #richmom hashtag has 112.4 million views on the app.
Meanwhile, on January 12, Popsugar said: “‘Dear Brunette’ is the hair color trend that will make you feel like a million bucks.” The description has since made its way to the press and via clients asking their colorists for the look.
Even the hottest trends in hair are tied to one’s ability to project an aura of overall health, “healthy” and “shiny” being the main adjectives used by the media and hair professionals to describe a “dear brunette”. I asked Jenna Perry, colorist for “it” girls including Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Dua Lipa, what the trend was and, from her professional perspective, what it actually looked like. Compared to the basic brown and more heavily highlighted hair that was all the rage, “expensive brunette is richer, warmer — it’s more about complimenting your features,” Perry said. Given the decrease in the frequency with which people visit hair salons since the start of the pandemic, many people have had to become familiar with lower-maintenance hair, Perry noted. The new brunette relies less on highlights and more on balayage, which is easier to develop. “It’s been a blessing in disguise…because less is more.”
She singled out Hailey Bieber as a perfect example of someone whose hair has evolved with trends and epitomizes the current look.
Although Gen Z is more generally affiliated with second-hand shopping than couture, it’s clear that a younger, social media-savvy generation still wants luxury in one form or another, even if that form is hydration. “Gen Z has become interested in this type of content, perhaps because it offers a different framework of aspiration to live their best life,” said Larry Milstein, co-founder of PRZM, a marketing agency focused on Gen Z. “THere’s a “quiet luxury” for the so-called “rich mom,” who is less concerned with documenting her lifestyle on social media or posting ostensibly. This makes these guides particularly interesting because it feels like an inside scoop.
Since Gross has become a fixture among his luxury-themed followers, I reached out to him to discuss the changing meaning of luxury. “For a long time there have been these canonized perceptions of what wealth is and what wealth looks like. But TikTok – the public and the creators together – are creating a new perception of wealth that goes beyond the traditional gold buttons of a Chanel jacket or a Rolex watch. And that can be a bottle of water or the color of your hair, or the way you compose yourself,” he said.
There is also a new consideration given to a brand’s values, history and sustainability prioritization. In fact, while a luxury purchase may once have been driven by the pursuit of status, Gross said today’s young shoppers are looking for quality and value when making a larger purchase. . A star-studded campaign is no longer enough. “People look less to luxury brands to fit into a group or club, or display an aspirational facade. They look more at the brand story, the brand story, and the brands with the most transparent information about their manufacturing and ethics – which hugely influence the decision of buyers these days. Now, if buyers choose to buy a luxury piece, they have a reason behind it. And that generally aligns a lot with their core beliefs,” he said.
Today, what is aspirational is “that person whose health, well-being and self-care are very well managed and who takes time for themselves… They have everything together. They have the style, the attitude, the poise,” Gross said. He noted that this person may not be, in fact, “wealthy”, at least as far as their finances are concerned, and that their level of wealth is, in fact, irrelevant.
“As influencers [tell it], they wake up and eat, like oatmeal in hand [they] fact, they have a perfectly balanced snack, they hit the gym for 15 hours, they focus on a gratitude sound bath class, and then they come home and have, like, a one-on-one with Gwyneth Paltrow” , he mentioned. Even if all of this doesn’t actually happen, it’s still meant to telegraph luxury.
Ultimately, if you want to look at it optimistically, Gross, a role model to his community, has a pretty healthy view of what luxury is. “Luxury is much more than an article or a price. Luxury, or the air of luxury, is free, if you know how to access it. It’s a combination of attitude, how you present yourself, how you treat others, how you take care of yourself, and how it’s presented to the world. There is no price tag on this luxury.
Trend of the week: killer tunics
We are still on the subject of money today!
Have you ever dreamed of marrying a rich man, to end your husband’s life and claim his fortune? If so, TikTok has a dress for you. The #murderrobe hashtag has 5.9 million views, with most matching videos showing people walking around in feather-embellished robes. The dresses are often associated with a sound from “The Simpsons”, in which Lisa says, “Buy it, you don’t have to rationalize everything!” to which Marge responds, “Okay, I’ll buy it! It will be good for the economy!
If you’re being whimsical, you’ve splurged on the dress that’s at the center of the buzz. It’s made by burlesque queen-turned-entrepreneur Catherine D’Lish, whose handmade dresses fetch between $300 and $500. Still, Amazon dupes for murder dresses are as common as Amazon dupes for anything that has gained traction on TikTok (read: very common). In a TikTok, user @themarchedit walks down a flight of stairs wearing a dress as a voiceover says, “If I describe a dress to you and say, ‘This is the type of flowing dress a woman door after murdering her husband, ‘do you know what I’m talking about?
We spoke to a lingerie expert Cora Harington, author of a book on the subject, “In Intimate Detail”, to better understand the origin of the trend. Harrington set the record straight that the idea of the “murder dress” had been a meme on other platforms for years before TikTok existed. She went on to say that while today D’Lish’s designs are often copied (and even mismarketed on Amazon), similar styles date back to the 1930s and 1940s.
When you think about it, murder robes speak to the exact moment we as a society find ourselves in right now. We’ve been locked in, then taken out, and most recently on the hunt for N95 masks. We’ve spent endless hours in tracksuits, and while many people aren’t looking forward to the return of “hard pants,” they yearn to feel good, and just a little more fabulous.
“It’s sumptuous, it’s dramatic, it’s opulent. Most of our clothes today are not that; he doesn’t have that drama,” Harrington said. These flowing dresses also contrast with the form-fitting silhouettes that are currently in fashion, she said. They also stimulate the imagination.
“You’re floating, you’ve got the train of your dress floating behind you, you’re, I don’t know, singing a powerful ballad in a haunted mansion… It’s easy to create stories around that kind of dress ! It is explicitly a fantasy object; by definition, it is impractical! And that’s part of the call. It’s not about anything but glamour,” Harrington said, adding, “And who doesn’t want to be the main character in their own story?
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Goop’s New Hands Off My Vagina Candle Celebrates Roe V. Wade’s Birthday
Goop has teamed up with Heretic, the perfumer behind its infamous This Smells Like My Vagina candle, on another vaginal-inspired candle. Goop describes the candle as having notes of “coconut milk and Damascena roses…balanced with raw vanilla, crisp hinoki cypress notes, and hints of toasted cocoa.” Even better, $25 from every $75 candle sold will be donated to the ACLU Foundation Reproductive Freedom Project.
Buy it here.
Jeremy Scott x Furtuna Skin
Collaboration between fashion and beauty brands has become a mainstream trend, but few iterations have the playful glamor of this plush $310 pink case filled with four minis of the skincare brand’s premium products. luxury. Each is made with ingredients sourced from the brand’s own Sicilian farm.
Buy it here.
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