Fashion Quote: Amanda Brooks on Dressing Down

Amanda Brooks is a New York socialite who left her job as Fashion Director at Barneys last year (a role she wasn’t really experienced enough to do – but hey, she’s famous) to live on a farm in Oxford. Here is a sickening quote about her new country life, and how she dresses.

amanda brooks, socialites, barneys, fashion quote, fashion idiots

I wonder if her plaid shirt cost her $4,000? That would be so cool. Not.

“I’m sure my less fashion-jaded friends would be shocked to learn of my $350 T-shirts, but I love knowing that even when I am being my most casual self, I am still a girl who loves fashion. Today I dress in a way that most people would deem anonymous, and deliberately so. After years of arriving at my kids’ school on my way to a fashion show and completely overdressed, I find it a relief just to fit in. To the untrained eye, I wear jeans, a sweater, a classic wool military-style pea coat and winter boots. And even though I look like a typical country mum, there is a certain pleasure taken from knowing that my jeans are J Brand, my sweater is Phillip Lim, and my coat is Balmain.” (The Cut)

At first glance, I thought, good for her, she is dressing for herself. But then I re-read the quote and was quite disgusted. I can imagine taking pleasure that your sweater is cashmere, or your shoes are handmade – but the way she is listing those brands makes her sound incredibly superficial, yet another person contributing the the fashion industry’s loss of credibility. And she also comes off as a total snob. No one should take pleasure from the fact that their sweater or coat is some fancy brand, they should take pleasure in the fact that it is made from a beautiful material, fits perfectly, is beautiful crafted, etc… I guess this is what happens when silly socialites have a “year off” in the countryside, they downgrade their Balmain sparkly dresses to Balmain pea coats. PATHETIC.

(On that note, I guess her thoughts are simply a reflection of what many people think – and won’t admit. That they take pleasure in wearing brands, for brand’s sake, not because of the quality, fit, etc… SIGH.)

Image source.

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  • Hanakimi

    She sounds like a total douche. The brand itself shouldn’t be what gives you pleasure, but rather the fit, the details, the workmanship. Ugh. I hope a horse vomits on her Balmain pea coat.

  • anya

    What a total cow.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    That would be awesome.

  • Bklynalex

    Not trying to play devils advocate, but I think it’s meant to be presumed. Who really; especially a socialite, (i pray) would list off designer names if they weren’t known for quality and she talking designer market. Unless were talking vintage she didn’t mention a couture label, so whatevs lol.

  • Rajan Sami

    I saw this earlier this week and it led me to check out her blog, which is somewhat interesting and not as obnoxious. However, I can’t reconcile how someone could spend so much on a T-shirt – and that’s just the T-shirt, never mind how much the rest of her outfit costs – to drop their kids off to school (and I say this as someone who lives in a developing country) and then brag about it in Vogue. We all know magazines like Vogue are there to shove over-hyped and over-priced designer merchandise down our throats and appease their advertisers in the process – that’s a given. And with the lack of critical thinking and analysis (that we would find in other sectors, for. eg technology) on fashion at a consumer level, what we end up with are very shallow, vacuous fashion people – the obsessive types who lose all perspective and fail to see that there’s a greater world out there. It’s no wonder this industry gets a bad rep – while it is also a source of creativity and craftsmanship – it chooses to promote conspicuous consumption, wealth and an overriding interest in looking a certain way as things of actual value – as if our self-worth might actually be derived from wearing an overpriced T-shirt. I know this is the way of the world – and probably not the right forum for this rant – but hell I just felt like it.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    You’re right, and I’m feeling the same way, hence my attempts at becoming a minimalist. I do love fashion, and beautifully made clothes, etc… but the ongoing promotion of conspicuous consumption IS sickening and exhausting. Something will have to change eventually, either by choice or by force, because we can’t keep living like this.

  • Rajan Sami

    I loved your minimalism post and found it inspiring as I’m in a similar place, wanting to lead a simpler, clutter free existence, both materially and emotionally. The truth is I love great style too and more broadly aesthetics and beauty. I find beautifully crafted things bring me a lot of joy in the course of day to day living. I’m just not that crazy about trends and fashion’s arbitrary ‘in this season, out the next’ ethos and the need to have more, more, more to feel whole. The Pacific region, where I live, is home to many beautiful but also low-lying islands and coral atolls (and unique, diverse cultures) and which are some of the worst affected by rising sea levels and other adverse effects from the impacts of climate change which industrialised nations are largely to answer for, and yet this runaway train that is conspicuous consumption shows no sign of slowing down. But as you say, at some point we won’t have a choice.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Business of Fashion had an article the other day about why prices just keep getting higher and higher – and that too highlights how ridiculous our world is becoming. The conspicuous consumption combined with the growing divide between haves and have nots is scary. I kinda want to go on strike from the world.

  • Beatrice17

    Having read her Vogue article, I couldn’t help but search the internet for some reaction to it, and as I’ve also mentioned on the NY Magazine website (who has a satirical piece on her article), I’m glad that someone brought it up. I liked her book on style and regularly enjoy her blog, but this article shocked me. To me, the most surprising part is that she seems to think she lives a middle-class lifestyle (she regularly mentions that she doesn’t have unlimited means and really has to spend with care) and that she’s thrifty and cost-conscious because she goes to the Celine outlet rather that a real Celine store … It’s all a question of who you compare yourself to, I guess. It’s too bad because she actually seems like a nice and positive person – only completely shut off from most of the real world.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Yikes. The Celine outlet instead of the Celine store? Life is so tough for her. ;-)

  • Beatrice17

    Well … In a recent blog post, she introduced her readers to a number of self-portraits by the artist Ahn Duong, who is her friend … managing only to comment on the clothes that Duong wears in the paintings, not the style, vision or anything else about the art itself. “Don’t you love her dress?” etc. It was almost comical and made me think she must be kind of a sweet simpleton with money.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    A simpleton socialite. Sadly, these types of people get to have influence on the world, or at least, the fashion world.