Designers Extraordinaire

JDS STYLE & IMAGE - DESIGNERS

 I buy designs, not designers.

Designer goods are way too expensive for something made in a Chinese factory and then sent off to Italy or France for a handle, zip or tag that says made in Italy or France. Many big name brands do this as it’s very common knowledge these days.

How the consumer is treated is garbage.

So many stores now manufacture their own goods, like Zara, and Kmart here in Aus have their stuff  made in their own factories so the cost is cheaper, but a lot of big name designers also get their goods made in factories and then slap on exorbitant amounts for them.

Is that fair to us, the consumer? For those of us on a minimum wage, no. But so many people are brand whores. Those who only buy, wear, use, live, breathe big name designer brands.

Some go into debt to have the latest Louis Vuitton bag or Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin shoe. They go without food, drinks, rent. Can’t pay their bills and live pay check to pay check. And then there’s the owners and CEOs of mega million dollar companies (who can afford goods outright) who whine on their Instagram feed or Facebook page about how they need to break up with their credit card, or stop spending because they can’t afford it. We all know it’s a lie. You can afford it but want to look more “human”, more “on the same level” as the plebs spending their hard earned money on your outrageously priced goods. They don’t have to buy your products and make you rich so you can buy anything you want outright and live in the lap of luxury.

So do I buy designers? Not as such.

I do have jewellery by an Aussie designer, besides my own, and I do have four Ed Hardy bags. But I don’t have the need to buy all of their goods. I only got the ones that ‘told me to buy them’. I buy designs, not designers. I love caftans but cannot afford Camilla. I love Doc Martens but cannot afford the full price and got mine off eBay.

I’m not a big brand whore like so many others. I cannot afford $400 jeans or $200 bikinis because of the designer labels on them. And we all know that we pay for the brand and their overheads and not the product itself. But I am an “average” brand whore. Big W, Kmart, Millers, Lovisa, Equip, Colette, Rivers, eBay, Jewel Divas. All the brands I can afford on my very limited budget.

But there’s one designer I wish I could afford. My favourite costume jewellery designer, besides myself that is, is Tarina Tarantino, an American jewellery and accessory designer with a unique name and a unique look. Her stores have been designed and created to look like candy stores and so to her jewellery with an amazing array of colours in the spectrum, materials from Swarovskis to velvet, feathers to Lucite. TT jewels are beyond fabulously wonderful. Bright, colourful, sparkly and with a touch of kitsch. They are unusual and unique in their designs and styles. With ranges covering Barbie, Wizard of Oz, Hello Kitty and Kid Robot, Tarina even has her own Barbie doll, especially designed and created by Mattel. It even has pink hair just like her.

Some of her collections I would love to own all of and really appeal to me on my bling level. Electric and Candy Cameos, Angel City Stars, Victorian Navajo, Electric Aztec, Star child Odyssey, Topkapi, Mermaid Mod just to name a few.

There have been hundreds since 1995 when the company was founded by Tarina and her husband Alfonso Campos, her jewellery, bags, hair accessories and make-up line in conjunction with Sephora have featured on many TV shows and celebrities, from Gossip Girl to contestants on American Idol, America’s Next Top Model, Paris Hilton, Katy Perry who also wore paved cowboy boots, Kelly Osbourne has worn paved roller skates and Pink has been wearing many pieces in magazines.

The good thing about Tarina and her jewellery and accessories is that they are as unique as each other. You don’t get many pink haired designers in the world, or jewellery that constantly out does every other label with its colour and cuteness, sparkle and bling. I don’t think any designer will ever come close to replicating or even being as good as Tarina. The bad, some of the pieces can be quite expensive and way out of my budget, but if you’re lucky enough to get them on sale, at trunk shows or on eBay, then you will be one lucky bling owner.

And you know you’ll be getting a piece like no other designer who all seem to want to copy each other with their designs and styles. Yeah, you know who I’m talking about. All the designers who get their goods made in Chinese factories all end up resembling each other.

There is nothing wrong with loving a designer if that is the way you want to go, just don’t go into debt for them because it means they’re living the high life on your money while you go broke. It’s not worth the pain and hassle you put yourself through.

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