c/o Opening Ceremony Red Hot editorial (Shot by Katie McCurdy / Styled by Kindall Almond)
The jacket was $4,665. Ruched, beaded and crafted of the finest crushed champagne velvet, touching the piece felt like an otherworldly experience, one usually not granted to someone wearing beaten-up shell toes. It was the only one on the rack at Opening Ceremony's Soho location, poised alongside an equally intimidating flare pants counterpart. The feeling I got upon gazing at this piece felt like no other that I have ever experienced in a retail store, an almost physical paralysis reserved for viewing a piece of artistic masterpiece for the first time. Walking away from the piece, I was hit not only with an innate sad realization that I would never own it, but also an unprecedented flood of inspiration, inspiration that was further strengthened by the other equally unattainable pieces surrounding me and the effortlessly cool employees dressed so well that they were art in their own right. As I walked out, a question was burning in my head: is this the future of retail? 

ONION RINGS POUCH by Undercover ($85) / SHOPPING BAG HALTER TOP by Moschino ($495)
According to the Census Bureau, the average American household made $51,939 per year or, roughly, the equivalent of a few outfits from Opening Ceremony (take your pick here). The fact that it is so unattainable for the majority of Americans to possess more than a few pieces from a store like Opening Ceremony (or, for that matter, other retailers like Totokaelo, H Lorenzo, Saks) means that the intent behind the retailer is not one of convenience or accessibility for the average buyer; rather, stores like these have begun to function as salons of inspiration, displaying pieces that are not only inconceivable but also assert themselves as objects that don't have the sole purpose of being attained. Once the potential buyer realizes this imperative function, the disappointment of not being able to own these pieces is replaced by an almost overwhelming sense of inspiration, a change in mindset that liberates the individual from being a dissident slave to consumerism.
c/o Jacquemus editorial (Shot by Katie McCurdy / Styled by Kindall Almond)
In light of the not-so-recent influx of online retailers, this change could not come at a better time. Just like how many within the industry have recently predicted that in-person fashion shows will soon be limited to the elite (but with live streaming or forms of virtual reality making the shows increasingly more available for consumers), perhaps high-end retailers are beginning to follow suit, serving their original purpose only to the few who can afford to shop there on a regular basis, and morphing into more of a showspace for the rest.

(Or maybe all of this means nothing and I'm just trying to make myself feel better over the fact that I own but a few OC pieces.)

PLEATED LONG DRESS by Pleats Please ($405) / I LOVE YOUR SMILE HAIR COMB by Venessa Arizaga ($50)
                                                                 ☺ Note: Not sponsored in any way