The Substance of Style

“The Substance of Style” by Virginia Postrell points that the beauty is important. There have been many styles by now for decades and people have different styles, but there is a universal standard that brings people to think an aesthetic of beauty as something “good looking.” Expressing individual’s identity has reduced as the idea of globalization started. However, the media has played a big role in telling us what designs we want. Many people often want designs mostly for their purposes. I think it’s about their status, and not for how they look. They have desire to impress themselves in order to get along with the community. Some designs are more about money than design. Design sometimes starts to mean something more than aesthetics, it means status. The reading immediately reminded me of Apple’s steady selling iPhone4. The iPhone would be the most aesthetic smart phone that everyone would love to have. Especially at Parsons, almost every design student owns an iPhone. Owning the iPhone and wearing trendy clothes makes them think that they are part of Parsons’ community(Of course, from my experience, not everyone does but most of them do)When I first came to Parsons, I asked Korean Association students what phone would be good for me to use in New York and they all suggested me an iPhone addressing that almost everyone at Parsons owns an iPhone. During my freshman year, my friends changed their phone to the iPhone4 because they noticed classmates surrounded by them made them desire to purchase an iPhone. The iPhone4 is rated as the most expensive mobile and it has highest popularity rate of all phones. In South Korea, people are concerning the rise of many middle classes purchasing unaffordable goods. It is all because there is huge gap between treating each social ranks and people tend to judge signals initially rather than learning about the signifier. I believe that’s all how people react at first. One of South Korea’s famous critics said to the public that people carrying an iPhone with them on streets reflect as carrying a Louis Vuitton bags. The media falsely reported to the public that the scene of a lady carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, an iPhone, and Starbucks coffee take out on a street became many Korean women’s dream. This famous statement has become reality and made lots of ladies to dream for the scene. I think this is very wrong and threatens the nation’s culture. South Korea is losing its cultural identities due to people’s demand for western looks. It is difficult to spot a person has his or her own personal identity. This is also happening in other Asian nations and those countries are losing its aesthetics due to the global standard.


About eunyoungcho

Fashion Studies - Parsons

2 responses to “The Substance of Style

  1. I thought bringing in the iPhone4 as your prime example was great for your post. It made it very relatable even though I personally am a Blackberry person I get where you’re coming from. Many of my friends who used to be Blackberry people changed to the iPhone4 almost immediately after its release to the market. Many of them are also Asian so I found your viewpoint very interesting because my friends have told me how much of status their spotless white and black iPhones are for themselves and people they associate with. I also like that you’re actually taken aback from this frenzy and worried about how South Korea could be losing their cultural identity. I also agree and I would like to add that these sorts of situations are really starting to spread. Not only in Asian countries.


  2. esthermun

    I found what you said very interesting. I have found that many people changig or wanting the iPhone because they are at Parsons and because they are in New York. A girl in my class lost her iPhone4 that she had bought at the start of the school year and was saying she had to buy another one because she could not live withot one. This seemed quite funny to me because she before she had the iPhone that she had bought a couple months ago, she was using a phone that was not even a smartphone. I also find this interesting because she was an Asian. There was a recent article that my dad was talking about a couple days ago. In South Korea, there were students begging their parents for The North Face jacket. Apparently everyone had that brand of jacket and if you did not have one you were looked down upon. High schoolers in South Korea seemed very pressured into doing certain thimgs or having certain items in order to fit into society. I find what you have said about South Koreans losing their cultural identities very intersting because I have seen and heard of majority of South Koreans acting this way.

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