All that (Glitters)

by ThisIsShe|Mags


I like clichés.

There is certainly an ambiance about them. I have heard the usual ones like; “you don’t know what you have til it’s gone”, “time heals all wounds” , and my personal favourite, “it is better to be safe than sorry.”

My father is a Buddhist – that does not necessarily have anything to do with his philosophical beliefs or religious practices in relation to clichés (or why he insists on calling me Yoko even though I do not look anything like the Japanese artist) – but he did tell me “all that glitters is not gold” when I was younger. I understood the fundamental basics of his statement; everything that takes our fancy does not necessarily have a relevant place in our lives and the  things that are  most attractive and appear to have a large weight doesn’t automatically mean it holds value. The message was loud and clear: be careful of what you value as it may not be as it seems. For the sake of this article I will refer to the Shakespearian version:

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Meaning: Not everything that is shiny and superficially attractive is valuable.

Origin: The original form of this phrase was ‘all that glisters is not gold’. The ‘glitters’ version long ago superseded the original and is now almost universally used. Shakespeare is the best-known writer to have expressed the idea that shiny things aren’t necessarily precious things. The original editions of The Merchant of Venice, 1596, have the line as ‘all that glisters is not gold’.

I love clothes. I love the instant story you can showcase and how at any given time that story can change – have dramatic flairs, emotional frills and surprising reactions from both the viewers and yourself. I have always been a lover of bold and bright colours but it took a while when I was younger to fully embrace my loveliness. Since then I have become more in touch with my creative self and therefore been fully able to use colour and print to get to the heart of my soul. Intense? You better believe it.

When I think about the things that I value or the brands that I adore, there are few that come to mind. As a Fashion Marketing student there are certain career options you can take on to develop your skill set. Internships are one of them. I have and are currently in an internship at the moment. The previous ones I have undertaken have been in the fashion industry at fashion houses. The certain one I am talking about (for privacy reason I will not name which one though it is a globally recognised brand) was a dream come true. I had been a great fan of this brand’s collections and spent many a penny on purchasing their attire.

I thought I had an emotional connection to its story and history. I soon found out, I was disillusioned by the marketing mix and there was no real cultural strings we both could tie together. Now, of course, my opinion at the moment is completely subjective to my experience at the brand. The problem was simple: I took too much stock in the emotional connection and perceived benefits I was receiving when purchasing the product. That is not to say that my appreciation for the brand was misplaced but in terms of basing my professional opinion in comparison to my personal opinion of the brand, then yes, it was. In one of my subjects a fabulous teacher of mine (Ms S) explained to us the process of the marketing mix. I am quick to remember a quote we were shown:

“Consumers don’t buy products or product attributes.

They purchase benefits and emotional meaning.”

Theodore Levitt

This is definitely my experience when referring to this brand. It is easy to place products, people or places on a pedestal in our emotional psyche as they elicit a mood within us. Is there anything wrong with that? No, of course not. However, we cannot base the reality of a situation on a subjective feeling or “perceived benefit” of something or someone. It can only lead to disappointment when there is a tangible goal that needs to be achieved or a need that must be fulfilled and it isn’t.

They say fortune favours the bold, but does glitter give you gold?

No, but it will definitely give you something pretty to look at and hey, that’s worth a bit of a nibble of the carrot.