Manners & Misdemeanors
On Those D&G Shirts And Who Wore What Better: The Truly Rich Lady's Take on Fakes
As for the clothing in question, fake or real, what is the big deal?
IMAGE COLLAGE Yzabella Cruz
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When I was younger, Father lent me his Cartier Santos watch. It was an old thing with nicks on the upper left corner of its rectangular steel case, but its yellow gold bezel remained luminous. I just loved its style: a clean white face with bold Roman numerals, those tiny exposed screws, and the fact that it was a little too big when I wore it because it was made for a man. I wore it as I would a cuff, with a delicate gold chain on the opposite wrist or, on days when I was feeling bold, with a series of gold bracelets stacked with the watch on the same wrist.

There was an unspoken understanding that when my parents lent me something, I could, uh, forget about returning it, so I wore it every day. It was my favorite accessory. That is until Tina—my frenemy from university and inexplicably my seatmate during an early morning class—stared at my Santos and declared, with a snigger, that it was fake. How dare she!

After surviving a day on the receiving end of side eyes from Tina and her crew, I went home and asked Mother if it was true. Was my beautiful watch given to me by Father fake? She raised her plucked and pencilled eyebrows and replied coolly, “Your father bought it at the original Cartier store on Rue de la Paix in Paris. That trip was when you were conceived. How could you even think that he would touch a fake timepiece?"

Whew. And to think I had thought that my teenage world as I knew it would crumble and come to an end right there. I should have known better than to ever doubt Father.

I was reminded of this memory when my Yaya made me aware of this non-news about a pair of T-shirts on two beautiful ladies. And even though the Truly Rich Lady has an aversion for designer logos on anything, I think both women wore it well. One looked chic and the other sweet—well, as chic or sweet as you can be with horribly big, bold letters emblazoned on your chest.

This should have been a harmless coincidence, but because it was these actresses, rivals I am told, who wore the same style of T-shirt, the comparisons were vicious: She wore it better! Oh, that one is—gasp—fake! Where is the banana? That's fake! No, it is not! Here are the receipts! 

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I can’t help but giggle, because these particular T-shirts, from the spring collection of an Italian power duo, are really meant to emulate fake goods. The designers were riffing on counterfeiters who rip off their intellectual property. So this hullabaloo is sort of like that movie Inception. When someone wears an allegedly fake copy of a genuine T-shirt that itself emulates a fake copy, is it real or is it fake? Can you wake up from this nightmare within a dream within another dream? And why are they even proudly showing off these T-shirts to the world? It is so confusing that it makes my veneers hurt. 

I have to say that I am not bothered by people who wear fakes. It is probably because of my compassion (I sometimes think of myself as the Mother Teresa of the South). When I see a logoed-out bag that looks like a crumpled puppy underneath the arm of a woman, I give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she gets a kick out of it? Maybe she can’t afford the real thing and just wants a taste of that magic that she believes comes with wearing these totems? Maybe she has poor vision or poor judgment, which has led her to not realize that the fraying-at-the-edges bag is not real?

Having said that, we should not support counterfeiting. I, for example, only wear the real deal, whether they are the rocks on my fingers or the nameless and unadorned shift that I wore to brunch today or the sea-sourced moisturizer that I will layer on my face tonight. Why? Because aside from knowing that the genuine thing comes with an assurance of the highest quality, I also appreciate the hard work that it takes to develop these precious objects.

I know someone who once bought a non-genuine article just to prove that whatever he wore, whether authentic or fake, will always look like the real thing because, well, he is who he is. No one will question it. Well, I am who I am. And I can instantly recognize whether a glittering watch on someone's wrist or a delicate leather tote atop her shoulder is a phony

Anyway, I realized long ago that I was duped and intimidated by that frenemy of a classmate Tina. Of course Father would have never bought that Cartier watch from a place of ill repute. He always knew that one day he would pass on that beautiful timepiece to a son or, er, a willful daughter and so it had to be something that would remain beautiful after decades and decades of use.

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As for the clothing in question, fake or real, what is the big deal? These are just T-shirts (and the TRL does not wear T-shirts). The bigger crime is that they are truly, exceptionally, awfully gaudy. Why is no one pointing that out? 

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C.C. Coo
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