Of tastemakers, sophisticates and deadlines

“Write about sophistication,” she instructed me.

I raised an eyebrow and waited for the endpoint of her sentence.

“What is luxury? What makes someone sophisticated? What are signs that one has arrived?” she furthered.

I took a deep breath and took out my notebook. The questions left me dazed like a deer in the headlights. It also forced me to make an evaluation of my professional life thus far. For starters, I felt like my personal circumstances did not make me the best of people to write about the high life. (Background: I work in public relations, where image and personal branding are at a premium…and so far, I am behind my counterparts in…well almost every aspect).

So there I was. Imagining a life of curated luxury and sophistication while (let’s face it), languishing in semi-poverty. (I have a friend who calls this state “puppie”-short for poor urban professional. Haha!).

Despite my personal feelings, I had to toil on. A deadline, is a deadline, is a deadline.

I began to take a survey of what constituted “taste”. What followed was a deluge of fashion articles, high-end vacations, and well, just about everything expensive. Everything lay claim on good taste. So much so that I began to question the concept. (Taste, being a relative, nay experiential thing to begin with…)

For some good taste is avoiding anything crass or flashy. For others, it is having the ability to withstand the pressure of trends. Other misguided souls just equate sophistication with expensive things.

Results so far:
1. Sophistication is not talking like a pirate. Meaning, the moment you utter “unprintables” your level of class goes down. No matter what the situation, there are better-worded ways of insulting people or expressing your distaste.
2. It’s not having the latest LV or being at the priciest clubs. Also, receipt porn = ghetto mindset.
3. It boils down to being well-adjusted. You can have all the trimmings but still not posses impeccable taste.
4. But then, quality is almost always higher priced.

Caveat emptor.


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