marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

conspicuous consumption

Was recently in an online discussion about conspicuous consumption.  Triggered by a comment about a movie princess done up in such finery that she couldn't do anything.

Well, yeah.  How else could you show off that you didn't have to do anything, you had servants for that?

Though there are other forms.  Wearing white to show you didn't have to go out in the dirt, and could have it laundered after every use.  Using the finest cloth.  Having it embroidered.  Etc.

So what would the -- ehem -- Fairy Folk regard as conspicuous consumption?  More elaborate glamor --

A moment then the volume spread,
And one short spell therein he read:
It had much of glamour might;
Could make a ladye seem a knight;
The cobwebs on a dungeon wall
Seem tapestry in lordly hall;
A nut-shell seem a gilded barge,
A sheeling seem a palace large,
And youth seem age, and age seem youth:
All was delusion, nought was truth

could no doubt beat out simpler spells, but what beyond that?

Is cloth better than a gown made of cobweb and dead leaves and plentiful enchantments?  Does it change with the kind of cloth?  If, like Puck, you can circle the globe in half an hour, you could fetch back silk, and so distance did not matter for rarity -- if you can circle the globe like that.  If it became easier to steal from humans because it became cheaper there, might it shift from being more impressive, because real, to less impressive, needing no skill at enchantments?

Are fugitive spells that last only the night contemptible for their frailty (and cheapness) or expensive for the lavishness in throwing them about?  hmmmmm

Tags: world-building: clothing, world-building: economics, world-building: magic (effects), world-building: non-human characters, world-building: servants

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