A reader asks Gabriel:"...I don't get the sense from your section that anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck has Style. Does "Style," by definition, percolate downward from the upper class? And can it be affordable?"
Gabriel "...This is the kind of thing we talk about regularly in our department. Indeed, it can sometimes seem that the accoutrements of the stylish life -- fashion, entertainment, destinations -- as presented in Thursday Styles and Sunday Styles are expensive. Fortunately, there are many exceptions."
He goes on to list examples, and then gets to the meat of the matter... "The bigger point, to me, is that what we call our Styles coverage is really not about stuff. It's not primarily about getting and spending. It's about people and their behavior, and I imagine I'll have more to say about that as this conversation unfolds."
We can absolutely see the connection - what we look at and are interested in as a culture says so much about where we are going and how we live our lives (or want to live our lives) - simple living, green design, having better quality belongings and less stuff - all are trends that are close to the heart of AT and part of the evolving zeitgeist of America in 2007.
We agree that looking at style coverage as an indicator of social trends are valid and interesting, but we also agree that there is an abundance of very expensive goods featured in editorial sections everywhere - in other words, we can relate to the reader's question and why it was asked...
What do the readers of AT think? Does media coverage of style make you start to feel that one must have a large paycheck to have good taste? What do you do as an antidote?