Pom pom bag

by | Thrift (↓) | Identity (↑) | 1 comment | 4 questions

This is a 'quirky' bag, made of raffia, with a python skin strap and it is covered with brightly coloured pom poms in red, green, blue and yellow.

Where and how is it used?

I was not really sure, so I sought style advice online. The following could be a useful explanation: 'The embellishment is so fun for the season. You can use it to add a pop of color for a vacation or to bring some texture to your neutral outfits.'

What did you or someone else pay for it?

I did not buy this item. It costs £2550

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

I want to add this because I was reading a magazine this weekend and it told me that it was an 'essential' for my summer suitcase and 'don't go anywhere this summer without a pom-pom bag!' This made me laugh because it seemed so urgent about something so whimsical. When you realise these pom-pom bags cost thousands of pounds (there was a larger, even more expensive version that has sold out) it seems as though for some people this urgent tone is compelling. And yet the whole appeal (if there is any), of this bag must be its casual humour, its sense of home made arts and crafts, its frivolous summer inconsequentiality. This contemporary commodity is a malignant simulacrum of carefree, creative living.


How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service


Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

Dolce & Gabbana

Who was paid to make it?

Italian artisans, or so they say

What skills does it take to make it?

crochet, pom-pom making

Where was it made?

Italy

What does it cost to make it?

Not what it costs to buy it

What is it made from?

1. raffia:

crochet to form bag

2. wool:

pom poms

3. snakeskin:

the straps

4. metal:

chain links

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

Dolce & Gabbana

Who or what assesses its quality?

Fashion buyers

Where is it sold?

online or in certain shops

Who or what sells it?

I think you can get it from Browns, or order online from the brand

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

I didn't buy it

Where is it used?

In expensive holiday resorts

Where is it kept?

In expensive houses, in walk in wardrobes, I presume

How and by whom is it cared for?

Fashionistas

How long will it last?

One summer

Where will it go when it's finished with?

To the posh pawnbroker

What is it worth?

£30


How do you and others value this commodity?

See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.

Total times valued2
Positive (↑)Identity
Negative (↓)Thrift
Overall Positive78
Overall Negative-395
Controversy73.5 (0 = most controversial)
  

What do these numbers mean?

This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.

Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?

Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.

  • Controversy Score:
    (Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)

    The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.

  • Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
    (Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued

    Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.

How do you value this commodity?

To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
show donor's original values
- 0
16 +
- 0
14 +
- 0
12 +
- 0
13 +
- 0
6 +
- 5
1 +
- 10
5 +
- 6
0 +
- 10
3 +
- 5
1 +
- 10
3 +
- 9
4 +
- 14
0 +
- 15
0 +
- 22
0 +
- 20
0 +
- 23
0 +
- 26
0 +
- 27
0 +
- 27
0 +
- 28
0 +
- 26
0 +
- 27
0 +
- 28
0 +
- 27
0 +
- 30
0 +

Questions and answers

Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.

Question: Would you rather spend a sunday afternoon stitching pom poms to a beach bag, or would you rather work for 255 hours to buy this one?

Answers:

What a thought-provoking question! As a lover of all things crafty (though my ‘skills’ stretch to patchy knitting!), I couldn’t think of anything better, or more relaxing, than spending a Sunday afternoon stitching pom-poms to a beach bag. Its been a good few years since I’ve made a pom-pom, but hopefully it’s like riding a bike…! I’m also not quite sure I’m ‘hip and trendy’ enough to pull off the Dolce and Gabbana bag- plus I’d probably forget it and leave it on the train, and it costs about the same as a years rent…! However, I can’t help but smile when I look at all the room-brightening pompoms!

Fascinating to think of things in terms of hours of work though- I regularly catch myself doing it when weighing up the decision of whether to buy the delicious crispy pink lady apples, or aldi’s bargain bag! There’s a nifty programme here that allows you to work out cost in hourly wage- http://lifehacker.com/this-calculator-shows-how-many-hours-of-work-that-big-p-1791816724.

I think I know what I’ll be doing on my Sunday evening now!! Thanks- Gabrielle :-)

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 25th at 12:26pm

Question: Can you buy a carefree summer day?

Answers:

Another thought provoking question!

I suppose it depends how you interpret ‘care-free’, and what relaxation means to you- a care free day could be a literal ‘child/dependent care-free day’, which you certainly can buy through summer playschemes, activity camps, child minding, care options. I’m sure this purchase would be ‘care-free’ in all readings of the word- cups of tea could be sipped before they’re cold, and that thing called a book and sofa could be snuggled into! Indeed, a google search of ‘care free summer days’ certainly buys into this child-free market, suggesting local child minders and summer schemes!!

My most recent care free summer day was spent cycling to the seaside, feeling the squishy sand and tenuously dipping my toe into the freezing water. I purchased a bottle of water- a ‘buy’ for a care free day (and to support that pesky thing called hydration!), and thinking more deeply, I used my bike (purchased many years ago), I wore clothes- to the delight of all other Exe Estuary users I’m sure!- which I’d purchased at some point or another. The list goes on. In a way, yes, I suppose I had purchased a carefree summer day- just not in the typical sense.

Lots of work has been done into spending money on experience- the consensus being that it makes us happier (for more details- see here- https://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2016/03/03/the-secret-to-happiness-spend-money-on-experiences-not-things/#64e3587639a6). Perhaps these are the care-free happy summer experiences we should be aiming for.

But what I’d like to see is whether it’s possible to have a free care-free summer day- can one totally devolve themselves from things? Where do we draw the line on what constitutes purchase?

If you've got any ideas please do let me know! Gabrielle

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 25th at 12:39pm

Question: What is the meaning of a pom pom?

Answers:

Pompom, as we understand it today, derives from the French term ‘pom-pon’ in the mid 18th century, a term describing a bunch of ribbons, feathers, material worn by women, typically on a dress or in their hair. This captivating ball has gathered attention as part of traditional regal, military and clergy wear- from the light-blue pom-pom on the hats of Belgian sailors, to the coloured ranks of Roman Catholic clergy.

Today, pom-poms come in two main streams- the ones cheerleaders, rhythmic gymnasts and dancers used, and the smaller colourful pom-poms seen on your bag. Like you say, these small bundles of delightful fabric really have dominated the market. According to ‘Fashion.net’, we’re instructed to “pom-pom everything”- just like the urgency of purchase you mention above. Your choice is clearly on trend!

They might look like something out of a craft box, but this is apparently the intention. I’ve got to admit- these fun additions really do make me smile and I can see my red pom-pom scarf on the back of my door.

It turns out there’s… um… lots of other… um… definitions of pom-pom too… Urban dictionary might be a good place to start if you wanted to explore this avenue. Not sure it’s quite something to share here though- I’d much prefer to think of pom-poms as colourfully crafted fabric bundles! :-)

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 25th at 12:54pm

Question: Who are the Italian pom pom makers and what did they get paid?

Answers:

Finding the answer to this question has been somewhat difficult- thank-you for a very interesting challenge!

It turns out that I shouldn’t have been quite as surprised as I was- Dolce and Gabbana have one of the worst ethical consumer ratings because they communicate nothing concrete about the policies for environment, carbon emissions or labour conditions in low-wages countries. They were internationally criticised in 2012 for their use of sand-blasting, risking deadly lung diseases for workers making jeans (more info here- http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/companystories.aspx?CompanyId=80653&CategoryId=421). And that’s just the start of it- other brand slams have revolved around poor worker policies, controversial adverts and supposed homophobic stances.

So, it’s very difficult to find who the pom-pom makers are, and how much they get paid. Google searches bring back some fascinating results about pom-pom making though, giving videos of how to make your own, and of the ethical paper pom-poms produced by companies like this- https://www.pompomstudio.co.uk/about-us---paper-poms. Apparently even Adele’s selling pom-pom’s on etsy!!!

Perhaps your best bet is to follow this pop-pom making trend and make your own bag. It appears Dolce and Gabbana are about as ethically transparent as a coloured ball of wool.

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 25th at 1:14pm

Finding the answer to this question has been somewhat difficult- thank-you for a very interesting challenge!

It turns out that I shouldn’t have been quite as surprised as I was- Dolce and Gabbana have one of the worst ethical consumer ratings because they communicate nothing concrete about the policies for environment, carbon emissions or labour conditions in low-wages countries. They were internationally criticised in 2012 for their use of sand-blasting, risking deadly lung diseases for workers making jeans (more info here- http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/companystories.aspx?CompanyId=80653&CategoryId=421). And that’s just the start of poor worker policies, controversial adverts and supposed homophobic stances.

So, it’s very difficult to find who the pom-pom makers are, and how much they get paid. Google searches bring back some fascinating results about pom-pom making though, giving videos of how to make your own, and of the ethical paper pom-poms produced by companies like this- https://www.pompomstudio.co.uk/about-us---paper-poms. Apparently even Adele’s selling pom-pom’s on etsy!!!

Perhaps your best bet is to follow this pop-pom making trend and make your own bag. It appears Dolce and Gabbana are about as ethically transparent as a coloured ball of wool.

by MoCCconsultantGabrielle on August 26th at 9:17am

Conversation

Do you have questions about how this commodity is valued? Or want to talk about your own values in relation to it? Share your comments.

"Python skin" aside, no great deal of damage ought to be caused this bag per se. Given the tiny value added to the bag in production, effectively it's money changing from one rich person to another rich person, so why should anyone care?

Because that kind of statement is the middle finger to anybody suspecting that our ways of valuing people's contributions to humankind are perverse. What's more, many of those sticking up their polished fingers probably relish the gesture. No reasoning to be done with them:-)

by v müller on November 7th at 2:54pm

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