To say it was a shock to glance at the breaking news on April 15 to see Notre Dame engulfed in blazing hellfire. With the world already feeling so hopelessly derelict, seeing this sight was a surreal feeling…what is happening in this world?!
Oddly enough, this event has occurred at the beginning of Holy Week leading to Easter – the most important week for the Christian church, without a doubt. Interestingly, we also have Venus and Lilith meeting at the 23rd mark of Pisces on this day…Venus, the goddess of love, and Lilith, the rebellious first wife of Adam; who refused to be subservient and was cast out of the Garden of Eden.
Notre Dame quite literally means “Our Lady”, and its impossible to ignore the rise of female power in our society- in arts, politics, business, and with the Church imposing its patriarchal grip of society for thousands of years, perhaps this could be some fateful symbol we all may never understand fully.
On the flip side, it didn’t take long for France’s three richest families to raise money for its restoration post-fire; a whopping $700 million in total.
The three dynasties (LVMH, L’Oreal, and Kering) have an impressive portfolio of high end luxury brans that they own- being pretty much every high end fashion brand you can think of. For instance, LVMH headed by CEO Bernard Arnault has put forward $226 million! For the owner of an endless list of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Fendy, Dior, Hennessy, and even Fenty Beauty by Rihanna to name a few, so it surely seems almost like it would be pocket change.
The other large donors were the Betterncourt Meyers family who control L’Oreal, and the Pinaut family who own Kering which control iconic luxury brands such as Gucci, Saint-Laurent, Balenziaga, and Alexander McQueen to name a few…
Surely, they are toasting over a glass of Veuve Cliquot over their charitable efforts, but this kind of thing is exactly what gives fashion a bad name, and doesn’t really help to battle the idea that fashion isn’t vapid, vain, and wasteful.
Granted, Notre Dame wasn’t just a treasure of France, but also the entire world. Paris is the number one tourist destination in the world, and the beautiful Gothic Cathedral with is iconic towers, and flying buttresses reaching out into the Seine, it is (or was) a marvel of human endeavour, engineering, and creativity, no doubt. 856 years, and a bit damage, sure, but its still standing.
With our world in the state of crisis (climate change, increasing poverty, always an imminent war) there couldn’t be more available resources to help those truly in need? A medieval church is one thing, but the fact that certain people in this world have every mean necessary to truly make a difference to people, is shocking and disappointing to say the least. Especially, that these brands uphold and sell a lifestyle that 99% of us could never afford, and only fantasize about being a part of – you begin to realize the illusion of luxury, and the many people whose backs these brands have been built on.
This is all a bit of what led us into what we do. Outrageous prices, bad quality, and who even knows what goes on BTS…for what? Just a knock-off a vintage style or design, when billions of pounds of textiles and clothing are put into landfills every year! If we can’t universally accept the concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling what we already have, the future could be grim.
Amazingly, 16 year old environmental activist, and recent Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, made a poignant statement regarding the fire, and the pledges that are being made to rebuild the monument whilst no changes are being pledged to save our own planet. Greta Thunberg’s thoughts on “cathedral thinking” are truly inspiring…
It seems like this is an event that may have opened up all our eyes a bit, and definitely encourages us to continue our own crusade! If fashion can save Notre Dame, could they switch gears to save the world?
Much to ponder…but,
Until next time,