The ideal of authenticity can be characterized by either nostalgia or romanticism. It is nostalgic because it idealizes the ways of life in which people are supposed as freer, more innocent, more spontaneous, purer, and truer to themselves than usual (such ways of life are usually supposed to exist in the past or in childhood). People are nostalgic about these ways of life because they want to re- live them in the form of tourism at least temporally, empathically, and symbolically. It is also romantic because it accents the naturalness, sentiments,and feelings in response to the increasing self-constraints by reason and rationality in modernity. Therefore, as a contrast to the everyday roles, the tourist role is linked to the ideal of authenticity. Tourism is thus regarded as a simpler, freer, more spontaneous, more authentic, or less serious, less utilitarian, and romantic, lifestyle which enables people to keep a distance from, or transcend, daily lives. The examples include camping, picnicking, campfires, mountaineering, walk-about, wilderness solitude, or adventures. In these activities they do not literally concern themselves about the authenticity of toured objects at all. They are rather in search of their authentic selves with the aid of activities or toured objects.
A common strategy deployed in the creation of a “look” is to place ordinary or banal objects into unfamiliar, arresting, and contradictory contexts, thereby altering their meaning. A look is not necessarily connected to its price: Prada can make plastic sheeting worth just a few dollars look “expensive.” Similarly, a cut-crystal sequined ball gown worth tens of thousands of dollars can still look “cheap.” In the late 80s, Prada pioneered cycling cheap materials into mainstream luxury items – most famously through the transformation of common black nylon into an “expensive” bag. By juxtapo-sing the glossy fabric against dimpled leather, its meaning was destabilized, creating a space where Prada alone could dictate value. When Mrs. Prada describes fashion as “instant language,” she is pointing to the power of context and timing to generate new cultural and commercial values.
LAPARELLI: "Prada is a really good example of a combi-nation of elegance and tackiness. We have moved in directions that were really unexpected for OMA, in terms of materials or lighting, and so on. We have begun to actually give value to things not because of their aesthetic value, but because of what they represent symbolically. Now, you’re looking at a particular material, but as soon as you charge it with a new meaning, it becomes something completely different. You could say the same thing about the gold leaf used at the Prada Foundation. It looks extremely luxurious, but if you take its cost per square meter, it’s a lot less than any kind of marble or stone, even most paints. The beautiful thing about Prada, and fashion in general, is that we learn to move through the symbolic meaning of materials in a very agile way."
KOOLHAAS: "I think “trendy” is quite a denigrating term today. There are very few people who would admit to following trends or taking them seriously. But at the same time, we live in an incredibly fast-moving and chaotic civilization, so I don’t see trends so much as constant, but rather as morphing alternations between different urgencies and different mini-ideologies. Whether you want to or not, for me, it’s very intellectually important to take trends seriously and find a res-ponse to them."