Fashion is often diminished to glossy magazine covers or gowns on the red carpet. Which is a great oversimplification. After all – every person is a part of and participates in it every day they put on clothes. Fashion changes us and with us. Indeed,
it is the most acceptable and accessible way of self-expression
Fashion always evolved and changed with the times, making it at once the mirror and the archive of human society in the aesthetic form. After all, as Francis Bacon noted: “fashion is only the attempt to realise art in living forms and social intercourse”.
however, the concept and true intentions of fashion can easily get lost and spoiled in today`s world.
There is a plethora of reasons for it, and all seem to be ever more potent nowadays.
- One reason might be the exclusionary aspect of the glamour and the detachment from the perceived current realities in the fashion industry. Or the prevalent exclusionism of the industry`s old “gatekeepers” – editors, buyers, and curators of the same closed ecology-industry of the inside cross promotions in framing themselves as authority figures and official knowledge diffusers.
- Another is that the current value proposition of fashion luxury relies on its existence for wealth status signaling, rather than the craftsmanship, longevity, or any other tangible value it was identified with in the past. It can all seem as a real and rather cynical Vanity Fair
Additionally, there is another obvious suspect that is spoiling the industry: the infinite production of disposable replicas and bad copies by yet another fast fashion retailer – of course, for the cheapest possible costs.
the welfare and livelihood of people making them? the destruction of the planet it is causing? the lack of quality?
Completely irrelevant! It is the profit margins that matter. So, buy more – no need to appreciate the garment but you have to quickly discard it– so you can buy even more! The enormity of the fast fashion cycle must continue to feed itself, ever-growing.
Obviously, many people are aware of these reasons for current fashion’s failings. But where are the rebellion and change? What to do? After all, the rebels always have been around to both shake up fashion and drive broader changes in society.
There have been many daring people in haute couture bringing the anti-fashion sentiment onto the runways. From the Japanese designers disturbing the Paris scene in late 1980`s to the designers of the Antwerp 6, their contemporaries, and several more newly established designers, who often have already acquired a cult following (Demna Gvasalia; Marine Serre; Martine Rose to name a few).
Yet, this anti-fashion movement seems to usually arrive at the same unaffordable and exclusive standstill – because of the same elitism and gatekeeping of the high fashion industry they still belong to and with all the damaging processes encoded in its current status quo.
Thus, it seems that operating completely outside those very same processes is the optimal solution – to opt-out of a massive global supply chain with its never-ending sub-contracts vying for the cheapest possible production costs with human toll at no consideration.
Instead of the current normal state of completely new collections every quarter, or, in case of a fast fashion– everything thrown away and produced anew every week all over the world;
have a radically refined collection that is smaller, annual, and vital.
Where every single garment is essential to the concept and messaging of the collection and, therefore, – made to be valued and appreciated by the wearer for many years to come.
Besides, continuing to improve every single possible step of the production process. For example, by reducing waste and using the fabrics and other materials increasingly sustainably in the garment making process, not just as cheap as possible. Moreover, using greener, less environmentally damaging materials in the first place; while not forgetting the final steps either – shipping clothes in completely recycled packaging that can also be reused and repurposed for a long time.
And finally, yet, perhaps most importantly: doing the simplest thing that the clothing industry continues on failing so badly – humanity; treating the people actually making the clothes with respect and dignity.
Ensuring at every stage of production that there are no exploitation, child labour or any other possible non-compliance of the highest labour standards, including paying the living wage to the workers.
after all, the problem of fashion is not wearing or loving clothes. It is over consumption, wastefulness of resources and, at times, loss of human empathy by chasing profits at all costs.
radically refined collection. small, annual, vital