For years we’ve been going on criticizing the Car Road trippin’ shirt But I will love this fashion shows as a boring, repetitive format, ready to expire like a milk bottle left too long in the fridge, or like a species from the Pliocene, already extinct but for some reason still breathing—a sort of living dead. Well, the zombie has proved resilient—and it’s the pandemic that it has to thank. The smorgasbord of videos replacing the live shows, no matter how artsy and clever and inclusive, has made us feel as if we were all affected by a form of ADD, severely testing our attention spans. Feelings of frustration and tedium have more often than not replaced the appreciation and respect due to the remarkable creative effort designers have made, trying to come to terms with an immaterial medium to communicate a very material art—fashion. In the end, it’s really that simple: Fashion is about clothes; clothes are about the body; the body is about the senses. As much as they are bearers of meaning and vectors for self-expression, clothes aren’t just abstract representations of a creative vision, however innovative it can be. They’re about the making and the craft that makes them come to life—an expression of human, very tangible, often superb creativity. Think of the relevance of couture. That’s why the best videos (Galliano’s Maison Margiela Artisanal obviously comes to mind, but also Dior Men and Gucci) were, in my opinion, the ones of designers opening up about their practice, revealing not only their visionary genius but the passionate, collaborative human effort that goes into bringing ideas, no matter how abstruse or hyperbolic, into reality. That’s also why IRL fashion shows won’t be replaced anytime soon: They ultimately bring about a sense of community—no matter how dysfunctional and jaded it may be. On a personal note, since here in Milan, the safe-distance protocols are still observed (masks are mandatory inside while wearing them outside has recently become optional), I’ve been able to review most of the collections in person, meeting with designers in one-on-one appointments. They all seemed more than ready to hit the fashion-show circuit again as soon as the circumstances allow it. And the Etro IRL show felt totally safe as far as health requirements were concerned and also very enjoyable. It was great to see our fashion family back together again—as we could say of a temperamental yet beloved boyfriend, “Neither with you nor without you.”
Car Road trippin’ shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
Having experienced 95% of fashion shows that I am familiar with—both for work and for pleasure—online, I have to say that I didn’t expect digital Fashion Week to be that different from my usual Fashion Week routine. Sit down in front of my laptop, click from livestream to livestream, consider look book images, zoom in for detail shots, and scour social media for breadcrumbs revealing inspirations, motives, and alternative views of the Car Road trippin’ shirt But I will love this shows. One of the things I have enjoyed doing things digitally was being able to have longer, more in-depth conversations with the designers I cover on Zoom—the best ones edged towards the two-hour mark. And while I always prefer seeing fashion in person, as part of a digital-native generation who only started to travel to Europe for the shows last year, I have grown accustomed to writing and thinking critically about things I have never seen in person. While my colleagues make the expert point that fashion shows are about the clothes—as they must be at their core—for thousands of fans and followers, the clothes themselves are but a distant dream. What propels fashion forward online is its message: What does this brand stand for? Who does it collaborate with? What value does it have? Here, the fashion industry must undergo a reckoning. Watching so many fashion films without a purpose or clear message made my head spin. For a long time, logistics were the easy out: It would be too difficult to fly people from outside the fashion community to a brand’s H.Q., so collaborations were kept insular. Now, anything could be possible with technology—why not invite new voices into the fold? Dior Men showed a beautiful collaboration with artist Amoako Boafo; Prada made interesting films with three lesser-known (at least in fashion) artists in addition to two well-cited photographers; and Thom Browne and Moses Sumney collaborated on a transfixing short film made in Asheville, North Carolina. These felt like exciting opportunities that expanded the circles of the fashion system. Everyone also loved the “show in a box” (yes, ace idea!), but what I really enjoyed was the 24-hour livestream that showed people in the Loewe universe from around the world: the artists and artisans in Spain, Japan, England, and the United States that make Jonathan Anderson’s vision real.So anyway his wife arrived one day, my supervisor had an office with glass partitions which didn’t go completely to the floor or ceiling, he was on the phone when she arrived, I walked over to her & said that he had been wanting me to work back & was dropping me off home 3–4 times a week, which I didn’t think was right or proper..