Fashion's (and my) Grand Challenge
I have been home for three days and during that time I have been walking and thinking. The city has been deserted because of the holiday weekend and it is precisely because of this we chose to remain in the city. Walking without crowds is a treat and a luxury and becomes more like a meditation on my beloved urban landscape than getting from point A to B. Being somewhat jet lagged I choose pajama dressing for this day. It is a pleasure to wake up each morning and know that aside from a few tasks the day is yours to do with it what you wish.
As I travel and have conversations with many people about fashion today, it seems to me that right now fashion is like a day when you wake up and anything is possible. The previous day is clearly over, though a remnant like an empty cup with drops of yesterday's tea may remain. It is a time in fashion when if you want to challenge something or suggest a different approach in ways that are innovative and not only in opposition to the past, there seems to be more power to do so. For me then the important question becomes whether fashion can embrace the challenges we face in modern society with discourses of creativity, originality, modernism and innovation. I say this because as I learn more about the fashion system, one that in most quarters now has accepted me in as a guest, I see there is a tension between those who want to keep using stories from the past in their representations and those who want to create new stories without knowing yet what they could possibly be. I realize that I have stepped into that undefined space and have started somehow to tell a story about fashion that crosses categories and boundaries and has engaged the imagination of others. I find this deliriously exciting and motivating. Of course through our DNA and lived experience our past remains within us but the question for me is, where do I live now, where will be I be living and what do(will) my clothes have to say about those questions?
Just like the fashion system my challenge will be to engage with the questions of our time with creative evolution and innovative problem-solving. I am inspired by the potential of fashion and technology, not just to create functionality and beauty but to solve some problems as well. As I travel to new places, hear different voices and sounds and engage with those I meet I feel myself in motion and can't wait to see the reflection in the clothing I choose to wear.
Where are you living now and how do your clothes tell that story? If not how could they?