An Organic Map of Desire

Photo: Calvin Lom, Wearing Schai

Photo: Calvin Lom, Wearing Schai

The summer remains slow and easy. One part of me is glad as I have the time and leisure to do whatever I want. Another part of me is anxious as there have been some big changes in my new professional life that require me to live with a great deal of uncertainty. I have come to the conclusion that in this time in history, and for the purpose of this project, fashion history, one must learn to live with a kind of chronic uncertainty. In speaking with a friend yesterday about her emerging brand, she lamented about never being able to get "there". What I realized is that right now in the world of fashion we really do not know what "there" is. It has yet to be defined, it is emerging (just like her). As old structures go away, like department stores and retail, new structures are rising up to take their place and whether or not they will be successful is still an experiment. 

 In a wonderful essay in BOF, Tim Blanks expressed this sentiment so beautifully in his thoughts about the recent couture show in Paris. He put into words far more eloquently than I ever could my feeling while watching: confusion. Is couture RTW, haute couture, resort, past or future, experimentation or purposeful commercialization?  In other words the couture show was the perfect metaphor for what seems to be happening in fashion. No one quite knows how to fill this gaping space of the unknown and are throwing in everything we can to see what will stick or perhaps rise to the top.

The challenge of holding uncertainty and being thoughtful about how one might stretch beyond their current boundaries and parameters to create something that is modern and fits with the time we live in seems to be something I and fashion are have in common right now. I have come to the understanding that because of technology and the pace of it there will never be a "there" for any substantial length of time. Three or five year plans, so dependable in the past, are no longer relevant because in this age things can change in a minute and I cannot predict what will be in the next 6 months, much less a year.  

The potential disruption in my trajectory made me once again realize that the only thing I can control is my product and I return to the place I always come back to: focusing on creating.. Whether that means learning more about video editing, pitching to independent magazines, helping others tell their unique stories or writing a book, it is all in the creation. In meeting and talking with a range of creative people over the last two weeks I have the makings of a mind map. with tentacles that can reach near or far. They are ideas, not goals and substitute for a linear business plan. They are organic like the clothes and earrings I am wearing in this post. They map desire which at the end of the day is what I believe fashion is really about.

What is in your creative mind map?

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