“More than ever elegance is setting itself free from the movements of fashion,” Olivier Saillard

Perhaps I am weary of the limitations of my apartment and the sameness of the days. Maybe it’s just a passing moment in the stream of feeling as I’m pulled back and forth between optimism and dread by the tide of this thing. Give it whatever name you prefer; quarantine, shelter-in-place, or lockdown. The descriptor you choose reveals how you might feel about the experience of staying in on any given day.

Today I feel discouraged about the Future of Fashion, at least here in the U.S. Perhaps I’m projecting all my disappointment on how my country has responded to this crisis on the fashion industry, but that is the territory I have been living and working in. It’s the lens through which I reflect on the world for the last five, almost six years.

 I don’t see the innovative solutions I imagined, a focus on sustainability nor the renaissance of small businesses. I’m not seeing dynamic collaborations nor small independent and creative partnerships being rewarded. I see an initiative brokered by Vogue with Amazon and a group of designers I know and admire and I’m heartbroken about it.  I read a fashion manifesto written by a group of designers that at its core a partial solution. One that involves cutting back on seasons, but not a word about less production. Only rules that expensive clothing could only go on sale during very limited windows. Perhaps the problem is mine, but I don’t see this as the brilliant re-design of the fashion system everyone else seems to think it is. Hype is still alive and well. The only sustainable thing I see about these responses is a call to sustaining a system that has not been very nice to its workers as per the current need for a “Pay UP” movement, environment for sure, and no longer seems all that creative. Is it worth the price it charges for clothing that erases the meaning of personal style because so many people can have it?

So today I offer two articles, one sent to me by a reader that validates the conversation we have already been having. The second one an interview with Olivier Saillard has so many gems in it, I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. Olivier Saillard is a noted curator, performer, poet, and conversationalist. His collaborations with Tilda Swinton, “Eternity Dress” and “The Impossible Wardrobe” are worth a look. 

 I invite your comments and conversation on what you see as “elegant” solutions/narratives in engaging others in fashion conversations that raise the intellectual bar.

And as always these days, stay safe and well.

Dear Fashion Nobody Is Coming to Save You

Intellectual Fashion: An Interview With Olivier Saillard