Does fashion ever fade?
Despite the chaos of the world and the vicious circulation of unresolved racism and an invisible virus, it matters how you choose to represent yourself in the end. Believe it or not, your first look in this new idea of normalcy will go down in the history of events. One’s fashion statement draws parallels to the flabbergasting turn of events that constitutes that particular time.
I can’t help but wonder how fashion industry will re-construct the beauty of self-expression today. Fashion has always innovated itself in an ambiance of unforeseen circumstances. It portrays a piece of history that symbolises an era’s political, social and economic narrative. The iconic, ‘Evening gown’ from the 1930s or the ‘Golden Age of Glamour’, technically originated post the Great Depression. The long & luxurious backless gowns made of silk, velvet or chiffon was painted all over the silver screen within the U.S. and intervened in the minds of women in every household to live their fantasy. And the 1970s bell-bottom jeans that was originally worn by sailors during war in 1812 never seems to cease from the fashion globe.
Fashion is an advocate for change. It cannot vanish into thin air, rather it remains a shield of protection during times of crisis. The social power of dress responds to the societal stigmas and breaks barriers on practices degrading humanity. The Charlottesville incident in 2017 witnessed a wave of antifa protestors marching in unison against white supremacy. The ‘Black Bloc’ clothing – an all-black uniform depicting rebellion left an indelible mark on the incident. This aesthetic of clothing dates back to the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s who were willing to fight for their equality if necessary.
While social-distancing has looted the fashion industry’s anticipated runway walks- brands like Gucci and Versace had each cancelled their supposed show in the month of May. What surprises me the most is that fashion rises above all obstacles and continues to thrive. For instance, British Fashion Council merged with London Fashion week to go digital and the show is accessible on the LFW’s digital platforms. The show will combine men’s and women’s wear to make it more gender neutral. Who would’ve thought that the pandemic would be the driving force to create a LGBTQ+ friendly show?
Presently, the news is covered with burning issues and sensitive information, constantly meddling with our morale. Amidst all this mental turbulence, stores remain shut across the world and the joy of window shopping is also on hold.
Despite stores shutting down, human beings adapt quicker than chameleons. Out of the activities to do during a lockdown, Australia seems to choose online shopping as their guilty pleasure. A recent survey in Australia pointed to 86% of people that chose ‘long-desired’ shopping online, 75% watching funny videos and 39% seek escapism by checking emails and bank accounts.
It brings me back to the same thought, does Fashion ever fade?
In critical times such as this, human beings are in a fidgeting state of mind to find solace within themselves. One’s relationship with fashion is like love, it never seems to grow outdated. Especially for designers, who never seem to rest on creativity.
In the words of Jeremy Scott on the Instagram show Bright Minded hosted by Miley Cyrus, he expressed, “You can take a pair of old Adidas sweatpants, cut them up, and make it work. Your body may be in quarantine, but your mind doesn’t have to be.”
The Moschino creative director chose to adapt a ‘recycling and repurposing’ workshop to pave his innovation into his tapestry of clothes
What will fashion look like after the lockdown? Getting out of your pyjamas to step outside in your track suit for a walk, wearing a skin-tight dress for dinner with friends and family or going into the office wearing formal pants that you neglected for what felt like eternity. Will the feeling be the same as prior? It all boils down to how we face reality again.
The post-pandemic period of widespread return to the outside world will be a rejuvenation of dressing up. It throws me into the recap mode, when ‘Wartime’ dressing’ dawned by Christian Dior revitalised the fashion industry. At a time like World War II, the U.S went into ‘Think easy to wear and easy to wash’ and the women created clothes made of feed sacks and flour bags. Raissa Bretana, a fashion historian who teaches at Fashion Institute of Technology and Pratt Institute in an interview with TeenVogue stated that: “During the 1940s, widespread rationing of textiles severely limited the design and production of fashionable dresses, forcing designers and manufactures to adapt to scarcity.”
The world is rampaging but there is no stopping to dressing up. And when people finally step out, their first look to the world will declare the time of our existence. A history worth remembering always comes with the clothes we choose to adorn and 2020 is not a black year, it is a year to strive.
Hence, I reiterate my original statement, ‘fashion never fades.’
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