What a difference a blazer makes.
Throwing on the white double-breasted corduroy number was just an
afterthought. My day needed saving and my Instagram Stories feeding. But
then, whooom. I had accidentally tranformed into a gallerista, en route
to making the next million.
Ach, fashion. As you know, our relationship is a complicated affair of
dipping in and out. I have spent the better half of the past decade in
fashion as a writer and photographer. It was exciting to be part of the
transformation from something niche and elitist with a strong ‘top-down’
and ‘keep out’ mentality to something instantly accessible. Social
media has changed the conversation for good. You, dear fashion, are a
much more diverse and inclusive place, I give you that.
But in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse, #MeToo and in the face
of climate crisis, one question keeps asking: what’s your point? When
even friends in the business start questioning your fast-paced muchness,
something clearly is broken. I decided to take a time-out from you.
Over the past few months I radically cleared my wardrobe. I must admit
the sartorial lightness feels very liberating (though all this hasn’t
stopped me from spending a ridiculous amount of time in the style
sections of The Guardian and The New York Times).
And yet, the magic of the white blazer made me realise again why fashion mattered: we all need fashion because we want more than something to wear.
Putting together an outfit is making a statement about yourself, who you
would like to be and how you are understood in the world. Fashion goes
beyond the cliché of designer labels and glamour. It can be about many
things, including solidarity and protest. You can never quite catch it.
That’s the beauty of it.
I’m a believer in the great transformational power of fashion. There
is positive change within the industry; I’m excited about the buy-less,
wear-more mentality it is moving towards.
So, dear fashion, let’s have a fresh start. Let’s talk about taking ‘on-trend’ beyond the seasonal, let’s talk about grown-up looks, let’s talk about making more sustainable choices without compromising style. Regard this as a work-in-progress; delivered in one outfit and style note at the time.