I often criticize fashion because if I want it to be a better industry, I must question it, including my impact. The exploitation of the workers in the fields, factories, fancy offices and creatives cannot be ignored. I'd say even the designers who are seemingly paid well are overworked (hint, hint Alexander McQueen). The turnover speed even of the high-end fashion is so rapid; I don't have time to embrace every collection fully before the next Fashion Week is on. I don't know if Covid has slowed things down or not.
I have a very conflicted relationship with clothing as a stylist, a designer and a maker. I question myself all the time. However, today I was reminded why I love fashion and how it can be such a beautiful connection tool.
I was strolling through Borough Market and started a conversation with someone who then noticed my Elsa Tierney ring and told me a wonderful story of how they met the designer through mutual friends and placed a custom order as the brand was just starting. It reminded me how fashion could unite people: not in a 'Is it a Boohoo dress?/ Oh, it's just Primark' one wear way, but through the story of what you are wearing. I often connect with fellow fashion lovers by talking about small and famous designers, creatives, craftspeople, and their businesses. It reminded me why I love to dress, speak to people about where I got something, and what story the piece has (including my rare or my old high street pieces) and if we have the same piece, then how we love to style it.
I know fashion has its problems, but it also has a great power to unite. I hope one day it will be more about appreciating what we own what we buy and not seeing it as a fleeting piece after piece for instant gratification.