LET'S TAKE BACK TIME AND CREATE ORDER AGAIN!
Next time you're out on the street, try to put down your smartphone for a minute and look up. Do you notice a certain lack of good taste or elegance (remember the word? I'm not talking glamour … but elegance, synonymous with class, style and aesthetic balance).
I don't enjoy making these statements but, working in fashion, I feel involved in the chaotic fashion system that feels so far removed from the real world these days. Of course, if you browse a fashion magazine everything looks glossy and perfect, but that's not the case on the street or in the offices.
Look around, forget Facebook and Instagram, look at the people walking past or those sitting near you on the train. Good standards of education do exist in fashion and there should be a sort of good taste manual given to all teenagers. If nothing else, it might save those having to see your outfit from suffering a shock!
Dorfles, who taught Italians to love kitsch, stated that even fashion can be in poor taste when it teams improbable colours, uses too much decoration or when a beautiful suit is worn badly!
Now, I'll be the first to say that I enjoy adding a “wrong touch”, a seemingly clashing colour, an improbable whim or something else that doesn't quite “match”…
And while some of the excess in womenswear can be forgiven (not by me, but I tolerate it), this is not true of menswear. No one knows how to tie a tie properly anymore, you don't see any properly pressed trousers or perfectly “starched” shirts and no one sets out their clothes the night before to ensure they look perfect the next day. Jackets fall badly as though they were on wonky hangers (and no one talks about drops any more, which allowed any kind of body type to be dressed perfectly).
This doesn't mean I don't like seeing modern finishes, the odd worn or faux used look - the main thing is that there is an idea or a plan behind it. To me, “ORDER” means tidying up, following a logic, thinking, reflecting, being informed, doing research, assembling, taking the time to challenge your work. That's what “FASHIONWORK” is to me. Fashion is an education made up of details and sensitivity. It's about being “POLITE” towards others, it's a way of living outside and in the home, a way of leading by example……an ongoing search for good taste…a personal harmony of the beautiful and the ugly…of what I like and don't like…
I have a wonderful childhood memory of my father who, every Sunday morning, would take his suits out of his wardrobe and lay them on the bed and try different colour combinations before choosing which shirt, tie and pocket square to wear. I always loved those moments. He always tied a perfect knot in his tie, with the blade and knot always perfectly balanced.
I realise now that my father was inadvertently giving me an education in “ORDER”… An “EDUCATION” in good taste, patience, a feel for colour, the beauty of that Sunday ritual…it was a real “FITTING”.
Involuntarily, I was learning to put together my first outfits in a hypothetical “FASHIONSHOW”. Am I out of fashion? Or perhaps nostalgic? I don't think so because, in my view, these days fashion itself is “out of fashion”, too much of everything, too much of nothing! Far too many brands, products, outlets, new, old and copied.
Maybe we need to bring order back to the fashion system and the change could start here. There are so many events, calendars and shows in a hectic, schizophrenic schedule, it sometimes feels like time is meaningless. It is true that speed is all-important at the moment, but I believe the time has come to return the proper value to time and order. And I mean real time, not constantly trying to get further and further ahead. I mean work time, not the overly busy fashion schedule that overlaps itself and just makes things more complicated!
This overload of data and dates reflects inevitably on what you see in the street; a chaotic system leads to chaotic, over-stimulated and confused consumers.
There is a solution to the disorder in fashion (and to me fashion is creativity in every sense, everyone has their own style and is free to express it as they choose… what counts is being able to find the right balance… we can't all be Madonna or Lady Gaga!) and it lies in being able to stop, being able to give meaning to what we do, to our work, our research, the way in which we define “style education”, make tasteful choices, have the courage to simply say “I'm not buying it because it's ugly”.
Let's stop and really look at what is going on around us. Let's start thinking about “Fashion” again and not just as a money-making machine but as beautiful and privileged “work” to be passed down to those that come after us!