The fashion world rotates around the seasons. January and February each Spring sees a sequence of global catwalk events, premiering Autumn Winter collections. This year of course, with a stark difference to previous years, as they are almost all digital with no physical audience in attendance, no jostling for that prestigious front row seat to the catwalk action. As the weeks roll on, certain fashion capitals may have reduced numbers of socially distanced audiences but all of that is as yet, unknown.
What we can rely on is that the designers have been creating spectacles of visual delights, guiding the direction of clothing trends for this coming Autumn Winter and the world’s fashion pack will still be watching. Fashion by its very definition doesn’t stand still and where some of us may not desire to wear the fanciful designs displayed, the theatre and spectacle can still be admired.
I’ve been digging into some old areas of my work recently, partly due to a bit of an office tidy and also whilst researching a talk I’m putting together. Add that to my BBC radio fashion chats and the circles being played out in my mind keep bringing me back to the magic of the feelings clothes evoke within us.
Whether it is brand new clothes, luring us towards a purchase, our own wardrobes full of possibilities (or not, depending on how we feel!) or that dreamy part of us, imagining scenarios: it is ultimately all about the interaction the clothes have with you, the wearer.
Clothes come alive with the spirit of the person wearing them. Two people can wear the exact same items of clothing, yet they can look (and feel) completely different. We can repeat wear the same outfit; sometimes only days apart but not feel the same about it, such is the complex nature of our clothing emotions and personal energy.
With each outfit choice we can express different facets of our personality; they offer us the opportunity to convey an element of ourselves, to be a mirror to or our values. They provide the opportunity to display; serenity, joy, playfulness, comfort, carefree, relaxed, or sustainable messages…the list goes on.
Some clothes are seductive, their lure and magnetism impossible to resist. Where we have to catch ourselves and inquire is, where do these emotions arise from? From brand marketing which has co coerced us into these emotions, or from a genuine appreciation and desire to wear what an item of clothing says to us, our inner dialogue? Clothes are part of the theatre of life, each day our own stage or catwalk, even if just to dance, plod, float, stroll…(select and insert your own word of choice!) around our homes currently.
They also offer the opportunity to discover ourselves and the choices you make, have consequences on people and planet far beyond from where you are sat reading this.
The following words were tucked inside my portfolio of art school fashion sketches. Clearly kept for a reason, but unseen for decades. I read them and felt that tingle of excitement and possibility, which as designer, is all part of creating new.
At the time in my life when I kept the cutting the context was about designing something irresistible to the imaginary wearer. New, new, new…
I’ve learned through the years that the magic truly is the connection between the two. The garment and the person wearing it; it is about how it makes you feel, and much less so, just about having to be new.
When you are aligned with what you are wearing your personal energy level changes, your style halo glows and life is your very own personal catwalk.