Almost everywhere we read that fast fashion is bad, that you should invest in sustainable fashion. But what is fast fashion really? And what are the ways to truly be sustainable.
Fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends. Fast fashion clothing collections are based on the most recent fashion trends presented at Fashion Week in both the spring and the autumn of every year. Emphasis is on optimizing certain aspects of the supply chain for these trends to be designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively to allow the mainstream consumer to buy current clothing styles at a lower price. This philosophy of quick manufacturing at an affordable price is used in large retailers.
This has developed from a product-driven concept based on a manufacturing model referred to as “quick response” developed in the U.S. in the 1980s and moved to a market-based model of “fast fashion” in the late 1990s and first part of the 21st century. Fast fashion has also become associated with disposable fashion because it has delivered designer product to a mass market at relatively low prices.
The sustainable fashion or conscious fashion movement has arisen in opposition to fast fashion, blaming it for pollution (both in the production of clothes and in the decay of synthetic fabrics), shoddy workmanship, and emphasizing very brief trends over classic style. “The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion was one of the first investigations into the human and environmental toll of fast fashion”. Fast fashion has also come under criticism for contributing to poor working conditions in developing countries.
Sustainable fashion doesn’t mean spending lots and lots of money on items, a lot of brands market themselves as sustainable, and those are comming with a higher price tagg. But is it really a hunderd percent sustainable? First of all, wat material is it made of? Is it a natural fibre, thats better for the envoirement and your skin? Where is it made, can you find any information on the factory? But the most important question: Am I really going to wear it? Can i wear this item for multiple occasions? Being conscious before you buy helps a lot, that doesn’t mean you need to create a whole capsule wardrobe with only 30 items max, just thinking about it before you buy it will help you save a lot of money.
If it’s not marketed as sustainable doesn’t mean it isn’t, doing a small research looking into the brand, knowing what materials will last long and knowing your style and not just falling into the endeless hole of trends.
Yes sustainable fashion is now ironically seen as a trend, even though trends are conected with fast fashion. You see it everywhere as marketing stategy, but something that should be kept in mind for forever.
For its first presentation in Milan, MM6 Maison Margiela entirely covered its store on Via Spiga with a padded white fabric, cash register and phone included. It took four days to finish the project and the result was quite spectacular. The same pure, candid and cozy effect was obtained with the collection itself, which offered a compilation of fashion staples all filled with lighter or heavier padding and worked in an off-white tone. Showed on beautiful and elegant mature woman posing on platforms inside the store, they included cocoon puffers, oversize logo sweaters worn with matching pants, maxi shirts, tunic dresses with rounded edges, oversize knitted cardigans, plissé skirts and a denim-like cotton skirt. While most of the collection will hit stores, according to the regular seasonal schedule, a few items, including a padded T-shirt and the bag, were immediately available for purchase. The overall feel was hyper ironic, full and totally arty, as expected from the brand.
Here, in its original layout, is Joan Didion’s seminal essay “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power,” which was first published in Vogue in 1961, Didion wrote the essay as the magazine was going to press, to fill the space left after another writer did not produce a piece on the same subject. She wrote it not to a word count or a line count, but to an exact character count.
Once, in a dry season, I wrote in large letters across two pages of a notebook that innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself. Although now, some years later, I marvel that a mind on the outs with itself should have nonetheless made painstaking record of its every tremor, I recall with embarrassing clarity the flavor of those particular ashes. It was a matter of misplaced self-respect.
I had not been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. This failure could scarcely have been more predictable or less ambiguous (I simply did not have the grades), but I was unnerved by it; I had somehow thought myself a kind of academic Raskolnikov, curiously exempt from the cause-effect relationships that hampered others. Although the situation must have had even then the approximate tragic stature of Scott Fitzgerald’s failure to become president of the Princeton Triangle Club, the day that I did not make Phi Beta Kappa nevertheless marked the end of something, and innocence may well be the word for it. I lost the conviction that lights would always turn green for me, the pleasant certainty that those rather passive virtues which had won me approval as a child automatically guaranteed me not only Phi Beta Kappa keys but happiness, honour, and the love of a good man (preferably a cross between Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and one of the Murchisons in a proxy fight); lost a certain touching faith in the totem power of good manners, clean hair, and proven competence on the Stanford-Binet scale. To such doubtful amulets had my self-respect been pinned, and I faced myself that day with the nonplussed wonder of someone who has come across a vampire and found no garlands of garlic at hand.
Although to be driven back upon oneself is an uneasy affair at best, rather like trying to cross a border with borrowed credentials, it seems to me now the one condition necessary to the beginnings of real self-respect. Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The charms that work on others count for nothing in that devastatingly well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions. With the desperate agility of a crooked faro dealer who spots Bat Masterson about to cut himself into the game, one shuffles flashily but in vain through one’s marked cards—the kindness done for the wrong reason, the apparent triumph which had involved no real effort, the seemingly heroic act into which one had been shamed. The dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others—who are, after all, deceived easily enough; has nothing to do with reputation—which, as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O’Hara, is something that people with courage can do without.
To do without self-respect, on the other hand, is to be an unwilling audience of one to an interminable home movie that documents one’s failings, both real and imagined, with fresh footage spliced in for each screening. There’s the glass you broke in anger, there’s the hurt on X’s face; watch now, this next scene, the night Y came back from Houston, see how you muff this one. To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commission and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice or carelessness. However long we post- pone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously un- comfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves.
To protest that some fairly improbable people, some people who could not possibly respect themselves, seem to sleep easily enough is to miss the point entirely, as surely as those people miss it who think that self-respect has necessarily to do with not having safety pins in one’s underwear. There is a common superstition that “self-respect” is a kind of charm against snakes, something that keeps those who have it locked in some unblighted Eden, out of strange beds, ambivalent conversations, and trouble in general. It does not at all. It has nothing to do with the face of things, but concerns instead a separate peace, a private reconciliation. Although the careless, suicidal Julian English in Appointment in Samarra and the careless, incurably dishonest Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby seem equally improbable candidates for self-respect, Jordan Baker had it, Julian English did not. With that genius for accommodation more often seen in women than in men, Jordan took her own measure, made her own peace, avoided threats to that peace: “I hate careless people,” she told Nick Carraway. “It takes two to make an accident.”
Like Jordan Baker, people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things. If they choose to commit adultery, they do not then go running, in an access of bad conscience, to receive absolution from the wronged parties; nor do they complain unduly of the unfairness, the undeserved embarrassment, of being named corespondent. If they choose to forego their work—say it is screenwriting—in favor of sitting around the Algonquin bar, they do not then wonder bitterly why the Hacketts, and not they, did Anne Frank.
In brief, people with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues. The measure of its slipping prestige is that one tends to think of it only in connection with homely children and with United States senators who have been defeated, preferably in the primary, for re-election. Nonetheless, character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.
Self-respect is something that our grandparents, whether or not they had it, knew all about. They had instilled in them, young, a certain discipline, the sense that one lives by doing things one does not particularly want to do, by putting fears and doubts to one side, by weighing immediate comforts against the possibility of larger, even intangible, comforts. It seemed to the nineteenth century admirable, but not remarkable, that Chinese Gordon put on a clean white suit and held Khartoum against the Mahdi; it did not seem unjust that the way to free land in California involved death and difficulty and dirt. In a diary kept during the winter of 1846, an emigrating twelve-year-old named Narcissa Cornwall noted coolly: “Father was busy reading and did not notice that the house was being filled with strange Indians until Mother spoke about it.” Even lacking any clue as to what Mother said, one can scarcely fail to be impressed by the entire incident: the father reading, the Indians filing in, the mother choosing the words that would not alarm, the child duly recording the event and noting further that those particular Indians were not, “fortunately for us,” hostile. Indians were simply part of the donnée.
In one guise or another, Indians always are. Again, it is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. People who respect themselves are willing to accept the risk that the Indians will be hostile, that the venture will go bankrupt, that the liaison may not turn out to be one in which every day is a holiday because you’re married to me. They are willing to invest something of themselves; they may not play at all, but when they do play, they know the odds.
That kind of self-respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth. It was once suggested to me that, as an antidote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in Wuthering Heights with one’s head in a Food Fair bag. There is a similar case for all the small disciplines, unimportant in themselves; imagine maintaining any kind of swoon, commiserative or carnal, in a cold shower.
But those small disciplines are valuable only insofar as they represent larger ones. To say that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton is not to say that Napoleon might have been saved by a crash program in cricket; to give formal dinners in the rain forest would be pointless did not the candlelight flickering on the liana call forth deeper, stronger disciplines, values instilled long before. It is a kind of ritual, helping us to remember who and what we are. In order to remember it, one must have known it.
To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which, for better or for worse, constitutes self-respect, is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weak- nesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out—since our self-image is untenable—their false notions of us. We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: a gift for imaginative empathy, evidence of our willingness to give. Of course we will play Francesca to Paolo, Brett Ashley to Jake, Helen Keller to anyone’s Annie Sullivan: no expectation is too misplaced, no role too ludicrous. At the mercy of those we can not but hold in contempt, we play rôles doomed to failure before they are begun, each defeat generating fresh despair at the necessity of divining and meeting the next demand made upon us.
It is the phenomenon sometimes called alienation from self. In its advanced stages, we no longer answer the telephone, because someone might want something; that we could say no without drowning in self-reproach is an idea alien to this game. Every encounter demands too much, tears the nerves, drains the will, and the spectre of something as small as an unanswered letter arouses such disproportionate guilt that one’s sanity becomes an object of speculation among one’s acquaintances. To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home
Martin Margiela did not invent the tabi, but he didn’t invent a lot of his best work. His skills lay in deconstructing established forms to manifest new ideas. For the tabi, he was referencing the Japanese worker’s shoe, which traces its lineage as far back as the 15th century. Tabi began as socks. The split-toe design was thought to promote balance through the separation of the big toe—a holistic reflexology strategy that promotes a clear mind. It’s also considered to be connected to your sense of self, and it just happened to fit the thonged sandals commonly worn at the time. At first, the socks were exclusive to the upper-class due to cotton scarcity, but when trading opened with China, they became more universally worn. The colors were also limited by class initially, with the upper-class wearing purple and gold, samurai all but those, and commoners exclusively blue. Around the 1900s, rubber soles were added on for outdoor activities, and these, called jika-tabi, are still worn as worker’s shoes today.
There are other modern fashion versions of the tabi in production right now. SOU-SOU, a Kyoto label founded in 2002, sells them in an endless array of patterns and colors at a fraction of the price of Margiela’s. Nike has their own sneaker version: the Air Rift. Vetements, the label designed by former Margiela employee Demna Gvasalia, sent their own down the runway last year. But none of those versions, nor any others, attract the attention of Margiela’s. Nor are any really comparable to the extent that you could call them an affordable dupe. The Margiela tabi have a collectible allure all their own. They are in-demand enough that people buy them off auction websites they use through Google Translate, often for hugely inflated prices long after certain colorways cease to be sold in stores. Why are we so obsessed with these glorified hooves?
Martin Margiela wanted a shoe that gave the illusion of a bare foot resting on a heel. The heel is chunky and high from the side but narrow from the front, and the leather was a traditionally masculine choice. The clasps that run up the inner part of the boots were references to the original design he pulled from—he had just come back from a trip to Japan when he designed his own. Prior to founding his own label in 1988, Margiela had worked for Jean Paul Gaultier, and before that had his own line of shoes. When it came time to create footwear for the first Maison Martin Margiela collection, though, no cobbler would take his tabi design on—the split toe was too radical for traditional workshops. As fate would have it, it was Geert Bruloot, the first retailer who stocked Margiela’s pre-Gaultier shoes at his Antwerp boutique Cocodrillo, who would introduce him to his future cobbler: an Italian craftsman named Mr. Zagato. According to Bruloot, he showed Mr. Zagato the tabi prototype over dinner, and the cobbler’s eyes lit up.
Those tabi were on the very first model Margiela sent out in his debut show in 1988. She walked through the Café de la Gare in Paris at 4:40 PM with ribbons on her cuffs, tabi on her feet, and no shirt on. Other models followed down the makeshift runway in flesh-colored mesh with tattoo illustrations in reference to French Polynesian artwork and chiffon veils paired with bright red toenails, some of them wearing no shoes at all. Margiela used the body as another fabric to play with and made absence as effective a design choice as the excess displayed by the dominant labels of that era. The finale culminated in what has since become legend: the models emerged in white lab coats identical to those Margiela’s team wore, with their shoes dipped in red paint, leaving strange, red markings on the runway—not quite footprints, not quite hoofprints. In one of his rare interviews on the subject—for an exhibition at Antwerp’s MoMu co-curated by Bruloot called “Foot Print: The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion”—Margiela explains this theatrical decision like so: “I thought the audience should notice the new footwear. And what would be more evident than its footprint?”
While her exoskeletons and crystalline structures have always felt far more visionary than the usual display of couture, their future as wearable designs seemed uncertain. By contrast, this collection, titled Shift Souls, expressed lightness through diaphanous silhouettes with hand-plissé volumes, soft patterning, and alluring body focus. This expression of femininity might translate to greater visibility for Van Herpen; and with two full days of shows to come, it set the bar high. “I see it not as one shift at a time so much as an evolution,” she said backstage, somewhat downplaying this significant leap. To close the show, light effects by artist Nick Verstand submerged the models in a deep blue vapor that canceled out the colors. But they definitely lingered on in the mind.
M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to the fertile moon terrain of Iceland; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; to the West 4th Street subway station, filled with the sounds of the Velvet Underground after the death of Lou Reed; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima.
Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division – Deborah Curtis
Touching from a Distance describes Curtis’s life from his early teenage years to his premature death on the eve of Joy Division’s first American music tour. It tells how, with a wife, a child, and impending international fame, he was seduced by the glory of an early grave. What were the reasons for his fascination with death? Were his dark, brooding lyrics an artistic exorcism? In Touching from a Distance, Curtis’s widow, Deborah, explains the drama of his life and the tragedy of his death.T
The year of magical thinking – Joan Didion
From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.