Monday, October 26, 2015

trending: slow fashion

It was just a few years ago that I refashioned (pun intended) my shopping habits. Young and naive as I was when I was 16 and when I got my first job, I spent every paycheque hitting the mall and cruising teen retailers. I was consumed with purchasing and collecting clothes and keeping tags on them as if they were trophy's to be put on display.

A pensive case for slow fashion.

I've worked for some large corporate retailers the past few years to my dismay. I was so utterly confused as to why repeated customers would be purchasing the same shit, again and again. The most common answer would be that the clothes were so (affordably) cheap, that they can simply purchase another when the garment no longer becomes useful.

It's rather bothersome because fast-fashion is quite heavy and convoluted. It's heavy on garment workers, the environment, our resources and financially cumbersome. It becomes convoluted because fast-fashion is quite psychological. Psychological in manipulating you that you're lead to believe that you need those trousers, sneakers and what have you.

I wonder, though, with the recent departure of Raf Simons at Dior, does fast fashion apply to luxury?

The answer to that question is both yes and no. One speculation for Simons leaving Dior was the pressure of creating six collections a year, let alone his eponymous label and collaborations with Adidas. There's resort, spring/summer, pre-fall, fall, et al. When you really think about it, isn't that essentially fast fashion in a luxury environment. What was once just a benign spring and fall is now saturated with various pre this and that to what, reach your bottom line?

We all know pre-spring and pre-fall is all bullshit.

The answer to the latter is that, relative to high street fashion, most luxury brands don't spew out billions of outsourced garments yearly. Luxury focuses on high-end textiles, fabric manipulation, relative small quantities, handmade, to name a few. Albeit, it's important to note that while luxury is perceived to be of  "high quality", it sometimes doesn't translate. For example, your Alexander Wang Rocco bag and Feit sneakers are outsourced in China. I don't want to discount China because there are artisans there producing amazing things, but without Big Brother, made in China is well, made in China

Here is my answer and follow at your own pace: consider slow fashion.

Slow fashion is not new, but is undergoing a renaissance. Slow fashion is being cognizant of what you're buying, who you are buying from and the impact. Furthermore, as the saying goes that no one conforms to, it's buying better and buying less.

Here is slow fashion in action. I recently purchased a grey sweater. It's neck line is crew. It's 100% wool (slow fashion approved textile). It's from A.P.C. and it costs within my means. I can wear it casually with trousers and sneakers or dress it up with a leather jacket as if I am attending a Grimes concert on acid. It transcends trends and it will last me long enough to pass onto my grandchildren. Slow fashion.

I've pledged to this pact unofficially roughly around my quarter life crisis purchasing only 5 pieces a season. The loophole you ask? When you're abroad and you know you can't find Tomorrowland anywhere in Toronto so you decide to buy 10 pieces and toss all evidence and return to slow fashion.

Photo: Older Brother

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