Dido Mani thinks we should give the "less is more" credo another try–otherwise fashion might be crashing.
In the last decades, the meaning of fashion has changed drastically; nowadays it often equals the latest trends, narrow seasonal focus and easily exchangeable must haves. An increasing number of leading creatives in the fashion industry is getting off the fast fashion train, and more and more leading journalists–the latest in line being Suzy Menkes–are voicing their opinion about this distorted image of fashion and the speed of the system. How far can we go at this pace? This is not only a question we have to ask about the fashion industry, but also in relation to our daily life. It is about the way we consume, the way we communicate and the way we perceive the things that are happening around us.
Exactly one month ago word reached us that Alexander Wang was leaving Balenciaga as creative director and just last week news broke that Raf Simons is leaving Dior. Both designers are taking a step back from leading a big fashion house to pour all of their time and attention to their own label. They prioritize not only their own labels, but probably also their well-being and mental health. With such high pressure to produce successful collection after collection many times within a year, to boost the marketing rates and oversee campaigns all at the same time, it is no wonder that designers collapse under the heavy load. We were uninvited spectators of John Galliano’s public melt down and Alexander McQueen’s tragic passing and could see his narrative as an example to prevent other designers–and eventually the fashion system itself–from going down the same road.
To go beyond a quick fix and to establish genuine care, the fashion industry has to get back in touch with what is going on in the world and what people want, or even more so–what people need. Do we need a whole new wardrobe every season? Do we need another it-bag that was promoted by another it-girl only to generate more profit for a brand? Like trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort stated in her Anti Fashion manifesto: “Fashion placed itself outside of society, which is dangerous and old-fashioned. Marketing killed the whole thing, it’s governed by greed and not by vision. Fashion has to regain its value, clothing needs to be loved and savoured again.”
Although the latest trends no longer live up to the predicate monochromatic normcore, we should give the credo “less is more” another try on a different level. A promising and positive try–less clothing is more creativity with what you have; less collections is more breathing space for designers; less production overload is a more sustainable environment; less distraction is a more conscious life.
Yes, less is still more and it’s more relevant than ever.
Photo by Robi Rodriquez, styling by Robbie Spencer, editorial for Dazed magazine
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