Sometimes, simply hearing that
someone else is feeling the same
way as you, brings comfort.
It reminds us that we aren't alone. That we are understood. Our beautiful MM team, have agreed to get vulnerable. To share each week, how they are feeling, how they are navigating these strange times. We hope that these little snippets of vulnerability can bring strength and solidarity. We are in this together.
The lockdown has given me (and everyone), more time to sit with my thoughts than I ever have in my life.
You know those thoughts you have that are barely thoughts? Not on the forefront, but in your subconsciousness, far from resolved, and too early to discuss, because you haven’t formulated the words to describe them yet. That’s what I’m working through during my time at home. For me a lot of questions of fashion have come up… and my relationship with it.
Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed a trend in articles I’ve seen. Whether the subject of the article is discussing a great runway show, or a great shoot, or the up and coming ‘new face’ in fashion; I continually see the sentence “it reminded me why I love fashion,” or words to that effect. I’ve seen it pop up more times than I can count, and it got me thinking… People who work in the fashion industry have a very complicated relationship with it. I think the ups and downs of enthusiasm I experience with fashion, are not only normal, but they seem to be felt by everyone in the industry.
Why is this? The MM team speak of this often. I grew up knowing I would be in fashion. I didn’t decide to, it was just always going to be that way. Reading through magazines and seeing photographers and stylists create fashion shoots, was an obsession, and one I share with most people who work in the industry. During my time at Massey, I remember style.com was the only website I needed. I clung to it, memorising every collection, every season, with so much intensity…… where has that intensity gone? I know it’s still there, somewhere… but it has taken a long hiatus. Currently, I don’t care what Christopher Kane’s latest collection looks like. I now look at a fashion shoots, waiting for my heart to beat faster like it used to… nothing. Lights on, no one’s home.
What’s happening to me? Do you feel it too? I know its common. People fall in and out (and back in) love with ‘fashion’ but why? Perhaps when you finally get peek behind the curtain of an industry you’ve idealised your whole life, and finally see the inner workings, you see (with disappointment), that there was never magic at play, just smoke and mirrors.
Or maybe it’s more complicated (and more hopeful) than that. I saw a tweet from my dear friend Ryan Reynold’s (or heard someone retell it.. can’t remember.. who cares). He had just finished watching the series Fleabag (great show), and said “I love fleabag so much I wish I never saw it”. It’s just a tweet, but it struck a chord with me, I really think I understood what it meant. In the context of fashion, maybe I love it so much that it can get exhausting. Perhaps ‘Fashion Fatigue,’ isn’t that you don’t love it anymore, it’s that it requires too much emotion and energy, to engage with it all day, every day forever. You gotta take a break…. Or at least I do.
Furthermore, is jealousy at play? (is jealousy the right word?) Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t know how to describe all these thoughts, they’re too murky- but hear me out. Maybe we see things we love (whether it’s a collection or a fashion shoot, or a new store opening or whatever it is), and think “it’s so good I wish I was a part of making it”. Or “Damn, I thought of that but they beat me to it”. (I realise there’s a certain amount of arrogance in this remark to even suggest I’ve thought of a great idea.. but whatever).
I think it’s my love of this industry that makes me tire of it. It can be overwhelming at times.
I should clarify this does not extend to the passion I have for my job. Anyone who knows the MM team, knows we are committed to our cause, and I think the things we do far surpass just ‘fashion’. We are building a brand that is a force for change, something I will never tire of, on the contrary, it’s what keeps me motivated.
But an interesting thought.
I know I’m rambling, but it feels good to get out a thought that has been buried so deep (until the lockdown), I didn’t even really know I thought any of it. On that note, let me continue with one final point (if you can even call any of this a point).
I think what I am truly tired of in the industry, is the pace. When I think about why I love fashion (how many times can you count the word fashion in this?), it isn’t quick. The collections I love aren’t new. The photo shoots I love date back years and years. Like many, I have my collection of dog eared magazines with post-its saving the pages I cherish and they will always mean a lot to me. I’m not interested in the new season coat that’s in an influencers ‘covet file’. The persistent cycle of newness can be suffocating and boring.
What excites me? I saw an Instagram post from Zoe Walker Ahwa a little while ago. She saw a dress in the Karen Walker ‘Liberal & Miserable’ 04 collection and fell in love. The thought stayed with her for 15 years, until recently, she spotted it on trade me and bought it. And now a 15 year love affair with one dress has come full circle. “It reminded me why I love fashion.”