What’s the deal with the new post-apocalyptic down-at-heel look sweeping the capital? You could be forgiven for thinking that Londoners have lost their sparkle! OK, admittedly, 'Rainmageddon' was definitely a factor, but I think it’s deeper than that. The world is perceived as being very unstable at the moment but let’s not get unnecessarily gloomy. According to Hans Rosling, author of Factfulness, and in my own humble opinion, there’s never been a better time to be alive.
Fashion is always a mirror of the times we are living through. I don’t know if it’s Brexit, #MeToo, or the prospect of winter setting in but the nouveau drab has washed over Londoners like a gargantuan spider’s web of mismatched hemlines, outfits cut like a sack of potatoes and shapeless anorak atrocities.
Everyone I know regardless of whether or not they work in the sustainability space is naturally buying less and making an effort to shop more consciously. Weaning yourself off that quick dopamine hit that a £20 purchase from Zara will give you on a gloomy Tuesday evening after a long hard day at the office is a process. There is a chasm between the will to change and how to translate that into everyday actions.
In the short term, this could result in buying nothing at all (which is no bad thing) whilst you undergo a re-education process and adjust your habits accordingly. In the long term, you’ll have a beautifully curated wardrobe full of gorgeous pieces you love, that you wear all the time. Take time to research brands whose ethics and ethos resonate with yours. Spend more on pieces you fall in love with, that you’ll wear forever and will even outlive you as family heirlooms! Of course, this strategy requires a larger financial investment but if you work it out cost per wear over decades, it represents greater value. So it’s just about changing our perception.
In a period where traditional religion in the west has been on the wane: compulsive consumption became the new religion and mankind's natural predilection towards the external was exacerbated by social media. There has been a counter-movement towards the internal, the inner life, that which we cannot see. In the western world, this has taken the form of a surge in spirituality, yoga, meditation, wellness, healing therapies. Many yogis and healers I have met are former Fashionistas!
I am always trying to steer clear of polarity - I think it’s one of the scourges of our age. I lean towards unity, oneness, and inclusion. I believe that we need to lavish equal attention on our inner and outer worlds. There seems to be amongst some of the spiritual community derision of anything external as fluffy, inconsequential, or a distraction from the soul’s quest.
I regard beauty as an expression of divinity. I always thought it was the utmost courtesy to make the best of yourself, to be respectful of others' eyes, and to express light, sparkle, fun, creativity. Dressing well feels like a type of prayer and something that we all have control over, in a world where many aspects of our lives may seem beyond our control!
As JJ Martin the founder of the brand La Double J said in a recent interview with Vogue;
“The new mood in retail therapy involves, well, actual therapy.”
I don’t believe the censorious, condemnatory dialogue around sustainability is going to get us anywhere. It certainly won’t inspire us to shop more consciously! Joy, fun, and creativity are much more palatable.
So come on beauties; party season is approaching; Be illuminated by the sparkling rays of the disco ball, a beacon of hope and possibility shining light on election melancholia and Brexit dystopia. Whether you favour an LBD, a white tux, Halpern-inspired sequin razzle-dazzle, tantalising tulle à la Molly Goddard, or vintage 80s puff-sleeved Dynasty throwbacks; get your sparkle on and celebrate because life is a miracle, fashion is fun and your next best friend, lover or partner in crime is dying to meet you on the dance floor!
Image Credit: Pinterest