With everything that’s happening in the world, it’s difficult not to question what we’re doing here. And I don’t just mean here- in my tiny little corner of the internet- but in general. Here. This rings especially true for those of us who’s pursuits are more of the creative kind. As I think about the suffering and the potential for destruction that’s happening around the world, I can’t help but wonder- is fashion frivolous? Should we be putting our energy into something else?
I don’t make light of anything that’s happening. It’s heartbreaking and important and everyone in the Ukraine and in war’s path needs and deserves our support and care. Those heavy things deserve our attention and our care (even when doing so is hard). And yet- I can’t bring myself to tell you that fashion is frivolous, that it doesn’t matter.
Yes, maybe now is not the time to be shopping thoughtlessly; perhaps our outfits aren’t the foremost things in our minds. But. While there is not a magic outfit that could bring about world peace (how I wish there were), I still firmly believe that fashion is simply a means with which we tell our stories. And now, more than ever, our stories matter.
I think it’s easy (and a bit lazy) to call fashion frivolous. In some instances, fashion is a luxury, it can be a hobby, and fashion is easy to look down upon as it doesn’t offer any solutions to heavy problems. Yet. Fashion is a trade, a skill, an art. The men and women who make textiles and craft our garments are skilled workers who provide us with at the least a form of shelter and at most, storytelling material.
Even when things are hard and heavy, even perhaps when we aren’t always paying attention to what we’re wearing, our fashion tells our story- from uniforms to support to statements. And our stories matter. The story that we’re telling now may be heavy, but it may also be hopeful. Maybe it’s a story of support for people who are suffering, maybe what you wear lets someone know you’re an ally. Perhaps what you wear tells the story of survival, getting through the day, the story of revolution.
And maybe, by telling our stories we give others the permission to tell theirs.
There are a lot of stories out there right now. Stories that deserve our attention and our help and our reverence. Some of those stories are being today with fashion. So, how can we call fashion frivolous?
(I’m not even getting into how fashion can be a release, can make you feel good, can give you something to look forward to.Fashion can also be joyful, and even in hard ship joy is necessary and sacred. This is a mulit-layered topic, but I think it starts with the understanding that fashion is meaningful.)
I know right now we’re all aware of the world and its suffering, I am and I don’t want to make light of any of it. It’s not the time for carefree frolic of any kind. But, even though there is no magic peace outfit, maybe our fashion (and the support of those who make it) is a part of the solution and not some distraction? (Though if you need a distraction right now there is nothing wrong with that!)
I don’t concede that fashion is frivolous because fashion is a part of who we are, and we all matter.
Wishing us all a week of peace, hope, and amazing shoes. Slava Ukraini!