Everything transforms. Angelo Flaccavento’s opinion on style

By dint of reading dystopian science fiction and watching it in cinema and on TV, in anti-utopia we found ourselves really entangled, from head to toe. What an unbearable blow. When we all leave our shelters and our domestic prisons – no underground bunkers or panic rooms, at least on this tour -, we will be in pitiful conditions, like wild cave dwellers, with large patches in the ass.

Everything transforms
Everything transforms

Not bad: poverty stimulates ideas, and it is no coincidence that creators of every ream invariably give their best in hardships – from painting to fashion. Fashion will face a huge production surplus: goods never delivered, products never consumed, appetites to be awakened. The catastrophe. Nobody has a crystal ball, but if you want to continue the dystopian trail stubbornly with an understandable pessimism, you can imagine that after a moment of initial volumosechè everything will return as before, with the large conglomerates greedy as ever, rampant cynicism and consumerism blind induced in the most subtle ways. But it is equally legitimate to think that something will change, even if only for a short spring of new humanism, for a scarce two-year period, for five days.

What happened has deeply rooted certainties. He has shown us that as technologized and dominant as we are, we are part of the natural cycle, and we can easily succumb to the unstoppable evolutionary process in which our small and petty desires are worth zero. We will soon forget, but in the meantime it is legitimate to ruminate, putting forward semi-serious hypotheses for the near future. Hypotheses that have the human at the center: the hand, perfectly imperfect but always authentic. Will craftsmanship return? Dicunt.

With the wicked abundance of goods already in place, a viable – automatic – way is the dismemberment and recovery of the existing, the DIY collage, the rampant patchwork, however not intended in the manner of upcycling, or the ennobling of waste and the forgotten – territory owned by Martin Margiela in which John Galliano and Francesco Risso’s absurdist spirit have entered today with storytelling verve – but explorations and experiments on the metamorphic and alchemical power of the creative act, capable of transfiguring everything.

A new dialogue could be established between creator and consumer with sketched objects whose final shape is determined uniquely and very personal only by the wearer. The product that involves involvement is a hypothesis worthy of attention, extending and modifying ideas that have been around at least since the days of radical fashion, and which were then formalized by Issey Miyake with “A Piece of Cloth”.

In the perspective of non-consumption and more with less, there is also the use of existing but incongruous materials – even there, from the fishing wires of Salvatore Ferragamo to the insulating foams of Melitta Baumeister, the literature is rich – from which it could finally an aesthetic of plausible instead of costume futurism emerges. These are the first germs and ideas, to be expanded and fertilized. What the near future seems to be asking now is a greater awareness: awareness and free will and with these humanity. It also applies outside of fashion. Is it just Utopia? Certainly. After all, homo homini lupus and with creation even worse. But it’s worth a try.

Opening: a self-portrait for objects of the author of this article. “I like making faces with objects. Glasses, because without being lost, safety pin as a child’s object, the money clip ends with an anchor and I love the sea “.

Angelo Flaccavento does not declare age but the year of birth: 1972. He writes and draws. Columnist for “The Business of Fashion” and “Il Sole 24 Ore”, is editor at large of Vogue Italia. They call him kindly ruthless, he prefers poetically punk.

From Vogue Italia, n. 836, April 2020

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