Trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort released an Anti_Fashion Manifesto in 2015. Edelkoort states “It’s the end of fashion as we know it” and criticises fashion schools and design houses as being stuck in a 20th century model that’s no longer relevant. Her interest is now in clothes, not fashion, as she believes fashion has set itself outside of society.
According to Edelkoort, clothing is now about “exchange and the new economy and working together in teams and groups.” Whereas fashion is controlled by marketing and greed, so there is no innovation. As for textiles, Edelkoort says people don’t know anything anymore about textiles and clothing is made in countries where people get killed.* She tackles six areas of design, education and production in the manifesto.
The problem with fashion as we know it is the same as any other industry. A business is expected to grow into a company, list on the stock exchange, to be controlled by Directors who are only interested in delivering profits to shareholders and feathering their own nest. That’s enough to suck the passion and creativity out of anything.
I started losing interest in fashion a few years ago, when the fashion houses treated designers as disposable, and any designer could head any house. The fashion house held onto its core “look” and the designer became an interpreter of that look for today, which is a path to nowhere as it depends on copying what others are doing instead of the art of fashion.
The beauty of fashion has always been innovation and invention. Art has to be at the core of any design industry to move it along to the next era. The problem with art is that it is experimental, fails a lot, and takes time. Pushing today’s business models onto art is a recipe for failure. In fact, I think business models today are a recipe for failure full stop.
I just read a report into ‘productivity’ for a company that is intending to cut jobs in that sector. How to they propose to do it? 100 pages saying outsource to contractors who don’t have to pay overtime, sick leave, holiday pay, work cover, or any other costs, because that all falls to the sub-contractor who end up on below minimum wage after costs, working punishing hours with no unions.
That, my friend, is the new productivity and how we are running our economy, back to third world wages and working conditions while companies pretend they are making great progress. And we wonder why fashion has collapsed as we know it.
- Possibly referring to the 2012 Dhaka clothing factory fire, where 117 workers were killed and 200 injured.