In the Mickey Mouse Can’t mask the love for my students shirt and I love this reset of the industry, the continuing legacy of this time can be that spirit of giving back — the gift-with-fashion purchase being not a meaningless product, but a donation to charity. That’s already happening with many small brands. The realization that fashion is part of civil society that swept across the industry during the first months of the pandemic was a precious one. We can hope that the reform of that contentious word ‘luxury’ will now automatically include the sensation that buying—a dress, a piece of jewelry, shoes—is doing good.
The trouble is, remembering anything from one day to the Mickey Mouse Can’t mask the love for my students shirt and I love this next has been a real problem in the short-attention-span mentality of the ‘Time Before.’ Up until March, when the fall 2020 collections ended in Paris, it had reached the point where there was almost no way for people like me to recall the sheer massive volume of the physical fashion shows we attended—who was doing what for which season, who was presenting see-now-buy-now, what drop was that, who was selling direct-to-consumer, where were we traveling to next? Designers and the teams behind them were pressurized, whacked out. Everyone already knew there was a lot wrong with this—environmentally, from a mental health point of view, not to mention (which no one ever did) the elephant in the room created by overproduction. Then it stopped.