While this is flummoxing and sometimes frustrating, it is also exciting. With no obvious path forward, the most curious and creative designers working today are engaged in furious processes of experimentation, laying down tracks others may follow towards a fashion future less wasteful, more just and—this is important—bolder in terms of ideas, craft and style. The key is not to turn back.
“It’s easy to overstate the change,” notes Babak Radboy, Clemens’s hand-in-glove partner at Telfar, referring to political and social convulsions in the wider world. “There’s a desire in fashion [and beyond] to produce a narrative of progress that makes it seem like, great, the work is done, when in fact there’s been very little shift in terms of who holds power or how things operate.”
“Like, we spent two years calling each other out, and now that it’s all out, everyone’s figured out how to get back to business as usual without pissing people off,” adds Clemens. But business as usual is gone. A new language is emerging out of an old vocabulary. This is the situation of fashion now, at a moment of becoming. Eyes on the horizon, we join the designers in this portfolio in celebrating the chance to explore.
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