The single most asked trend question asked of me since the pandemic first broke out is “What will all be wearing when we go out again?” ( I have thoughts 😊 But that’s another post. ) And before you judge, I don’t view this is as a shallow request – fashion is truly a type of kinetic Morse code that speaks to the state of the human experience. After all, human beings are alone in the ability to change the outward expression of who they are with the flip of a zipper. Fashion can reflect our darkest fears and signal our brightest hopes. It’s what we wrap our dreams in. After a long pandemic pause this Spring, many designers chose to step up and share their vision of the future last week in Milan. And it spoke volumes. The first live show opened with of photographs taken during lockdown by Silvia Venturini Fendi (the lead designer for Fendi) from her bedroom window. Dreamy, soft, pregnant with longing, the collection reflected a sort of convalescence of the spirit and a vulnerable yearning to rejoin the world. She spoke our feelings.
Jeremy Scott, the mischievous maestro behind Moschino, took a different approach, choosing instead to slyly poke fun at his own industry’s history of manipulating fashion by employing puppets instead of models to showcase his sumptuous new line. Quirky and thought provoking, Scott is leaning into the conversation around the false cycles of fashion, and the need to relook at what we really need.
And finally, the Milanese streetwear label, GCDS, went full futuristic and produced a sci-fi themed CGI experience to share its ‘21 Spring line. Given the recent move by many fashion houses to license their lines as skins for game avatars, the show seemed both timely and eerily foreboding. Is this the only world left where we can go out and play? Stay tuned…
Lost in Translation
As exhausting as Zoom can be, nothing tops a day out where we desperately attempt to signal emotions beyond our newly masked mouths. I have no doubt added a decades worth of ‘smile lines’ in my efforts to express joy using my eyes only. Well, challenge accepted! The video game programmer and designer Tyler Glaiel has created the JabberMask , a voice-activated facemask with an LED display that moves like a mouth in time with your speech and smile. The design lets users express emojis and emotions while staying safe masked up.( And, I imagine it might help provide that oft-missed magic moment of thinking before speaking we all could use in this election year. )
If my Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards are to be believed, travel sits high on many of our lists of plastic-wrapped desires. Well, a word to the wise – make sure Japan is somewhere near the top. Kit-Kat Japan recently offered a brief behind-the-scenes tour of their factories in Japan which has been churning out some 400 (400!!) flavors of Kit-Kat flavors since establishing an outpost there in 1973. At the center of the spotlight is the esteemed pastry chef Yasumasa Takagi, the man responsible for many of the special flavors. From wasabi to cheesecake to sake, he been added over 50 varieties to the expansive (and almost-too-pretty-to-eat ) collection and shows no signs of slowing down. Life continues to be unfair.
It seems that the revolution will be commercialized! As part of the global movement to end period stigmatization, the Pantone Color Institute has just teamed up with intimate healthcare brand INTIMA to release a new color, inspired by periods. Dubbed “Period,” the new color is an original shade of red that represents a steady flow during menstruation. The goal of the release is to encourage open discussions around the normal bodily function experienced by over half of the planet (and one that isolates and stigmatizes young girls and women in many parts of the world.) This type of brand-led issue championship is something to watch in the next year, as the new Values Economy takes hold. Brava!!
How to Lick Climate Change
Every picture tells a story – and it seems that every stamp can too. The Finnish Post recently commissioned a special edition line of stamps to alert Fins to the very real consequences of climate change. The stamps created by the Finnish studio Berry Creative feature images of birds and snow clouds that turn into skeletons and thunderstorms when heated or touched. Printed in color-transforming ink that reacts to heat, these symbols change from black to clear when warmed up by being rubbed with a finger, revealing additional designs underneath. Beautiful, rare and alarming – it’s a message that needs to be delivered everywhere.
Right now, we can all take a bit comfort where ever we can get it. And one pizzeria in Brooklyn stands by ready to deliver! Vinnie’s Pizzeria has added a special item section to its online menu, offering words of encouragement to the hungry and the downtrodden. According to their social feed, “For $1, our delivery driver will look you straight in the eyes and tell you ‘EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE OK AND YOU’RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN.’
You know what? Make mine a double!
One cheerful note surrounding the pandemic has been the almost obsessive rush to adopt shelter dogs and cats. Hunkered down, lit only by the glare of Netflix and cell phones, the human need for a side-kick of love has never been more evident. But for those of us whose tastes run more towards the sartorial than the fur-maternal, a Melbourne artist may have just what you need. Troy Emery creates amorphous artworks that resemble a range of four-legged friends, although their figures are enveloped with swaths of long, flowing fringe rather than having distinct characteristics. Gorgeous, life sized, and low on the need scale, perhaps these are the perfect companions for this new nether world we inhabit.
And for your Instagram viewing pleasure, peer through the window of __sitio, and gaze upon dream interiors full of color, whimsy and joy!