New Year’s Eve is always a time of reflection of the past year as we look forward to the new year. However, in today’s times, reflecting on the last two years seems more appropriate. The pandemic has changed each of us in some way on what (or whom) we value and appreciate, what we prioritize as important, and how we consume, be it tangible objects or intangible experiences. These behavioral shifts are no surprise to me, given the ever-dynamic events of 2020 and the transformative social adjustments of 2021.
In response to a question from ARTnews magazine editor, Sarah Douglas, the artist, Hank Willis Thomas, who is the guest editor of ARTnews’ annual (winter 2021/22) The Deciders Issue, replied, “The greatest question facing everyone alive at this time is: Will my future self be satisfied with what I did during one of the most transgressive moments in human history?”
I found Willis Thomas’ question very fitting for the fashion industry, particularly as we reflect and move forward. How can you (every participant in the industry) shape the future today? When you look back years, decades later, will you be satisfied? As Willis Thomas points out, are you ‘conforming or transforming’, are you complicit or speaking out, affecting change on critical issues that matter?
Reflection, thought, self-examination, whatever it is you do to process your own answers to these questions, think of this: fashion has the unique ability to make change, to influence change, and transform societal behavior. Fashion, like art, embodies the time we live in and although society bears witness, it can affect its historical outcome. When the history books are written, will our “future self be satisfied”?
EDGE Fashion Intelligence (EFI) 2022 presents content that challenges your assumptions about fashion, sparking meaningful dialogue centered around “why it matters” as we pave the way for a better future: why it matters to see fashion as a substantive form of art [and why contemporary fashion should be exhibited in museums], why it matters to understand fashion’s power in transforming cultural and individual identity, and why it matters to participate and educate the industry and public-at-large when it comes to sustaining earth’s resources.
What’s new? EFI rolls out a series titled “FAQs”, no explanation needed.
Image: “Why it matters” to view fashion as a substantive form of art? Laura Petzke applies artistic techniques in the use of shape and texture in her body of work titled “Elements”; article release date, 17 January 2022. Laura Petzke, designer | photography: Marcelo De Souza Moraes, model: Vanessa Appiah | ALL WHITE STUDIO: Hansastraße 14a, 41460 Düsseldorf
Cheers to 2022! A New Year of POSSIBILITIES!♥