Trends from Paris + the one conversation I had over and over again
Mom went abroad!
Et voila! Back from Paris. I had an excellent time, and honestly, before I went I kind of wasn’t sure why I was going - I just felt compelled. This (Earl Earl & Your Mom) + consulting are my full times now. And while I love it, it’s super isolating and inside my heart I was craving that connection back to the fashion community – to see and feel things and squeeze my friends and have an experience with fashion again. Not to mention, doing it on my own terms.
Fashion week/month is wonderful, it’s a privilege to be able to go, to have access to these things, people, experiences - but it can also be very isolating, and very personal in a way that doesn’t always feel good. When I was with a magazine, the access I had was dictated by the magazine. Now that I’m on my own, my acceptance or rejection is an acceptance or rejection of me. On the one hand, the cycle can make you question your value, but it can also make you feel full glory – the ultimate I’ve made it moments. It’s a luxury and a delight to get to go, and my perspective now, as someone who is electing to go and in fact, paying her own way to be there, is that there’s no other choice but to revel and enjoy and luxuriate in the whole experience.
Which is what I tried to do. I had some great conversations. I spent more time in showrooms than at shows (in fact, I only went to one show, Miu Miu, about four hours before my flight took off for LA) and I got to snuggle with some old friends, meet new ones, have fun dinners, touch clothes, hear about the process.
And there was one conversation that kept coming up. And it was this –
There’s a market now for something I call disposable luxury that didn’t exist before the heyday of social media. I’ve written about it before. Full looks, logos, statement pieces that are bought for – not even one event necessarily, but one photo, and then never worn again. Displays of wealth and in-the-knowness, la mode, that didn’t really exist before Instagram. On one hand, I think it’s great that people are enjoying fashion to that extent. That there’s a luxury consumer, and that people enjoy making images for themselves.
On the other, I (and my bubble of “we”) think it could break fashion. Fueling the fire of more, more, more, always more, newer, brighter, faster – at the cost of 1) designer’s mental health and creativity, and 2) the environment. This conversation is a lot more nuanced than just my perspective, and to be fair, I started writing this on the flight back from Paris after I’ve had a glass (two glasses) of wine. It’s a tired conversation with a few obvious answers, which nobody wants to really take because we’re all having so much fun.
But you feel it in the collections now. Either in a sameness that makes the collections blur together, or in what feels like novelty for novelty’s sake. There were some real bright spots though, and I’ll get to those in a minute.
As someone who writes about shopping and style for a living, I’m at odds myself with the whole system. I earn a good portion of my living through affiliate sales - when you buy something, I earn a small percentage of that sale as commission. But it sets me up for a cycle where I feel pressure to keep selling, selling, selling. In almost every conversation I had with brands or designers about my newsletter, one aspect I kept stressing is that I don’t feel right trying to convince my readers to buy things they don’t need - or to buy in to fast fashion. That said, I understand not everyone can buy the most luxuriously made version of the thing, and sometimes the fast version is the only option.
What I do hope to do is keep drilling down on the pieces I really believe in, keep using those in my work here, keep wearing them myself in a multitude of ways to hopefully show how versatile what we already own can be. And I do love to shop, so of course I’ll keep bringing things into my own wardrobe, but in a way that feels intentional and responsible. I’ll also, of course, offer shopping ideas and shoutouts to things I find. But likely a few more of these longer posts (like this one) will be behind a paywall so I can make this whole thing work for me without needing to push more and more stuff.
Bleurp - I really didn’t mean for this to be Earl’s manifesto, but here we are, isn’t it funny where life takes you?
SO! Back to the point. The things and ideas I saw and really loved.