The current crisis that is hurting fashion has been compared to a Darwinian cleansing of the market place that will improve chances for new development in the future. This is a deplorable misunderstanding of Darwin’s concept of evolution. The current crisis is not an evolutionary event, but a catastrophe comparable with a meteor crashing into earth. Catastrophes do not enhance species, they wipe them out, and the higher developed a species is, the more likely it will get killed off. Catastrophes are anti-evolutionary events that kill the best, and let only the simple species survive.
251 million years ago, at the end of the Permian area, a volcanic event or a meteor impact killed off 96% of marine species, 75% of land species and almost all the trees and insects. It took millions of years to recover from this catastrophe. The best way to deal with catastrophes is to preserve as many highly developed species, so the recovery time is minimal.
Minimize the Recovery Time for the Fashion Industry
High fashion houses are vulnerable to catastrophes as they are highly specialized. Their niche is very specific, as their audience who understands them and can afford them, is small. Even a regular crisis is a threat for those rare birds. A catastrophe like the current shutdown is a severe threat. And we must not let them die or the fashion industry will be down for a very long time.
Fashion is the attempt to realize art in living forms and social intercourse.Francis Bacon, around 1600
New fashion talent needs great functioning fashion eco system to develop: they need the inspiration and those starter jobs at great fashion lines. Fashion talent cannot develop designing for mass market producers like Zara or H&M.
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.Oscar Wilde
What to do
What the most developed fashion houses need is to be able to get back to work. Test their key people for antibodies and if they are clean, let them go back to work. Stop shutting down the industry.
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.Coco Chanel
The next thing they need are grants and zero percent lines of credit so their cash flow does not dry up. This way you not only preserve valuable fashion DNA, you also keep high end jobs alive. Don’t let them getting lapped up by huge conglomerates for a bargain price – they will lose their DNA.
Preserve individuality and personality is key for preserving DNA.
We need fashion magazines that write about fashion in a way that makes people understand what great fashion is and make them understand. Educate people, tell them something they don’t know. Housewife style articles in the vein of “Look of the month” and “color of the season” are just as destructive as the destruction of taste by crowd voting on Instagram and other anti-individualistic vehicles of mediocrity.
Trendy is the last stage before tacky.KARL LAGERFELD
We also need highly creative fashion editorials that set the stage for the best fashion in a way that inspires the imagination of audiences. High end photography with artistic value instead of the commercial creep of the latest years that make fashion editorials look like PR material with the inspirational quality of a pop-up ad.
Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.Marshall McLuhan
Fashion needs to get its stance back as an applied art, steered by creative minds and their inspiration to create a fertile ecosystem that will have a positive effect on culture and industry.