Fashion has become a dirty word – and believe me, it hurts. Not long ago, fashion was the VIP room of popular culture and movie stars and politicians flocked to the front row. Now it has come to symbolise everything that is wrong with the modern world – from carbon emissions to global inequality and from crass materialism to unrealistic beauty standards. Fashion is not the only polluting industry, or the only morally dubious one. But even if you love fashion, as I do, it’s hard to deny that it tracks in the 99th percentile for pretty much all of the most problematic contemporary issues.
The actual problem is with fast fashion. That is, it’s cheap. Which means that fashion is no longer performative at its main duty – being able to identify at a glance, the Eloi from the Morlocks, the withit and glam from the proles.
So, of course, fashion is changing so that this base and only important role is reinforced. Concentrate on the price, peasants. For only then can it possibly work as a means of distinguishing those who can afford the price and those who cannot.