“An Array of Trends”: Surface and Complex Sociology

Manon's Recap | Paris Men’s week Day 5

in brief

Pallet between sweet pink and baby blue. Cotton workwear with large oblique pockets. Light suits and hiking shoes with laces. Fine seersucker raincoats. Various clothing, whose setting in text will be upcycled, repeated, stretched in trendy articles and fashion series. However, one fear remains: what is the media lifecycle for these new textile proposals?

Trends seem no longer to be durable. Instagram makes them obsolete in no time: the virality of medias tends to empty the notion of trends of its sociological substratum (and so of the long run?).

Fashion is more than a compilation of trends that medias have to build. It is not only advice. Besides, it doesn’t work anymore. Fashion is a reflection. A reflection of us, of society, of our fears, of our practice, of our hopes. If Instagram broadcasts pictures at the speed of light (that of the optic fiber), some of them stay in our memory and become durable trends.

If magazines get beat by social media, maybe it means that time has come to re-establish longterm in media discourses?

An interpretation of Masculinities, by Thom Browne. Photo: Eva Al Desnudo

For the fifth day, one should recall that fashion produces imaginaries on identities: of genders, classes, races. At Thom Browne, a new game on feminine and masculine tropes has staged. A ballet where Marie-Antoinette, incarnation of French style (who, in her time, established a fashion system thanks to Rose Bertin – AKA the Minister of Fashions), meets the muscular quarterback of a baseball team. Virility as an ideal is being criticized. Again, it is the ritornello of masculine sensibility that is at stake. It can be read in the collections of Sies Marjan or Lazoschmidl. The floral prints invade catwalks, where men like women wear sky blue, water green, tight outfits and underwear become clothes. Once more, this imaginary resurfaces and allows to highlight a line of this fashion week that we will explore in echo with different societal circuits. Problems aren’t the same everywhere. Is masculine sensibility typically related to a post #MeToo man? Circles remain multiples, complexes. They overlap. If fashion repeats itself, it is never the same for audiences.

The Dude says… References to The Big Lebowski at Sacai. Photo: Julien Tell.

If fashion is an industry, it is also a sociological practice. Sociology of imaginaries is, without a doubt, one of the most revelatory ones: the œuvre of Gilbert Durand is a fight to re-establish a study of the imaginary, while intellectuals remain iconoclastic. The systemic imaginary of virility came to be said today. The trompe l’oeil motifs, for their part, show that our representations are only cultural constructions: they are present at Sacai’s.

Imaginary is also conceived as part of new production systems. If flowers were present at Andrea Crews, they are part of a different narrative from the ones occupying the Vuitton baskets a few days before. Maroussia Rebecq launched the collective label Andrea Crews in 2002: it is a model of militant imagination, which integrates the now unavoidable concept of “upcycling”. It is anchored in the brand’s DNA, which, for this season reaffirms its positioning through an ode to the art of recovery. A practice of all times, a negotiation of the obsolescence which is an obligation when pockets are empty. The collaboration with Le Bon Coin (French resale website) weaves social bonding.

Better off the false “See Now Buy Now” debate?

At a moment when imaginary of an elite fantasizes on “countryside”, Rebecq tries to create bonding with imaginaries to which Parisian fashion is hardly intended. The collection is already available (or sold out) on the website, between mattresses, Louis XIV furniture and other motorcycles. Dubbed Momentum, the collection shows lozenge tye & dye pieces, floral prints: imaginaries of masculinities, that, when put in image in new spaces like Le Bon Coin, take on a new function.

“La Larme Verte”, instagram account and student movement born and inspired by Greta Thunberg’s fight, was on the face of young models, all were casted on the streets.

Fashion Activist, as it defines itself, Andrea Crews, the “Happy Oracle With No Gender nor Master” (a formula borrowed from Feminist Anarchism’s famous “No god, No master, No husband“) was inspired for Momentum by the fight of Greta Thunberg and of her now numerous high school mates from around the world to save to reclaim their future

Discover the Andrea Crews manifesto wrote in collaboration with Futur404.

Let the amateurs of trends articles be reassured: fashion image that provides the dream and offers fantasy is part of much deeper and more lasting processes than Instagram.

The whole thing is to take the time to deconstruct them.

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