Cast ne’er a clout ‘til the pandemic be out

The Search for the Post-Pandemic Fashion Trend by Amy

“I have always had a very strong sense of fashion”

After all major crises, fashion has changed. After the constraints of the first world war, women’s fashion became more casual, in the 1930s and 40s, fashion had an escapist theme and maps were even printed onto clothes in case of emergency! In the 1960s, when the economy was robust and divorce rates were rising, there was a liberation of fabric and mini-skirts became all the rage. In the 70s, in reaction to the Vietnam War and Human Rights issues, people began to dress in camouflage, and this was adopted by designers on the catwalks…

People have influenced fashion throughout the ages:  think Jackie Kennedy, think Madonna, think Kim Kardashian, think my personal favourite: Boris Johnson …..!

But the question now is, how will Covid-19 affect the fashion industry? Already, we are seeing a conflict of tastes between indoorwear and outdoorwear with social media fans warring between wfhfits (‘working from home’ wear) and #goingnowherebutfuckitimgettingdressed (no explanation required here).

My predictions for the fashion industry are the following:

– with our growing awareness about the environment, the clothes of the future will be sustainable and use organic products, like cactus (without the spikes obviously);

– there will be a movement away from high street designers who produce in mass and a preference for local designers making one-off pieces (watch this space for ELC’s favourites in the coming months);   

– With months spent at home, people will have developed sewing and knitting skills and will begin making or transforming their own clothes, creat ing a fabulous world of unique personal pieces, and

– All new clothes will contain little pockets for emergency items like hand sanitizer, phone rechargers and a roll of toilet paper (one never knows).

 

 

“Do clothes make the man?” By Nick

For longer than I care to remember, I’ve used clothes as a kind of armour. Fitting the clothes to the occasion has always felt like deflecting potential criticism from my imagined weaknesses: if the clothes look good, then the man inside must be worth something.

It’s a vain and superficial façade. It always has been, but society thrives on vain and superficial façades; good suits suggest success and often the suggestion of success is enough to boost your income.

At the same time, dressing up is also a game of seduction and sensitivity: the clothes you choose reflect what you feel about the people you are to meet during the day and may reflect ease, empathy or a power play.

But all that was before the pandemic.

After a year of Zooming and Teamsing from home, where the half-hour commute to work has been reduced to the 10-second walk from my bedroom to my study and nobody sees anything of me below my shoulders, I’m pleased enough if my face is washed, my hair brushed and my shirt not too creased. The idea of choosing an outfit, putting on my best shoes and a dazzling tie is something I can no longer get my head around. After all, what’s the point? And strangely, I don’t feel any less of a person as a result. Was all the worrying about clothes, and image and armouring myself against the world a complete waste of time?

Now, the end of pandemic life is in sight. Slowly but surely, we’re getting vaccinated and we will arrive at a level of herd immunity that means going to the restaurant or meeting a client for a coffee will be both possible and desirable.

And then, nothing will stop me from putting on my glad rags and dressing up to the nines. I can’t wait to walk out again sporting that vain, superficial façade…!

 

Searching for my “Sole” Mate by Katie

Why is it that no matter how many millions of pairs of socks I buy, I never seem to have any?

It is one of life’s great mysteries!

I have a sock box full of sad, lonely, single socks and I have no idea where their partners are. Did the washing machine eat them?   Does someone break into my house every night to steal one sock? Or did I even buy a pair in the first place? Since the first lockdown, I have appreciated my socks even more than usual as I have exchanged my high heels for slippers and comfortable trainers so socks are an essential part of my outfit. And there are so many varieties….animals, spots, stripes, flowers, the possibilities are endless. I have even seen ones that make you look like you have chicken legs. Amazing!

Socks also often appear in many English idioms:  if we feel sorry for someone we say “bless his cotton socks!”, (‘Bénissons ses petites chaussettes en coton”), if someone needs to work harder, we tell them to “pull their socks up” (Remonte tes chaussettes!’), if something surprises you it “knocks your socks off”! (“Ca m’a fait tomber les chaussettes!”)

The humble sock is a wonderful and underestimated thing, and if any friends or family are reading this…. a very welcome present (just make sure there are two!)