Ongoing decisions about what, where and when to eat each day are mitigated by our need to survive. Climate and cultural codes aside, our need for clothing may not be life threatening, but wondering what to wear each day is equally unavoidable. Like food, the fashion we consume is usually dictated by our finances, and ultimately influenced by our emotions and ego. What we choose to wear is based upon a calculated image of how we want the world to perceive us.
Despite the obvious ways in which our clothes communicate certain messages about us as individuals, those who loathe fashion often dismiss interest in style as fickle and frivolous, which could be a fair argument, when you consider the rag trade’s reprehensible rap sheet. The industry’s negative impact on the environment, human rights abuses and marketing ploys designed to diminish self-esteem are all reasons why fashion has largely been absent from LivingNow in the past.
The arrival of fast chains such as Zara and Topshop on Australian shores last year brought a new struggle to independent Australian designers. It’s unlikely the accusations of child labour practices against Zara or the size of Australia’s landfill were on the shoppers’ minds as they queued around the block in anticipation of cute blazers and cheap blouses, but, despite the abundance of fast fashion available, a growing number of contemporary designers and brands are paving the catwalks with good intentions.
Increasingly we see the fashion spotlight shine on exciting new methods of fashion production and design. No longer confined to the clichéd images of burlap sacks and homespun fibres, authentic fashion is about innovation, a tenement of good design. Exciting new forms of fashions come in many different packages: sustainable, green, eco, fair-trade, up-cycled, recycled, second-hand, vintage organic, natural, eco-conscious, locally sourced, artisan-made, hand-made and custom design are all forms of fashion we will explore in the future editions of LivingNow.
Our interview with Australian eco fashion designer Rachael Cassar in this issue is a perfect example of the designers and brands we wish to celebrate.
Showcasing work that sits outside the standard confines of the industry is important, and in turn supports those companies in making their voice heard. Even if you’ve eschewed fashion in the past, stick with us while we explore the many different ways clothes are made stylishly and sustainable, for a diverse range of shapes, sizes and generations.
We’ve got loads of interviews with designers, brands and industry leaders in store for you, but in the meantime feel free to get in touch to tell us about your favourite brands and what authentic fashion means to you.
Melisa Gray-Ward is a writer and editor focusing on fashion and literature. Originally from Melbourne, she now lives in Berlin. She is a self-confessed reader, daydreamer, tea drinker, shoe hoarder and puppy lover.
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