2016 was a colossal year, complete with a plethora of grand events that will forever be associated with it. We talk of a post-2016 world, we made it out of all the unpredictable events that occurred — you have yours to mark the year, I have mine. What our events undoubtedly have in common though is that they showed signs of what/how the future will be, and that we don’t know as much as we think we do.
Twitter is not the whole world — if it was, the ANC wouldn’t have lost three metros, and the president of the United States of America would be a more tolerable individual. That’s where we are though. The audience doesn’t really care if a rapper writes their own rhymes or not — a hot song is a hot song. In the words of AKA, “street cred never paid rent.”
What also happened in 2016 is the mainstreaming of alternative culture. Anyone can be part of whatever scene they are drawn to without fully acquainting themselves with all the elements of said scene. We identify and place people in certain groups because of what we understand clothes to represent. In 2016 the game changed. Don’t think I’m into metal because you see me wearing a Metallica t-shirt — I just think it looks cool, there’s nothing to it. The people who thrived on exclusivity of certain sub-cultures are naturally not comfortable with this ‘tainting’ of their sacred spaces, but nobody cares. The lines that separated groups are consistently being erased — larger and more diverse communities are being built.
The outsiders’ infiltration is making fashion more interesting — Demna Gvasalia, Gosha Rubichinsky and Lukhanyo Mdingi know all about this. From a distance it seems like a significant number of influential consumers just want to be comfortable and healthy. Amidst the disruptive chaos that was presented by outsiders ascending to the upper ranks of ‘high fashion’ in 2016 — broad scale fashion also saw the concept of ‘slow-fashion’ gaining ground. Slow fashion gained wider media coverage, with esteemed publications like Highsnobiety.com and Manrepeller.com covering the subject extensively. The foremost authority when it comes to the fashion business, the Business of Fashion (BoF) also reserved a significant percentage of its space to slow fashion.
The premise upon which the concept of slow fashion is based on; is… spend your money on quality items that will last longer; items that look and feel fresh after multiple seasons. The experts call these, classics. Mademoiselle Chanel once quipped, “elegance is in restraint”. You can still look stylish with a pared down composition, this according to Coco Chanel brings out the individual’s character, something no other person possesses.
Case; you and a peer wear the exact outfit down to the choker, you’ll still not look the same. Worst case scenario, you’ll both look uncomfortable and false. Best case scenario you’ll both own the shit of that outfit, but one of you will crush it harder than the other.
One of this generation’s leading artists once stated, “the clothes don’t make the man. It’s the man that makes the clothes.” And Mr. Theophilus London undoubtedly knows a great deal about clothes and how they’re made and worn. A rather surreal reality has had Mr. London working closely with Chanel head designer and creative director, Karl Lagerfeld on a variety of projects, where London has worked as both a model and musical performer, amongst other disciplines. Coco Chanel’s philosophy has been adopted by a legion of style mavens for close to a century. There has to be something about not doing too much that works.
So as the year starts you can choose to invest in clothes instead of merely buying them. If you’re worried that you’ll look dull without your heavily-accented items, then the problem is not the clothes but your character. Google, “classic items of clothing” and see what’s compatible with your taste and invest in those. You’ll spend less money on clothes in the long-run; you can decide where you spend the rest of you money on. Just don’t spend it on drugs you can’t handle.
“cotton eater, chow the ndwang’ ” Rikhado “King Kotini” Makhado