From quantity to quality

When will the paradigm shift from quantity to quality? Or, the question should be, what else do we need to see to make this change happen?

People don’t consider shifting towards a conscious lifestyle because they are too ingrained in their old habits. But perhaps, those who are in this position will be forced to readapt somehow quite soon.

Why?
Difficulties in finding raw materials and supply chain shortages are now a reality. Indeed, one of the side effects of the pandemic was the sharp rise in raw material prices. Consequently, final product prices are getting much higher. It is already happening in the construction field, energy, gas. And it’s impacting fashion, too.

Therefore, caring more about what and how we consume will be a necessity.

Pointing feet - inspiring from quantity to quality attitude

What can we do?
Each of us has an impact on the environment. Even if corporate giants arm-in-arm with marketing have shaped the world for us, they can’t make it without our active participation. And the role we play is revealed precisely by how and what we consume.

Since we do not like to wait for change to happen, we choose with our minds what kind of world we want to live in, so we act. Also, we hold ourselves accountable for the choices we make.

Why buy less but better quality?
It is a long-term strategy. You will buy garments that last. Things you will wear for a lifetime, not items to discard after a couple of washings. Same for any other item we use in our everyday life.

This radical shift of perspective from quantity to quality is about educating ourselves to find pleasure in how things are made, not in the simple act of buying. Finally, this alternative lifestyle will reduce our impact on the planet.

So, make it a conscious choice now rather than a forced decision when it’s too late.

B-Corp and fashion

It has emerged over the past few days that Chloé became a B-Corp.
Of course, people welcomed the news, applauding. Maybe there were just a few perplexed comments on social media.

What does it mean?
Now they are a Benefit Corporation. So, beyond their for-profit business, they want to maximise their positive impact on society and the environment.

What’s the point of becoming a B-Corp in fashion?
The Chloé’s collection shown in Paris was far away from the past magic. Indeed, all the luxury beauty outlined by the former designer, Natacha Ramsey-Levy, is gone.

The new guidance follows a more American way of working that embeds marketing at the brand’s core. We saw a collection peppered with the latest marketing trends — diversity, eco-friendly and ethical themes. And not that those values are wrong, indeed we share them entirely. But we question the fact that they sound like pure marketing.

Anyhow, it will be nice to witness how they’ll manage the actual overproduction model with an eventual lower production level. And see what happens with prices too.

What seems clear is that brands go from overproduction to the B-Corp losing sight of the real point of the work. What makes it a worthy effort.

The scope of an evolved fashion brand is to make beautiful collections, keeping in mind that the only way to obtain this goal is by respecting people involved in the production chains and the planet. Hence, paying proper wages and reducing pollution as much as possible.

Beautiful collections are the expression of good design and meaningful creative ideas. Therefore, the moment we make a respectful work representing a positive vision, all this beauty of thought must translate into outstanding products.

If the style is bland, meaning is lost. Even though the intentions are noble, assuming they are not only marketing tools, in the Chloé fashion show, there is no substance.

To be purpose-oriented is fine, but please don’t forget you are making fashion.
Keep beauty alive. Don’t kill the dream.

People don’t read

People don’t read. Don’t ask people to read. Please, don’t do it. In the fashion field, there’s no need to dig deep into socio-cultural-economic aspects. Customers don’t want to know more. Instead, bomb them to shop. Continuously. Endlessly. Do not involve them in a piece that makes them stop and think. Just push them to buy. In fact, it’s a profitable engagement, a language they appreciate.

People want images. If you put them in front of words, they have to stop, read and reflect. Also, it takes some time, and it is annoying.

Just show them images, let them click on the buy-now button, and they’ll be fine with it. Why question things?

Social media absorbs the attention, you start scrolling for a few minutes, and you end up eaten up by an endless stream of superficial information. Here, there’s no need to read. Indeed you can stop at the titles or just a few words.

But you are well-targeted and, most of all, you are going to shop.
Yes, there’s nothing else people want.

people don't read, image of reading a book

However, the pattern is not new. Pavlov experimented on this behaviour with dogs, showed them the trigger and got the reaction. This conditioned reflex works well with humans too. Brands know the game and accordingly shaped the world for us.

From ‘cogito ergo sum’, corporations worked to embed ‘shop ergo sum’. By influencing our brains and behaviour, they did a great job.

Why?
Because people don’t read. They don’t like reading, as they don’t like thinking.

For instance, if you want to ponder a little, do you know that funny thing called accessible luxury? How about ethical businesses when brands still produce in places where human rights do not exist?

But no, do not search for discussion or sharing ideas. There’s no need to understand fashion context. Keep it superficial, feed them with products. And, please, don’t be too refined.

There’s no need to think. Stick to your well-known pattern.
Don’t read. Don’t choose.
Just shop!

Unless you realize you can choose – to read.

Decoding the sexy trend

From New York to Milano and Paris runways, the sexy trend was one of the most prominent themes for next Spring/Summer 22.

Cut-out tops and pants, catsuits, ultra-mini skirts, mid-riff – covering the body just enough and leaving little to the imagination. If still there’s something to imagine, considering the quality of images shared on social media. In that context, the appreciation of freedom stops at the possibility of showing themselves naked.

Ironically, we first wondered if designers knew that, during the pandemic, people put on weight. But don’t feel sad, if you want to wear your catsuit you have about four months to get in perfect shape!

However, keeping irony aside, let’s analyze the meaning of the style proposal that came out as the designers’ favourite.

Fashion journalists reported this trend as an expression of joy, a celebration for a much-awaited return to social life. After more than a year in lockdown, people mainly wore jumpsuits or pyjamas. Now they are eager to enjoy dinners and parties. So the night out mood is on.

Although we understand the desire for sociality, we believe the sexy trend hides a much different motivation. The way a designer can portray evening style doesn’t necessarily imply promoting a hooker outfit.

We disagree with this pre-packed story. And so, we try to see it from a different socio-cultural-economic perspective.

We read the sexy trend as the trite vision of a woman dressed up to have a hold on a man. Does it sound new to you? To us, it seems so status quo.

It is old as the story of the universe. And, what’s more? It sells.
Indeed marketers use sex to sell everything. Furthermore, at this specific moment, the urgent need is to make money to cover the economic losses caused by the pandemic. Money, easy and fast.

So, here you are, served with the sexy doll. The same old perpetuated stereotype. As the most accessible short-term benefit.

What a breath of fresh air, we might say!

The High-Neck Sweater

Today we are introducing another staple of the new collection:
The High-Neck Sweater. By Plantation1982.

All the pieces included in our Fall/Winter selection are easy to match and offer various styling possibilities. The design may look simple at first glance, but details are never left to chance. Indeed, they are all very well curated. That is the point of good design.

The material is 100% cotton, with an exceptionally soft hand. And its ripple structure is swollen like a tube, replacing the usual rib structure.

the high-neck sweater
The High-Neck Sweater
Plantation1982

The collar is slightly higher than the bottleneck so that it covers the neck fully, but it does not have a hold feeling like any typical high neck. Its design adds style while leaving the body free to move.

Furthermore, the vertical texture of the fabric makes it difficult to pick up the lines of your body and underwear. As a result, this garment is extra comfortable to wear.

The high-neck sweater is the perfect piece for the turn of the season, but it is easy to use as an inner for cardigans or jackets too. So you feel its softness in contact with the skin.

Also, the uneven border pattern expressed by the weaving gives a casual yet elegant impression. And the styling options are many. You can wear it with pants or skirts, depending on the need of the day. It can perfectly blend with casual or sporty outfits as with any more elegant look.

Now a note about the colour.
The base is dark green, an intense dark green, and the stripes are navy. This colour matching offers a soft and refined image.

Washed to give a unique texture, it’s an easy-care item. So, you can wash it by hand at home.

Perhaps you will buy lesser pieces, but you’ll take beautiful clothing that lasts over the years.
And you’ll love wearing them.

The fashion debate

The fashion debate taking place after the shows navigates between the same old system and pretending new ways. The interviews recently released seemed to send nonsensical messages. Indeed, it’s easy to notice a lack of consistency. Words that don’t match facts and resonate like a short-circuit in the industry.

However, if we want to change for the better, understanding what’s going on in the fashion field is fundamental. So, we have to analyse designers’ messages and perhaps, read between the lines.

On the one hand, the runways were all about merchandising. With the fashion shows, designers promoted a compelling ‘shop now’ message – more than ever. Proposals perfectly aligned to the pre-pandemic era, with no interruption regarding the lexicon.

On the other side, they are releasing interviews about sustainability. Some send ethical messages, eco-friendly references. Some others are talking about couture as a decisive strategy.

And so? What is the sense in that?

To make it clear, it is one way or the other.
Designers have to choose on what side they are on. A brand cannot produce tons of goods and then feel better because they select some sustainable materials. Or because they also have a couture line that, maybe one day, will save the world. In case the world shifts its direction for real. But, in the meantime, they push for over-consumption.

The choice is between overproduction or couture, mass-market versus lesser productions. It’s one or the other.
Focus on pure merchandising or conscious proposals, one or the other.
Empty marketing claims to show to the world how ethical or sustainable they suddenly became versus providing value and beautiful collections.
Again, between fostering the status quo or having the courage to start something new. It is one or the other.

They can’t have it both ways.
The two ingredients don’t fit on the same plate.

‘Overconsumption = Extinction’

Overproduction is devastating our culture, and it’s directly connected to the way we consume. Indeed we discussed this topic in many of our previous posts. We recognize that it’s deeply rooted in our social context.

October 5, Louvre Art Gallery. When the Louis Vuitton fashion show started, an activist broke in, carrying a sign reading:
“Overconsumption = Extinction.”

The protestor represented ‘Amis de la Terre France’, ‘Youth for Climate’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion’. She marched down the runway along with the models until a security guard forced her to leave.

Overproduction protest at Louis Vuitton show
Photo credit: Amis De La Terre FR

The reason for the protest? It was stated on the banner clearly.
Why LVMH? It’s understandable since LVMH is a luxury conglomerate. So to say, a profit-oriented corporation.

It’s known that corporations make profits by exploiting the market, squeezing the lemon to the max.

Overproduction is the way corporations thrive. They run ever faster, renewing the range of products nonstop. Doesn’t it sound familiar with the market of mobile phones too? And in order to be able to sell all the tons of goods they produce, they push people to consume more and more – to the point of brainwashing them by playing with marketing tricks.

This protest went on after a pandemic, precisely during a fashion week in which some shifts were awaited. Even more, ‘rewiring fashion’ seemed a subject so dear to many major industry players.

If not radical changes, at least, we expected to see a little sign.
Despite this, the only news was the protester disrupting a fashion show.

Is there another way to do fashion? As to do business in general?
Of course. But, it’s not mainstream.
Also, two more facts are striking: first, people talk – a lot – but still buy fast fashion. Second, none talks about the impact of technology, which perhaps sells more than fashion.

What we consume and how we consume makes the difference. Obviously, it’s not related to fashion only. It’s about all industries. It’s a matter of lifestyle.

Shifting your habits is the only way to avoid extinction. Hear the protest if you care enough for the future.

The Striped Tunic Sweater

Going ahead with defining a capsule wardrobe, today we introduce:
The Striped Tunic Sweater. By Plantation1982.

Here we are going to tell you more about the material and design. Which, at first, may look simple, but each detail is deeply curated.
Perhaps noticing details is something people are not used to anymore, though we know that some individuals have a special eye. But for those who don’t, we hope you’ll rediscover the pleasure of being more attentive, and maybe, more curious.

Made in Japan, this sweater is 100% cotton – with a soft hand. It’s easy to match, and its cosy silhouette adds an elegant touch even to casual outfits.

the-striped-tunic-sweater
The Striped Tunic Sweater
Plantation

The ripple structure is swollen, like a tube – replacing the usual rib working.
The boat neck is shallow in the vertical direction and wide in the horizontal. This design makes the neckline look beautiful.

In addition, the vertical texture of the fabric makes it difficult to pick up the lines of your body and underwear. As a result, this garment is very comfortable to wear.

The tunic sweater is perfect for the turn of the season. But no worries, when the weather gets colder, it is easy to layer over it with a cardigan. Or a tank top or t-shirt underneath.
Since the material surface is uneven, it will look great with many outfits.

The length is 168 cm, so it comfortably covers the hip line.

Now the colour: Off-white.
The base is off-white as a gentle cream. The stripes are mocha brown, giving an overall light and soft impression.

This product is washed to give it a unique texture.
And, most imp you can wash it by hand at home.

Educating ourselves to be aware of what we buy. Taking more time to evaluate, appreciating details – is a worthy exercise.
The world is full of garbage, we don’t need more of it. Choose wisely.

Paris Fashion Week – En plein air

A couple of messages seem clear from Paris Fashion Week. Apart from the most evident fact that nothing truly has changed. The idea of renovating a system, so discussed during the pandemic, changing its outdated foundations, providing new guiding principles and deeper values — has failed miserably. That’s what fashion ruled by finance does. Forget lesser productions with better quality – this is not for corporations.

Image of Paris during fashion week
Paris

So, what are the takeaways from Paris fashion shows

Nature’s calling
Sea, trees, woods. This message seemed quite strong. Indeed, many designers have set up their fashion shows immersed in nature. As to celebrate something we all missed for over a year or more. Or a desire to reconnect with our so mistreated vital element.

Clothes have no gender
We saw male models walking the runway in skirts or dresses and females in man’s suits – interchangeable genderless outfits. Not that it’s something new. In fact, Gaultier already did it about 40 years ago. But perhaps, the time is ripe now for a wider audience. 

At this point, garments have lost their traditional gender connotation. An aesthetic that, from a historical viewpoint, has been developed as a reflection of patriarchy.
We understand this is a big topic. Indeed, it requires a deeper analysis, a full exploration. So we will dedicate a whole post later on.
However, coming from a Gaultier influence, we always picked out men’s pieces for women or vice versa. If a garment looks good, no matter if it’s men’s or women’s. From now on, we hope there is a free attitude towards how clothing is perceived.

Garments are not stand-alone pieces. They become alive once we wear them. Without our intervention, clothes are empty. It’s us and our personality that completes them. 

The way we represent clothes, the way we portray them is called style. 
It’s an individual posture, the reflection of who we are. 

The Wide-Leg Pants

This week we take the chance to introduce you to another cool piece: The Wide-Leg Pants.
We picked it from Plantation. The attention they put on quality fabrics with a soft hand feel makes them unique.
This trouser is another item that cannot be missed in your wardrobe. Aiming to put together a capsule wardrobe made of quality clothing, items made to last, we pick out only the pieces we really need.

The wide-leg pants, in dark green supima cotton • by Plantation1982
The Wide-Leg Pants
Plantation

Indeed, there is a specific reason for every single garment we select. In this case, fit, comfort, and coolness are the top.

Same as ‘The straight-leg pants’, it’s made of 100% Supima cotton – a soft fabric with an elegant luster like a silk blend. This classic stretch material got renewed: the brushed reverse side makes it comfortable for the Autumn / Winter season.
With its soft stretch and warmth but not too thick hand, you can wear it starting in September when the weather is still warm.

It is comfortable to wear for its soft texture and shape. The line does not widen too much even if it is wide-leg, and it gives a nice effect of falling.

Coin pockets like jeans add that casual design detail. As it has a glossy feel, it is a piece that plays well with various beautiful styling. From informal to elegant occasions, it will blend well with your garments.

The colour is a calm dark green, with low brightness but high saturation, and it is not too flashy, so it is easy to incorporate as an accent colour.

The composition is: 98% cotton – 2% polyurethane
You can wash it by hand.

As soon as we receive the pieces we have selected, we check the fit on different body shapes in order to be able to give you the best advice. Yes, it’s because we are obsessed with the perfect fit.

The wide-leg pants look good if you are thin, but they suit bigger sizes very well too.