Change: between reality and dream

The alleged change brought in by the pandemic, and much discussed in the fashion field, is mostly imanginary.

We had this conversation with Antonio Miranda, designer of the Anmi jewellery brand.

Antonio invited us to the Piccolo Teatro to see “Doppio Sogno” (Dream Story), by Arthur Schnitzler. Firstly, the show was amazing! Much better than Kubrick’s movie “Eyes wide shut.” Each character had multiple versions of oneself simultaneously, highlighting a dense psychoanalytical landscape. The mixed emotions in a deep flow of consciousness have made it intense.
Thank you, Ugo Fiore (assistant director and Antonio’s nephew). We really appreciate it!

However, before the show started, we exchanged some thoughts about fashion.

ANMI Collections – Made in Italy

We quote Antonio:

“Those who changed because of the pandemic were already on that path before Covid19 hit. This is demonstrated by the fact that the majority of people worsened or didn’t change at all. And, look, in the fashion field, we talked a lot about change. It seemed everything had to be different the following season. Well, now the fluff is even stronger.”

According to the Anmi designer, those who changed were already sensitive to the topic. Somehow they were ready or open to it. They were on the route to make a change. Therefore, the pandemic was the last drop or an invitation.

But for the majority of people, nothing has changed. Not for the good.
And fashion is stuck in the usual hot air.

Indeed, the path towards change is individual. It is a matter of awareness and perspective. But, even though a shift in attitude depends on our journey, whatever our situation may be, we can get inspired by virtuous people and activities.

A play, a book, what we buy, define the universe we want. Let’s keep the door open, search for value, support and share it. That’s how we change!

The fashion bullshit – Voices outside the chorus

The fashion industry loves to discuss important matters that we would better describe as fashion bullshit.

How does the system work?

As soon as a new concept becomes popular in the fashion field, the proclamation gets released. So the word spreads. As a result, marketing takes over the subject right away. And, once marketing steps in, you can feel the smell of it. Indeed, you will perceive a sense of fakeness that permeates the whole set of communication.

As voices outside the chorus, we’ve created a list of some of the fashion terms that, the more people in the field put at the centre of the discussion, the more they sound weird:

usually said about things done and redone. Again and again. Eye roll when you hear this word.

a kind of mystical belief we like to talk about, but which never happens.

or the fake representation of it. What remains after the voluntary shift towards overproduction and mass distribution.

Affordable luxury:
a total absurdity launched to compensate for the collapse of real luxury.

the biggest bullshit of our times. The majority of designers who wave this flag have no design imprint. Therefore have no reason to exist.

possible or allowed only in fashion shows or advertising.

possible or allowed only in shows or fashion advertising.

possible or allowed only in fashion advertising. But please, don’t show up during fashion events!

gender-fluidity is popular in fashion shootings. But when you go shopping, items are divided by categories. And so, the shop assistant kindly invites you to shop in the section assigned to your gender.

possible only as co-branding (sharing a profit). However, very rare among fashion professionals as a genuine exchange.

did not report.

Does anyone have anything to add to this list?

The Furry Cardigan

Today we recommend – The Furry Cardigan by Plantation1982.
An extraordinary piece of design, perfectly curated in every single detail.

This cardi is a timeless and seasonless wardrobe staple. Very soft and comfortable to the touch, it is surprisingly lightweight.

About the material
Nylon is the core yarn, and cotton brushed bouclé (a knitted fabric with a yarn loop on the surface) is wrapped around, covering the nylon.
The soft and fluffy texture feels great on your skin, and we recommend it for those who have problems with the tingling sensation of wool.
Also, this cotton knit cardigan can be easily cared for, and you can wear it every day. It is a seasonless piece, and even though it contains cotton, you can use it during the winter season. That is because the fuzzy finishing makes it warm.

About the design
The shawl-collar 3-button cardigan gently wraps around the back of the neck.
It is a whole garment and so, a non-sewn knit. It means that there are no shoulders or side seams. Therefore, thanks to this knitting technique, the garment has no tension, and it is very comfortable to wear. Also, a small percentage (5%) of polyurethane added to the yarn prevents it from losing its shape and provides a fit.

The Furry Cardigan by Plantation1982
The Furry Cardigan – Plantation1982

About the colour
The mood recalls the warmth of a cocoon. Light brown with an intense yellow tinge, it is a colour that makes you feel all the warmth of the knit.

Easy-care material. Machine washable.
This item can be hand-washed at home. We suggest laying it flat to dry.

The collar has a beautiful V-line, so you can enjoy coordination by layering high-necked inners and looking into colours and patterns.
Extremely versatile, The Furry Cardigan is suitable for wearing in different combinations.

Good design, quality, timeless, seasonless, easy-care.
Style made to last. Buy less, buy better!

A point on style

Making the point on style helps answer the recurring question: why Japanese fashion?

What is our prerequisite
On an international basis, we look for brands who have something to say, present good design and express their vision consistently. And we keep in mind the shift brought in by the pandemic: going to the essence. So we put together a capsule selection made of meaningful pieces.
“Less but better” means that there’s a reason for every garment we choose.

We are quite perplexed about the designers’ proposals we have seen lately. We noticed that many brands have lowered the bar offering poor quality and meaningless design, also labelled “sustainable.”

Although some brands show beautiful dreamy lines, these have no context in our lifestyle, at least for now. So, we’ll keep an eye on them.

The Italian situation, specifically, requires a deep analysis.
In short, after the demolition of Italian craftsmanship and after production was dislocated to other countries, Italian fashion is not at its best. Many brands have no soul or remain stagnant, offering no evolution. Those who thrive mainly sell the vision of a sexy woman that sounds too status quo.

A point on style - an image of Japanese style by Plantation1982

What leaves us perplexed is the direction that some international brands, considered the cool ones, are pursuing. If they aim to design a modern style, they repurpose a Japanese aesthetic. And so, the Instagram images are beautiful, but when you analyze the clothing design, you can see where the idea comes from. Brands from Italy, the U.K., or North Europe. They have a large following, but all reveal specific inputs.

Besides, what we find somehow interesting is that those brands sell even to Japanese stores. The Japanese buy their own aesthetic made by someone else.

However, Nippon offered a lot in terms of unconventional and advanced design. The similarity we find among Italian and Japanese cultures is the obsessive attention to detail and style.

But, rather than choosing European brands featuring a Japanese mood, we take the original ones.

The wind of Instachange

The fashion system needs to change. Social media accounts put out various content on this topic quite often. Like something new occurred, so the news has to be shared with everyone. Or perhaps, they believe we haven’t heard this story yet.

The discussion about resetting the fashion industry started during the pandemic, although the system was in bad health a long time before.
And the reason why it came out is not that it made sense to shift the approach by reinventing a stale system but because companies lost large amounts of money.
Indeed, money is the engine that makes the world move. And apparently, finances are the only thing that can provoke any shift.
Many of those who operate in the system completely ignore the problems. Better avoid the risk of any further loss of capital.

Fashion system and change
Image via Ode to things Tumblr

However, the debate still goes on.
Those who are aware of the multiple issues talk profusely and release interviews, podcasts. Top brands like to talk about change, but unfortunately, it is not tangible yet. There’s not even a little sign.
Only a few smaller brands follow a different direction.

So we wonder if all the talks are just catchy content for social media, food for the great experts in the field who can show how cool they are by interviewing this or that designer. But we are afraid that the whole debate will end up like COP26. Nothing done.

It is helpful to repeat concepts more than once because we tend to forget words quickly. And so listening again might help us keep the focus.
But, in the end, we must find solutions. Actions must follow the words. Otherwise, we will have beautiful graphics for Instagram, the wind of “Instachange”, but we won’t solve any issue.

By the way, overproduction is the biggest concern in the fashion field. Any news about if and how are they going to solve it?

No Black Friday Manifesto

No Black Friday Manifesto #formodernhumans

We are against the ‘shop and toss’ habit, impulsive buying, and overconsumption.
A way of life that is harming people and the planet to the point of no return.
Indeed, these are layers of a toxic profit-oriented society that wants to create fake needs for unsatisfied people.
This system could not thrive without using tricks to sell the massive overproduction at the base of its insane structure.

Instead, we choose to educate ourselves on thoughtful consumption and a healthier lifestyle.

Quality and ‘less but better’ represent the guiding values. Modern humans are conscious consumers.

We respect people, and we understand the worth of their work.
We appreciate the products we select.
We value quality, and we value our customers.

Don’t buy pointless shit. Say no to Black Friday!

No Black Friday Manifesto

And once you are aware of how things are, let’s spread this consciousness together.
Please, share the No Black Friday Manifesto.

Stop and think

We will not take part in the Black Friday madness. We said it in 2020, and we repeat it now; in 2021.

We are not aligned with the hyper-consumerist vision promoted by this marketing trick.

First, Black Friday fosters the ‘shop & toss’ consuming habit we are trying to challenge. It is a hard fight, but we persist.
How many times have we heard friends say: “This dress is cheap, I’ll wear it once and throw it away!”
Just imagine the exponential growth of the effect of this short-sighted attitude during the Black week. Scary! And what’s more horrible is that those kinds of people are not open to reconsidering the way they consume. They barely see it.
Manipulated by advertising, people buy things they don’t even need. And those products, clothing included, end up quickly in the garbage. Surely, as we do, you still have in your head the images of the landfill in the Chile desert, a nightmare getting bigger and bigger. But perhaps people will only stop once garbage knocks directly on their doors.

Also, Black Friday is just another opportunity to support corporations. They are the only ones who can afford the cost of it. If they applied reasonable mark-ups, there wouldn’t be the need for people to wait for special offers in order to purchase a product.
For independent retailers, those crazy offers aren’t viable unless they use the same corporations’ tricks.

Impulsive buying – overconsuming and rapid discarding. Never-ending needs for unsatisfied people. Black Friday is convenient for corporations, not for people.

Instead, we encourage intentional buying as a conscious lifestyle alternative. Buy things when you need them. Or when you find something meaningful. Having fewer things but better quality is a choice that brings value to our life.

During Black Friday, stop your devices and think!

The price of quality

The price of quality is an indicator that has fundamentally lost its sense.

Quality is an asset that every brand wants to sell, but no one really understands its true meaning. There is a conflict between the marketed or perceived quality and its effective worth.

At the Uffizi in Florence, during a preview of Confindustria’s Future for Fashion, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior designer, said – “Democratic luxury does not exist.”

“In Italy, we have to get the idea of democratic fashion out of our heads. If a garment is well made, why does it have to be democratic? Quality at a low price does not exist. If the price is low, it is because behind it, there is someone who has not been paid well.”

We agree with this statement – democratic luxury is nonsense. Indeed, a product made respecting specific quality standards comes with a price. But what luxury brands call quality is questionable. And, it is not what it was in the past.

Undoubtedly, there is a lot of confusion generated by different factors.
The average quality of high-end products decreased a lot over time. Pushed by greed, luxury conglomerates operated an economic change of production sites. Then, they abandoned exclusivity and shifted to the mass market. Quality is inversely proportional to corporations’ greed.
In order to be able to have a catchy wholesale price while keeping profit safe, the quality of materials and craftsmanship are the factors to cut.

In the second place, economic and cultural changes have induced consumers to believe that a cheap price tag corresponds to quality items and well-paid labourers.
While the need for affordable clothes is understandable, it is obvious that low prices don’t equal quality materials and fair living wages.

Luxury brands contributed to devaluing the fashion system with poor productions, obsessive mass distributions and a crazy discounting policy. But, they still want to be part of an Olympus disconnected from the masses.

Olympus is not democratic. But to be credible again, luxury brands have to reverse the route, reducing the large quantities they produce. And stop hard discounting.

This is a logical necessity for the return of true luxury.
Will it happen for real?

The Recycled Felt Tote

Just arrived! The recycled felt tote is the perfect carry-all bag for your fall/ winter season. Indeed, its features represent what we expect now from evolved designers.
Made in Japan by Plantation1982, it’s a stylish accessory made out of recycled PET bottles.

Although made with oil, natural gas and raw materials, PET is 100% recyclable. Ok, the starting point is oil, and it would be better to find other materials. But at least, the flip side is reasonable.

To be clear, we must reduce the enormous amount of waste we produce daily. To this end, it is crucial to stop using disposable goods, plastic most of all. And limiting the number of plastic bottles we use by refilling our water bottles is one of the actions we can take immediately.

The Recycled Felt Tote by Plantation1982
The Recycled Felt Tote – Plantation1982

Anyhow, planning multiple solutions make the strategies viable.
If we think about the tons of plastic bottles we use all over the world daily, the idea of giving them a new life sounds interesting. Whether it means going back to their original shape or finding new forms, that’s a valuable chance.

Since waste does not disappear, recycling materials is a meaningful way to reduce our impact on the planet.

Further notes about the material.
It’s a thick felt. Specifically, an Italian felted fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Sturdy but flexible and eco-friendly. The warm touch texture is comfortable for the winter season.

The design.
Simple but functional. Open top. One front external pocket and one inside. Two top handles, you can carry it by hand or over your shoulder. It is a convenient bag because it is large enough for everyday use. Moreover, it is very lightweight.

The size: H31 W24 D20
Big enough to carry an A4 size file.

The colour.
A shiny green. Inspired by nature, it will brighten up your fall/ winter outfits.

This bag has high-quality finishing materials that are durable, supple and environmentally friendly.
Cool design #formodernhumans