The language of design
Milano Design Week 23: between fashion and design
Milano Design Week offers the opportunity to reflect on the language of design, though we hope it won’t be another chance to spread more sustainability fluff. By the way, Milano seems to be involved in design more than fashion. In fact, the town is full of events, and the atmosphere is lively and engaging.
Design: clothing & objects
Clothes and objects we use daily make up a language – the language of design. Therefore, fashion reflects contemporary culture and tells our story. In other words, fashion is culture. And so is design, of course.
But while design kept a high-level positioning, fashion has lost its allure. From top brands to fast fashion, the industry identifies with a disposable culture or transient trends that lead to compulsive consumption. Now, the image of fashion is cheap, and the industry itself has undermined it. So, the mixture with design adds that patina of class, enhancing fashion portrayal.
However, the modern language of design is all about sustainability. But, we hear catchphrases which are empty claims. Their goal is marketing, selling more. And since the topic is popular, many people jump on the bandwagon in order to have the possibility to reach a wider audience.
Back to the core: the language of design
Now back to the core: the language of design.
What matters to us? Good design with an ethical approach. Certainly, people should be active thinkers and not just consumers. But designers must do their job. Creating original pieces, artisanal rather than standardised mass products. Good design means caring about the materials, workings, production chain, and people – understanding the impact on the planet. It means caring about the whole creative and productive process.
Sustainable design, recycling, and upcycling – as part of a circular economy, are designer’s work. So, do that!
In the end, the dialogue between fashion and design implies shared values. But the outcome of this reciprocal contamination must bring a tangible change, not empty slogans. The planet needs action!