The Rise of the No-Phones Trend

Has Social Media Democratized Fashion? Or our Lives?

The no-phones trend is gaining momentum, extending its reach from fashion shows to theaters. Also, it prompts a critical examination of whether social media has truly democratized fashion.

The no-phones trend in fashion

At the recent Paris Fashion Week, The Row took a bold stance by banning phones, aiming to encourage attendees to fully engage with the runway spectacle without the distraction of screens. This move not only allowed spectators to immerse themselves in the live experience but also disrupted the instantaneous sharing of images on social media. Instead, attendees could reflect on and digest the show before sharing their experiences.

Critics argue that such restrictions, stating that social media has democratised fashion. But does merely observing luxury clothing on screens equate to affording luxury those items? So, can we define “democratic” a product we can only see but cannot afford to purchase?

The no-phones trend in theaters

Yesterday, we attended “Jesus Christ Superstar” -a glorious show at the “Teatro Sistina Chapiteau.” It reinforced the growing prevalence of the no-phones trend beyond fashion events. The announcer urged the audience to power down their devices and refrain from taking photos to fully appreciate the performance. Only during the grand finale, featuring the iconic Ted Neely, were attendees permitted to capture the moment on their phones. The show, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the film and the 30th anniversary of the production by Massimo Romeo Piparo, showcased remarkable talent and creativity, demonstrating the effectiveness of the no-phones policy.

Prof. Paolo Ercolani quotes Guy Debord: “The society of spectacle”

However, Professor Paolo Ercolani referenced a quote from Guy Debord’s “The Society of the Spectacle,” highlighting the danger of life becoming a mere accumulation of spectacles detached from genuine experiences.

“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.”

Furthermore: “The images detached from every aspect of life merge into a common stream in which the unity of that life can no longer be recovered. Fragmented views of reality regroup themselves into a new unity as a separate pseudo-world that can only be looked at. The specialisation of images of the world has culminated in a world of autonomised images where even the deceivers are deceived. The spectacle is a concrete inversion of life, an autonomous movement ofthe non living.”

Social media: democratizing fashion or dictating our lives?

Indeed, this raises the question of whether social media’s proliferation of images has truly democratised fashion or merely inundated us with unattainable ideals. Has social media democratised fashion? Or our lives?

In conclusion, the no-phones trend signifies a desire for genuine engagement and connection. But it also prompts reflection on the impact of social media on our perception of fashion and life itself.

The Rise of the No-Phones Trend Read More »

The Pandoro Case

On the Society of Appearance

We examine the Pandoro case involving Chiara Ferragni, as it serves as an opportunity to shed light on the shallowness prevalent in modern communication. Beyond its facade, it conceals a fraudulent side often overlooked. Although we value independent thinking, so influencers are not for us, it seems people love them.

The controversy

Ferragni collaborated with Balocco, resulting in a pandoro, usually priced around 4€, sold for approximately 9€, promising a portion to charity. Despite a previous donation of 50 thousand euros by Balocco, no additional proceeds were given. Journalist Selvaggia Lucarelli raised concerns about misleading advertising. So, the case exploded. Yesterday, with fake-natural makeup and donning a grey shirt against a neutral backdrop, the influencer apologized in tears on her social media account.

Paolo Ercolani: highlighting the broader context

Amidst this controversy, Paolo Ercolani, a philosopher and Professor at the University of Urbino, provided insights in “Il Fatto Quotidiano.” His article unveiled the true nature of social media, and we couldn’t agree more. In fact, the Professor does not judge the influencer herself or her misleading advertising practice. Specifically, he directs attention to the broader contexts enabling deceptive practices and influencers to thrive.

We quote Paolo Ercolani:

“What is deceptive is rather what Guy Debord called in 1967 the ‘society of the spectacle,’ in which ‘the truth is a moment of the false’ and the spectacle itself turns out to be ‘the affirmation of appearance and the affirmation of human life, that is, social life, as a simple appearance.’ Ercolani adds, Debord tells us no more than this: ‘What appears is good, and what is good appears.'”

via “Il Fatto Quotidiano”

Ercolani emphasises that Ferragni has already triumphed. Whether erroneous or deceitful, her actions have catalysed immense media attention. She has won because people buy – in huge quantities – products she endorses. Categories like truth or falsehood have become fluid in our society, like other categories.

According to Debord, Ercolani writes, “The spectacle subjugates living men to itself to the extent that the economy has totally subjugated them.”
Modern capitalism was based on a “degradation of being into having,” while postmodern capitalism transitioned from ‘having’ to ‘appearing’ – where those who appear gain, and those who gain, appear.

Eventually, Ercolani pinpoints two prerequisites for this lucrative system:
First, a passive public opinion reduced to connected automatons devoid of critical thought.
Second, an inadequate political class, ‘boiled’ and kneeling to the dictates of finance. Therefore, unable to counteract this trend.

Modern communication and capitalism

Modern communication in the hands of a few people fosters misleading practices. Unfortunately, charities (and non-profits) are the new frontier of capitalism, another way to make money.
The solution? Since the political and corporate realms prioritise power and profit, we do not trust them much. However, we believe education stands as a beacon for enlightenment and change.

So, we thank “Il Fatto Quotidiano” and Prof. Ercolani for their insightful analysis. But also for introducing us to Guy Debord and his “The Society of the Spectacle.” It prompts us to explore its contemporary relevance.

Ultimately, we hope the Pandoro case serves as an eye-opener, urging a reevaluation of our perceptions.

The Pandoro Case Read More »