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.

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