It’s been decades since fashion left that lean format of parades in the past, presenting only the most elegant and formal outfits. The “fashion shows”, in fact, became great spectacles with highly disputed seats and events that marked the trajectory of this universe.
But you don’t have to be in the front row to watch fashion evolve! Just walk on the streets to see a small reflection of the walkways… Or is it the other way around? Some of the great national and international brands have put this idea in check by seeking inspiration and embracing items out of fashion. habitat natural fashion.
But what leads brands to this movement in fashion and embrace symbols that, apparently, are far from this universe? O gshow sought answers (or more reflections) with stylists Airon Martin, from Misci, Hisan Silva and Pedro Batalha, from Dendezeiro, stylist Marcio Banfi and fashion history professor João Braga.
After all, did fashion become a meme?
Banfi explains that, behind an amusing or unusual object, it is often an important symbol to be communicated. Jonathan Anderson is one of the most provocative stylists today and, according to the stylist, this is how he likes to present his ideas:
“He often finds it easier to communicate an idea through symbols. So, I believe it can have the fun side, but also a bit of positioning: many brands have a clear activist and political position. Sometimes these funny elements end up helping to build this ‘character’”.
Airon Martin say so! The stylist imprints his sociopolitical positioning on his collections in a sometimes subtle or quite blatant way: “We need people who consume more Brazilian fashion, who are conscientious in their consumption in this sense as well”, commented Airon to gshow during SPFW 2022.
He has already mocked the patriarchy with his cap written “mátria Brasil”, he was inspired by the commodities Brazilians to criticize the value given to foreign fashion over national fashion and ran a campaign that pinned the paternal absence in the middle of the parents’ month.
In his last fashion show, in June of this year, he was daring again with a bag shaped like a gasoline gallon. For him, it is an emotional and affective design that only wants to exalt the brazilian culture: “Handbags are like sculptures to me. It has a strong relationship with art in the creative process and symbology.”
João Braga echoes the words of stylist and claims that “today there are no limits” in fashion and that it is an area that can drink from all sources — and does it very well, by the way!
“Fashion is business, it’s marketing, innovation, technology, but it’s not self-referential: it dialogues with all areas and makes a social and political ‘denounce’ and brings different religious and cultural aspects.”
The teacher also does not see the strategy as a “memification” of artistic processesjust as a playful language to present the ideas (and ideals) of the stylists themselves.
“It is a characteristic of our contemporary fashion, and people need to dance to the music. It is also a way of linking the artistic process to the exacerbated creativity that is on the catwalk: whether someone is going to buy it or not is another story, but it generates the fact journalistic.”
For Hisan Silva and Pedro Batalha it is not about the unusual for the sake of the unusual just to generate buzzbut identification. They say that they started to look at everyday things with more attention and, what before “was overlooked”, gained a reinterpretation.
This is how the “Dendê Game” project came about.: every week, the duo opens a question box on Instagram and allows Internet users to contribute ideas for the next creations. Days later, the piece is ready and the result is announced!
“Fashion allows us to use different tools and references to be able to make great things out of it, great feelings and great perceptions. So, I think that having brought this bag in a very camp, fun way, it was very nice, because it made these things emerge in several aspects, as a more emotional space to transport to another place, to make emerge, make dream, make you go back to the past. It’s about bringing a different look to things that we see in our daily lives, but with new perceptions”, explains the duo.
In addition, they say that the idea behind the “Dendê Game” is to show how passionate they are about Brazil, our culture and customs.
“It is a movement that Misci also makes, of looking at what we have here in Brazil. We are passionate about the clay filter and people have it at home. We also made a bag referencing a hug, which are small feelings and little things that talk about our daily lives.”
If fashion reflects the current moment of society, what would be the scenario today?
For the stylists at Dendezeiro, trends are coming out of a long period of minimalism and the answer comes as a countertrend, of a fashion that is gaining new momentum in the face of social changes.
“We are seeing a great emergence, a great leap in Brazilian fashion. We are leaving this space of boasting about what we have outside the country, to boast about what we have here. And we are in a fashion moment that is the space of extravagance. I think this has become a great movement, looking at these things that are part of our routine in a new way and bringing a little more glamour, more happiness”, they defend.
Marcio Banfi defends that, contrary to what many people think, “trends are more lasting and extensive” than a few years ago, while “micro trends come and go” all the time.
According to the Business of Fashion website, the fashion industry is annually recovering from the crisis after the coronavirus pandemic and, currently, the conflict in Ukraine. Asked if he sees the strategy of creating “unusual” pieces just to create engagement or boost sales after these periods, Banfi believes that the reason is another:
“Everything today is engagement: what engages the most, what will bring more visibility and if it’s to show up, let it be to show up. I think all these things are very welcome nowadays! I don’t think it’s a matter of crisis, but to cause, to make things happen in a way that, in the media sense, makes a lot of sense!”
Nothing new under the sun…
According to Banfi, “fashion has always had a fun side” appropriating items that are not necessarily linked to fashion. He remembers, for example, the bags in the shape of a skull and a camera created by Alexandre Herchcovitch.
“Actually, I think there is this story, which is not exactly a meme, but that you can have fun with fashion, that fashion is light, relaxed. So I think it’s much more on that side. Even in the adolescent universe, we already had a lot of things, like the little bag that was a cassette tape.”
But far from seeing this trend as something harmful, the stylist believes that the idea can be beneficial for fashion and those who consume it:
“There is something I call ‘tendentiology’, when a stylist thinks about something, throws it out into the street, the street understands it in its own way and gives it back to the stylist. It’s a cycle, that’s the way the trend works these days.”