2016 was a strange year in the World. Whatever happened or is still happening is clearly asking for a change. We, people, want change. Some of us want Brexit (not us, no), some of us want Trump (not us again). Most of us demand change in the system, be it political, or fashion. The old system doesn’t work anymore. We want transparency, we want accountability, and finally we have started to care about the others, about people who are affected by our political decisions or simple everyday choices, such as fashion purchases.
I always claimed that fashion is and should be a (political) statement and I’m most happy when it is. Because only by making a statement we can make a change, a real one, not a pretend. Unsurprisingly, my choice of the Fashion Moments of 2016 on Fashion Bloc are all statements.
“Most of you haven’t been to a catwalk show of a black designer who isn’t Kanye West”, – Deray McKenson of Black Lives Matter at the Business of Fashion annual conference Voices.
I think that this statement is so true it even hurts. Having in mind Kanye West is a musician and a celebrity by trade, not a fashion designer.
Bucharest Fashion Week, which was the last on the fashion calendar, can be named a fashion event of the year for one reason – it is unconventional. I have seen most of the VICE documentaries Fashion Week Internationale (from Colombia to Nigeria), I have even been to Minsk Fashion Week in Belarus (Dictatorship, remember?), but I haven’t seen anything like Bucharest Fashion Week in Romania. It’s bizarre, but at the same time, a fascinating combination of catwalk fashion meets Ball gowns in the commercial styling of the 2000s combined with Paris-like couture and Essex-like glitter.
Fashion inspiration of the year, without question, is a Russian fashion brand Bezgraniz Couture (a literal translation would be something like Couture without borders/limits). Most inspiring statement of all – Fashion is for everyone! And this is what this incredible project that creates fashion collections for people with mental and physical disabilities is about. No need for me to say more, you have to see it for yourself.
I am really happy– all of the designers on Fashion Bloc can and make statements. Be it celebrating imperfections as uniqueness (D.Eect), or embracing local craftsmanship and transparency (The Knotty Ones), our designers are inspirational.
But if have to pick one fashion statement of 2016, this will be it. Julia Janus campaign ‘Style has no Size or Age’ and capsule collection ‘Moteris’ (‘A Woman’) – just brilliant! Global fashion is finally embracing diversity (well, is starting to go that direction). And our designers are leading the way Because we are all different. Period. No, even better – exclamation mark!
No, it’s not Paris, London or New York (and I love and visit all of them). It’s Dnipr (former Dnipropetrovsk)– a city in Ukraine. I visited Ukraine earlier this year as a guest speaker at the Dnepr Fashion Weekend. And baby it’s cold out there. Dnipr – is the fourth largest city in Ukraine with one million inhabitants. And yes, you have to go. It’s a very healthy reality check and a great fashion quiz – how to spot talent among the still present Soviet influence. You don’t have to go to Dnipr, but you must visit Ukraine – Kyiv is your safe choice! Read my advice sheet for your reference.
Can’t wait for the 2017 to come for more exciting moments and discoveries!