We’d like to see what a PR might have to gain from easing up on the smoke and mirrors of their trade, and what could be in it for a CEO that lets the cracks in the fabric of being show. Failure in fashion exists on many levels. We have figured out how to monetise the failure to belong, but no matter how many new coats we buy, fashion can still be a failed disguise, much easier to see through than what we imagine. The awkwardness of being out of place stings every time. On the other hand, rules, written and well as unwritten, are often dodged and sometimes they fail too. Sumptuary laws, invented as a governmental control of consumption to keep social hierarchies in place, were regularly circumvented because what is more desirable than to adopt the modes of those who try to exclude you? Fashion history is full of trends that failed to take off, some to be mocked for all eternity but others only to come into their own at another time or place. Recently experts have argued that fashion as a system has failed altogether, and in a climate where creativity often has to make way for profit, where corporations fail to protect the weak and where detractors are shunned or worse, it’s tempting to agree. Fashion can fail in small ways too. Dresses can split at the side, buttons can come off at inopportune moments, and stains can mark favourite sweaters and remind you forever of something you’d rather forget. Sometimes the fail-safe fails anyway with disastrous consequences. Astronauts are left gasping for air when their spacesuits fail, helmets crack when they shouldn’t, and even the Kevlar stitched into the business suits of certain politicians and crooks isn’t a guarantee of immortality.
Christina Moon, Christopher Breward, Ann Rosalind Jones, Nancy Deihl, Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Rachel Shteir, Catherine Kovesi, Aileen Ribeiro, Emily Spivack, Lisa Naftolin, John T. Molloy, Angelo Flaccavento, Mihaela Moscaliuc, John Conolly
Anja Aronowsky Cronberg
Umberto Eco, H.C. Andersen
Rinko Kawauchi, Lauren Lancaster, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Cara Phillips, Gerhard Riebicke, Alex Prager, Ron Jude, Ed Ruscha, Ari Versius & Ellie Uyttenbroek, Erwin Wurm, Pinar Yolacan