it’s hard to care about fashion today

As Paris simmers and Washington burns, here's what to do when everything seems wrong in the world.

by Jack Sunnucks
27 September 2018, 9:49pm

Don’t get me wrong — fashion is something I can usually wax lyrical about, and have made a career dissecting and eulogizing. I love talking about the shows, be they mundane or allegedly life-changing. I love to talk about discounted pants, ugly shoes, and the eternal relevance of Kate Moss (never mundane). All of this feels, however, increasingly hard to do with much conviction. Today, across America, in offices and on the street and on the subway, we’ve watched the Christine Blasey Ford hearing and despaired, as this brave and patriotic woman has her character and memories interrogated. It moved many to tears, and brought back painful memories of Anita Hill’s hearings in 1992. Now, it’s the turn of Brett Kavanaugh to hold forth, a man, who, whatever the outcome of these hearings, is quite frankly dreadful, due to his reprehensible views on the rights of women. A conservative supreme court is also likely to ruin labor unions, health care, affirmative action, climate change regulation, and voting rights, to name just a few of the issues at stake.

Meanwhile, the shows in Paris rumble on. Fashion is supposed to, and can, fulfill a lot of needs. It’s beautiful, or challenging, or commercial. What it doesn’t have, however, is much to do with what’s happening in the world right now, of women’s rage and what the unleashing of it means. These are, after all, supposed to be the women’s shows. And perhaps that’s fine. We all need a refuge from the world, and handbags and shoes and fantastical runway shows can be just that. It’s telling, however, that one of the most lauded shows of the week comes courtesy of Rick Owens, who sent women out with burning torches. Let’s hope the fire catches.

What to do? You can add your name to Senator Kamala Harris’s petition opposing Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination. You could donate to Planned Parenthood, whose work would become almost impossible should Kavanaugh win the seat on the court. In fact, you could give to any number of charities that support women’s education, social services, and rights. Or any charities! And just try and make women’s lives more bearable. And remember to vote in the midterms. Fashion will be there tomorrow. Our rights might not be.

supreme court
Christine Blasey Ford