A year has passed since the creation of Pulse. A rollercoaster year, where this pandemic that we hoped to see eradicated has continued to radically change our lives. At the very beginning, PCR tests and vaccines did not exist. In February 2020, while passing through New York, I remember seeing not a single mask at the airport. It was the usual rush, but the passport control agents were still only looking for three things: documents, explosives and drugs. My traveling companion, an art dealer, was deploring the fall in prices because the virus had paralyzed the Asian markets. A few weeks later, Italy was the scene of a tragic and unprecedented wave of deaths. The whole world was immersed in a scenario worthy of a science fiction film from the brain of a deranged director.
“It’s me, I am not a cat”
We locked ourselves in, alone or with those closest to us, no longer going out, relying on the delivery services that the Covid has since made prosper. Remember, we sprinkled antiseptic on groceries that invisible creatures left on our doorsteps. We didn’t see our parents and grandparents for weeks. The elderly no longer received visits and were drowning in loneliness. Anyone who had ventured to another country no longer had the option of returning home. Zoom and Google Meet settled in our homes, and the workspace invaded our most private areas, sometimes creating embarrassing or funny situations that we had to get used to.
Remember CEOs in jackets and ties in front of the camera wearing nothing but boxers under the table. Remember that poor lawyer, Rod Ponton, who had had a filter accident on Zoom and who insisted to the judge, in a plaintive voice, “It’s me, I’m not a cat”. In the end, the globe became a huge prison where everyone tried to cope with their troubles patiently, it was either that or die of a very nasty disease.
Dreaming of heels
At the start of 2021, launching a media platform dedicated to fashion and fashion design in a world where clothing was gradually losing its importance was, depending on your point of view, an act of faith or madness, or a courageous endeavor. We will go for all three options, knowing that all three could certainly apply. Statistics show that purchases of stiletto heels have never been as high as during this period when women, in jogging gear or dressing gowns, ate their cereal during teleconferences which began when they jumped out of bed.
Going out, pleasing yourself, repeating your rituals as you prepare to shine in the eyes of another, to dazzle your partner, your children, or simply passersby, you would drop a tear of perfume in the hollow of your neck and the wrists, purse and tightly roll your lips once again in front of the mirror in the elevator, spread the lipstick well and send to oneself a message of affection, you raise your head, find the point of balance in your heels that give you that sense of majesty, you feel your own power, head for the car… But all of this is now in the realm of dreams, or at least represents a longing that only the purchase of heels, lingerie, an evening dress or make-up can, to any possible extent, satisfy.
One meter away from your hemline
On social media, makeup tutorials were increasingly focusing on the eyes, since the mask erases part of the face and makes lipstick an irrelevancy. Designers, pragmatically, began to develop comfortable lines, offering only slightly less slouched alternatives to pajamas and tracksuits, favoring soft and cozy fabrics, precious yarn, silk or cashmere. The fashion industry, which before the pandemic moved crowds from one end of the planet to the other for the main fashion events of the year, suddenly had to slow down. The big houses, subject to exhausting rhythms, have finally had the time to rest their overheated engines, take a step back, and reflect on the meaning and the future of their work.
With the pandemic having reduced resources, many have recycled their stock fabrics, and delved into their archives to transform models from previous seasons. Video has grown in importance to replace the physical parade. Craftsmen have never been so clearly in the spotlight. This moment of truth has also accelerated inclusion, the acceptance of differences, a realization of the fluidity between male and female closets. The most surprising example of COVID-inspired fashion was undoubtedly the work of Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga, who, to solve the problem of social distancing, imagined a collection of voluminous dresses which, in addition to compensating for our lost visibility, held your interlocutors one meter away from your hemline. No doubt an additional year under the virus’s tyranny will bring further transformations through which everything we knew before the pandemic will become outdated.