Fashion Week feels like a long-lost cousin right now. The one you grew up with, playing dress up in Mum’s clothes, and painting each other’s faces with crayons and watercolours. Yes, that lovely, sweet soul who made you laugh and brought so much joy to your life. The image of her has faded, like those pictures you took with her in the park, all goofy smiles and awkward poses.
The familiarity of Paris Fashion Week—the arbiter of taste, refinement and the hottest/coolest trends—is but a distant memory. But didn’t it happen just a month ago? Yes it did, and those halcyon days walking along the banks of the river Seine seem rather surreal now, belonging to a different age and time. Doing a report from the front row at Paris Fashion Week (read it on page 54), I realised that this could be the very last for this year—ironically, the first in 2020. Will hundreds of us be able to sit together in such close proximity again? Will fashion have the same impact as it did before the pandemic? Where will people wear exquisite clothes, carry luxurious bags, walk in cool sneakers, when they have nowhere to go except their homes (and the occasional trip to the supermarket or doctor’s)? Will it even matter? I get the irony, even as I sit and edit pictures and text of far-flung sojourns on camels and gorgeous printed silks worn by the cabana in Capri. These images are so far from our reality right now. But we all need fantasies, we all need fuel for our desires, we all need dreams. And our fashion pages, from a super-cool Stepford wife in her white-picket fence home in LA (page 86) to girls languidly strolling along Australian shores (page 114), touch on family values and creature comforts of home.
Faced with the enforced confinement of this circuit breaker, I’ve turned the whole focus of this issue to living and working stylishly from home. First things first—you’ll need to segment your house into zones. It could amount to mentally crafting zones on how to shuffle around 700sqft of space as though it’s the size of a football field. Make it a daily thing to change into activity-appropriate clothes. Pyjamas for the bedroom. Work-out clothes when you exercise in your living room or balcony. Smart tops and nice jewellery when you do those work video calls from the study. Then maybe three times a week, dress up for dinner with your partner or family for a themed night (away from your phones and Netflix). Regimen and an ability to separate work space from home space are so important for the next few weeks, and possibly even months, as we stay in.
Fashion does help to segment that space, and create distractions and a sense of purpose to our day. Read what Jeffrey Yan has to say about house style on page 50, and glean all the tips and tricks from Gracia Phang on pages 32 and 44 to create super-cool, super-chic and super-comfy looks at home. Arissa Ha has some amazing recommendations for glowing skin on page 78. And if you ever doubt the power of fashion to save lives, read our special report on page 24. The brands that make the world’s most exquisite bags, shoes, clothes and jewels have recently turned to crafting sanitisers, masks and hazmat suits—Armani tuxedos today, Armani medical overalls tomorrow. That nimbleness, dexterity and passion to do good, to do better and to go beyond, is what makes fashion truly great—and why I am so proud to be part of that equation.