Today the BFC announced that there will be a physical version of LFW in September, the press release was expected but it still landed in my inbox with a thumping clang of melancholic distaste, I just can’t see me attending.
For a considerable time I’ve watched less and less responsibility being displayed for social distancing, the hundreds of buses that pass the window in which I’m writing this prove the fact that people aren’t wearing the masks they should be.
I don’t see how I can feel comfortable sitting in a room in just 64 days time, that it wouldn’t fill me with anxiety or fear, it already does. I struggle with clinical OCD already, I’ve found the demands of the pandemic so draining even in my little bubble, the lack of control attending an event like fashion week requires doesn’t feel like something I could endure at this point. One of the largely unspoken aspects of easing restrictions is how many people have that anxiety, fear and sense of foreboding, we move at different speeds with the emotions of these times and changes, this isn’t a new normal for some of us, it’s a cloying fear that we can’t get free of.
Those who have been previous readers of my articles will know even outside of the pandemic I’ve questioned the fashion system and feel it’s broken. So how in this moment of risk, which is a moment when change is in our grasp and a new system that works much more effectively for all is there to be taken can I lay down those beliefs and my own safety concerns for a seat to see a show I’ll be sent images of anyway.
Are there things that could change my mind, well in time we may see how social distancing will work, but that most likely means further selective elitism of invitations and chides against my desire to see the democratisation of the industry, we may see presentations that involve guided paths through rooms, but do I trust others to stay withing guidelines when on every street and in every shop I see little care for the safety of others in people, almost certainly not.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so conflicted by a choice this industry has asked me to make. But compared to many in the industry I’m lucky, nobody that I work for would ask me to attend unless I want to go, but i’d miss the creativity, I’d miss the opportunity to discuss the motivations and ideas that are assembled for us with the creators directly. Hell I’d even miss some of my friends in the industry, few as they are.
Maybe as time goes on I’ll see the safety I need, but right now this just seems like a Covid Convention.