The shops are shut. Inboxes fill with discounts and pop-up digital markets. Beloved indie brands cling to their fans through social media; often not to sell, just to talk.
It’s an uncomfortable and introspective time for those of us who consider clothing to be one of life’s great pleasures. Getting excited about a colourful jacket just doesn’t feel right.
Arguably nice-to-have clothing has always been trivial. But how trivial does it seem now? People are dying. Businesses are collapsing. Job losses are rising. A Tory government is paying people’s wages for fucks sake. Anyone in the mood to drop 200 quid on a top from Korea?
But the thing is, love doesn’t just disappear. Passions and enthusiasms remain, even if remarkable circumstances necessitate we place such feelings on hiatus. So how should we act? Is it right to buy a jacket like this? Surely a modestly sized independent brand like Eastlogue would appreciate the trade. But someone will have to deliver it and put themselves at risk. It might not arrive for months. And even if it does arrive, what are you going do with it? Wear it round the house?
Still, like I say, love doesn’t just disappear. And this is a jacket to love. It makes me happy to look at it, even if I know I’m not going to buy it. Spend on Eastlogue jacket or save money for worst case scenario? It’s no kind of choice right now.
What am I trying to say? Not entirely sure. I’m just trying to make sense of things the same way you are. As trivial as vanity clothing is, when it’s your central pleasure in life and it’s purpose, meaning and relevance evaporates within a couple of weeks, it’s difficult to get your head around. I wish all the indies, the designers, the shops and the fans the very best during this dreadful time. The pleasing warmth of today’s spring sun has never seemed so ill-fitting.