47th edition of Filo: FOREVER TOURISTS
During the three press conferences in Biella, Milan and Prato, Gianni Bologna (creativity and style manager for Filo) presented the product development proposals envisioned for the 47th edition of Filo.
«Luxury is changing, as we already stated both in “Luxury Revolution” of last edition and in “Curriculum Vitae” of the previous one.
If we read the big fashion companies’ turnovers, the decline of last year is clear. It didn’t take much to expect that, considering the general situation of the global market. However having said that, the phenomenon is not only due to the economic and political framework, but also to a natural change in tastes. The over-exposure to the more and more rapid trivialisation of the ‘distinctive marks’ exposes even the shortest fall of attention to the risk of losing the (true or supposed) expressive individuality, leading to the exact opposite result for those people who practice fashion as aspiration to uniqueness.
That doesn’t mean that we are constrained to an ‘abdication’ since the interest for beautiful things, even though changed, has not been completely lost.
This is proved by the growing interest in Made in Italy. This does not only refer to our sector, this ‘brand’ is now to be considered as something that covers a proposal which is increasingly global and which comprises all Italy’s beauties, which are also and especially mentioned by ‘the others’; let’s just think about documentaries about Italian art and Italian cuisine in foreign TV programmes. This leads to be aware of the fact that textile pipeline, as the one of other areas of excellence, must not only continue to exist, but it has to be strengthened through the re-setting of outsourced processes. This process, while it is developing as far as high and very high product ranges are concerned, is still absent within the medium range, that is more and more characterised by a huge discrepancy between the style suggested by media and advertisements and products worn and to be seen in the streets. One could say that few people are aware of the split-personality effect with many companies acting as Dr Jekyll and the streets full of crowds of Mr Hyde.
It is generally believed that the improvement of this state of things could be carried out through the support of new means of communication and digital spread. That is true. Or maybe not: for the very simple reason that these media also (and especially, it might be added) broadcast messages that are exactly opposite to that one. This has been indeed the theme of the Filo Trends discussed in the last twelve months.
The communication’s basis of that virtual world focuses entirely on illusion. The illusion of being the main character of an adventure, a game or, even worse, a gamble – a Pokemon-Go is not denied to anyone. It is a way of sublimating our powerlessness in everyday life, leaving it being swallowed by a playful, virtual and consumeristic world – often used as shelter. We seem to be far away from commitment and appropriate stimulus to go beyond the ruling bovarysme, to spark a personal and communitarian surge of pride (useful to the awareness of belonging to a country that knows how – and must – express beauty, for instance).
Our industry is interested in coming to a solution and must do that, but this does not alter the fact that positions are currently in clear conflict. Under these circumstances, we cannot exempt us from talking about an environment made up of devious and alienating visions, parallel and/or overlapped planes that just in this kaleidoscope generate that kind of ‘charm’, always quite ambiguous and disorienting too but remaining the element that, so far, is highly reflected in everyday reality, that is to say market. We are always talking about continuous shifts in meaning, translation, disorientation and displacement of temporal levels, going and return between reality and appearance: in any case, in some way, always: journeys».
It is a journey through images and beyond image. A journey where yesterday, today and tomorrow’s concepts mix up. The style of ‘ceremony’, classical, strongly ‘affected’, often a bit feigned, the yesterday’s ‘tailor made’, a somehow provincial atelier style is set up with references to ‘science fiction’ style. The way leads then from a world of petit bourgeois tradition with an image clearly referred to old and conformist style, still present on some markets looking for certainties, towards a futuristic and (purposely) quite grotesque world, inspired and nearly ‘imposed’ by
communication. It plays on various scopes, including also the one made up of our fears for future: from certainty to uncertainty and eventually to apprehension. This was the target of Fifties and Sixties science fiction movies of and this brings to a close overlook on the story-telling, typical of current media and everyday life. We are talking about a de-coupling of reality and its aesthetics, an evident unbalancing (not only within fashion) between reality and imagination, between virtual and ‘existing’. It is a slippery slope where we are raising a provocation that goes between taste and anti-taste, sure that the message does not only refers to textile industry but, more generally, to the behavioural system dictating the great part of current consumption.
The solitary – or small groups’ – march has been replaced by swarms and their logic of self-control. Nobody leads bees towards flowers. One has simply to cultivate flowers just in the right lawn, and the task is carried out by communication and advertisement. Nowadays regulation occurs through temptation. Swarms inspire talks about the fragmented and random style of crowds. Crowds ‘go’ without travelling, without ‘seeing’ and they come back to the starting point without being gone away actually. They are swarms living parenthesis and sticking labels with the name of more or less exotic ‘destinations’, , where they see and see again, watch and watch again themselves and their fellows (selfies are never denied) and the only things that they manage to take back home are images etched in memory (almost always the memory of their mobile phones). Taglines, tweet, WhatsApp messages then help … not forgetting what you have (not) seen.
Let’s talk here about other journeys – solitary and not; the ones that some time ago would have been called psychedelic, in virtual planets of games (every game is a kind of journey toward ‘somewhere else’) and augmented reality, where all boundaries disappeared and both vision and attention are picked up by something that is knowingly accepted and believed too.
This is the kingdom of a new folklore – meant in the literary sense of the term of popular culture – with its myths and legends (metropolitan ones in this case), which has nothing to share with the meaning given to this term in the past. We are creating new stories, where visual elements of the past (if and when they are present) have been used just as an excuse and they are totally detached from their original context. Otherwise, other elements will be invented, without complexes.
Pioneers are people at the end of a long trip made with lighter and lighter luggage, because they got rid of “things” as well as of the related words and images, nowadays considered redundant. Consequently, pioneers adopt a style going even beyond what years ago was called ‘minimalist’. Because they are not looking for a more or less complicated stylistic elaboration bringing to a result that intend to be minimal, but rather for a ‘modus’ that does not need any elaboration at all. This “modus” materialize” itself in a style coming from inside or maybe from a different mental planet. We are talking about a new ‘basic’ element, made up of todays and yesterdays, yesterdays and tomorrows which are perfectly mixed up and elevated – again within a fusion of temporal levels – with a chic spontaneity or simply an anti-fashion excellence, we are talking of an extremism of “little”. The focus is on the essence of what should become the new ‘absolute’ elegance made of very few things (or even of their absence) whose value is entirely inherent, with no references to no status whatsoever and that it never communicates, even at the risk of being considered an autistic gesture. And liberating».
47th edition of Filo: FOREVER TOURISTS