500 million people followed and commented on the Luis Vuitton fashion show on June 21 for the debut of Pharrell Williams as creative director of the brand. When fashion no longer indicates the way forward, becoming a means of social discrimination, a vortex with no way out.

I didn’t go to Central Saint Martin, but neither did Juilliard for music and we saw how that turned out. It is OK. It is a correct observation. Nor did Vivienne Westwood right? Tadao Ando was self-taught. I mean he’s the greatest of all time, right? I just aim to express myself.” commented Pharrell Williams.

In fact, as Cate Blanchett said in Manifesto, a 2015 film by Julian Rosefeldt… ”nothing is original”, it is not worth trying to be original when everything is a reference to something that already existed previously and from which we draw inspiration. If anything, theft should be celebrated and taken to another territory so as to appropriate it for us.

This a thought already typical of the Dadaists and then of the Futurists who passed the same work from hand to hand, contradicting copyright and considering intellectual property a cliché to overcome. The value of the signature is fundamental in a fashion that creates not only authenticity but above all brand identity; the company was born with the name and surname of the stylist, with his personal history, his culture, and his competence. The author’s sign, therefore, became an obsessive search and imprinting for the production of both prêt-à-porter and the more elitist couture.

And what about the 500 million people who followed and commented on the Louis Vuitton fashion show on June 21 for the debut of Pharrell Williams as creative director of the brand? A show within the show between celebrities and Gospel singers, Voices of Fire, with an extraordinary performance. The fashion show most viewed by the media ever.

One could not remain indifferent to all this colossal effort that made brand awareness grow exponentially. And with this, the value of the exhibited object, dress, or accessory does not matter, but there in that moment, witness to so much choral excitement in its undeniable showmanship. Recreating a sense of exclusivity with items bordering on kitsch, as Gillo Dorfles wrote, mischievous in their ostentation of wealth, bordering on the (exceeded) limit of good taste, and antithetical to the post-covid repentances that called for a more equitable, aware, inclusive fashion. Gucci had already thought about it with the Gucci saloons, backtracking to regain that sense of luxury now lost among monograms (caps, belts, and bandoliers) after opening up to a more popular market.

Fashion requires desire and with it emulation of the elitist summit of a pyramid that drips trends that are already old from the start. A market which, according to Bauman, generates dissatisfaction with the purchase of goods with a limited duration and that sense of inadequacy and non-belonging. Recreate a community in which we do not fully recognize ourselves and in which the desire to excel over others, to be unique, imitated, and envied develops.

A highlighter of our status of economic availability in a world governed by finance and money, in which the image speaks of estrangement, exclusion, isolation, success, and with it all that good and bad it entails. The vain efforts to return to a more human and ethical consideration, to more compassionate and empathetic behaviors, collide with haughty gestures, indifferent looks, a fast and unfriendly gait, and inattentiveness to what is happening around. With glasses that hide the face, which do not allow any expression to be communicated, which divide, and separate us from the “others”.

All this is a considerable leap backward, an unacceptable contradiction in a period of wars and environmental disasters, in which we are concerned with appearing and functioning rather than with living. We continue undaunted to breed, kill, and pollute, confident that beauty will save us without the slightest notion of what a value, a relationship, or a vision of the future is now.

That’s why fashion no longer indicates the way forward, aimed at protecting growing turnover, to groups eager for hegemony, monopoly, and victory. Fashion scrutinizes, and spies on our lives complicit in technology at the service of the manipulation of the masses, extending far beyond its own functions, to finally become a means of social discrimination, a vortex with no way out.

Alessandro Turci speaking