It’s been… a month. I hope anyone who is reading this is safe, healthy, and has everything they need.
As of now, I’m more or less fine. I’ve been isolating since the 17th of March, not leaving the house except to take a few short walks through my sparsely populated suburban neighborhood. I’ve gotten used to crossing to the other side of the street on the rare occasion I see any of my neighbors, including my sister and her family. It’s a little dull, but I very aware of how much of a privlage it is to be able to isolate somewhere with plenty of space and light.
I’ve been extra careful because I’ve had what feels like a mild cold for the last 12 days. I have no idea if it’s a very mild version of COVID-19 or not, but tests are still in such short supply that I haven’t even tried to get one. All that is left right now is a slight dry cough, so I’m just trying to be grateful that it was nothing worse. However, I’ve been getting my groceries through no-contact curbside pickup so I don’t spread around whatever it is.
This has not been my most productive month. I keep whipping back and forth between trying to keep up my normal routine and doomscrolling twitter. But because of all the extra time I’ve been spending online, I’ve got a bunch of recommendations this month.
About the Crisis
One of the most frustrating things about this current crisis is that, especially with this cough I have, the best thing I can do is stay home and not come into contact with anyone. Like other crafters, I love to help, so when I heard about people starting to make masks I wondered if it was a good idea too: Should Makers Sew Fabric Masks for Healthcare Workers? by Deborah Fisher and Erin Dollar for Craft Industry Alliance and A Sewing Army Making Masks for America by David Enrich, Rachel Abrams and Steven Kurutz
It’s pretty clear to anyone paying attention that this is not going to be a good year for clothing retailers. With stores closed and millions of people out of work in the U.S. alone it’s easy to assume that fashio sales, particularly fast fashion are going to fall off a cliff. Already companies are pushing this pain off on their overseas workforce by canceling orders and refusing to pay even for already completed work. This is causing immense harm to garment workers in places like Bangladesh, who were already living on the edge: Garment workers Going Unpaid as Fashion Labels Cancel Orders by The Associated Press
I have to admit that I was already pretty lax about doing my makeup and hair. I mean, I already spent most of my time in my house working on my dissertation with my cats. But things have slipped a little. Good to know that I’m not the only one: Social Distancing Has Damn-Near Cured Me of My Vanity by Tyler Mccall
Pretty Things to Distract You from *Gestures Wildly*
Guo Pei is one of the few designers who I feel really brings it each season. Take a closer look at the details used in her latest collection, including some great uses of the reverse side of textiles: Reverse Textiles and Guo Pei Haute Couture by The Cutting Class
If you just want to spend a few hours lost in an online dress exhibit, may I suggest: Worth and Mainbocher by the Museum of the City of New York
Articles that May Have Been Overlooked
One thing that keeps coming up over and over again is how difficult it is to shop sustainably and what that really means. So how do we know what’s sustainable and what’s just marketing? The Myth of Sustainable Fashion by Sophie Benson
Technically from late February (but I think it fits here), this article asks us to think about how our relationship to fashion might change if it were suddenly less available to us: Should We Ration Fashion? Lessons in Sustainability from the Second World War by Clare Farrell
I know there’s plenty to be horrified about right now, but I think I still have the bandwidth to be horrified by this company that is cutting up historical letters and sewing them into bags: Bag Firm Adds ‘Unique’ Appeal by Stitching in Historical Figures’ Letters by Alison Flood
I’m also not forgetting this piece on the use of Indian craftspeople by luxury houses: ‘Secret’ Indian Ateliers Keep Luxury Brands Buoyant by Phyllida Jay
Last, if you’re looking for some cool new athleisure to wear while staying in, maybe don’t order from Outdoor Voices: Outdoor Voices Employees Allege Toxic Behind-The-Scenes work Culture