Classic chic v sportwear: this season’s style swap

I always thought serious fashion was about beautiful clothes for beautiful people and took place mainly on the pages of Vogue. This week I realised it in fact lies in the uncertain territory somewhere between art and politics.

It was reading interviews with the two leading young designers Demna Gvasalia (from Georgia) and Gosha Rubchinskiy (from Russia) that did it. Their stories read as if they are straight out of Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich – the book about the transformation of Soviet to consumerist Russia by which I am completely absorbed at the moment – and I am entranced by the idea that the unprecedented peacetime dislocation should be reflected in fashion designed by people who lived through it. I will never get dressed in quite the same way again. Nor will I be spending £700 on one of their hoodies, but I will understand that the price is part of the absurdity of the world that the designers are creating.

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