A new chapter is being written

A fashion and luxury specialist, Serge Carreira is also a lecturer at the Institute of Political Science in Paris. For Première Vision, he situates the trends outlook within an overall societal context.




“Today, everything seems to revolve around the duality between the individual and the community. Individuals are more than ever affirming their differences, while fully professing their belonging to a group. Or rather groups, because the individual is now an integral part of several communities, embraces different causes and simultaneously belongs to very diverse movements. It is this multiple and complex identity that is expressed today in fashion: classic wardrobe one day, streetwear the next… The diversity of clothing illustrates the richness of a personality, with its different facets. And within this context, fashion is called upon to solve a paradoxical equation: allowing the individual to be different, while also belonging to a group. A community that’s undergoing a profound change, a mix of utopia and pragmatism, with the creation of very horizontal systems and a desire to forge new relationships with people, which more fully respect other people and their diversity. At the same time, the individual is transformed as well. Once, the individual would feel a kinship with an inspiring figure. Now, with social networks, individuals themselves become a reference, and we’re seeing a multiplication of models, with each person becoming, in some ways, a model themselves. This new society appears quite democratic, but there’s a powerful emotional dimension involved that can easily engender all kinds of excess, including populism. The variety of examples thus leads to a paradoxical situation. The lack of a real reference, which leads to a general feeling of uncertainty and fear of the future. And the uncertainty is further compounded by the abundance of images, which take, step by step, precedence over words. All of this leads to a shift towards a world where emotion rules at the expense of thought, perception at the expense of intellect. And in this context, fashion remains true to itself and continues to play its role of medium, expressing all these elements diffused in the zeitgeist. But fashion also plays its own part. It innovates, seeks out new models and reflects on its value chain: collection cycles, the volume of clothing produced, recycling, circular economy,… As it’s a time for questioning, fashion is also embarking on its own revolution. And trying to do it for the best.