STACY LONDON | Stylist, Author, Host
Part of the Clothes Are Just Clothes photo series, this is a conversation with THE KIT. Founder and Creative Director Daniel Vosovic and friend, exploring the relationship between fashion and self.
Photographed by Timothy Mulcare
S. So... you've known me for like, a thousand years, you do know that?
D. Obviously. I was looking back at some Facebook memories of when we met like 11 years ago, like a long fucking time ago, on some red carpet.
S. Was I wearing the white Vivian Tam dress?
D. I can't remember!
S. I'm telling you I remember!
D. Is that your go-to?
S. Not only that but I remember it was an US Weekly party and I remember meeting you and being like "I LOOOOOOVE YOU!"
D. Haha! The feeling was mutual if I recall correctly. So as someone who has been closely intertwined with fashion and personal style for much of your career, and having known you for quite awhile, I was hoping to get your thoughts on how your perspective on both has changed over the years?
S. So that's one of the things I've been talking about a lot...styling and aging more than anything, it has to do with the fact that true style comes from nothing external. I talk about fashion as an industry and style pertains to the individual, which I wrote about in my Truth About Style book. Now I realized I couldn't wear bubblegum pink mini dresses that were cut down to my pupik because it just didn't make any sense, I'm not that person anymore. It's ridiculous to think that you're not going to evolve, I mean your cells reproduce every 7 years, why wouldn't your outlook, your style? And what makes you feel your best at a certain age is not something you can hold onto. In 2015 almost every major house did an ad campaign with an older woman Celine did Joan Didion, Marc Jacobs did Cher, Givenchy used Julia Roberts...
OK so here's the thing about that the thing about age, it's cute for an ad campaign but that's one season. It makes age a trend. Except that age is inevitable - it's not a trend - for everyone. This idea that somehow age counts you out is a problem for me. It's an interesting idea that our identity has to be fluid and what I love about millennials is that they really demanded two things of us: they demanded a "cultivated authenticity" because I don't think everyone understands authenticity, but they've also demanded a certain amount of transparency. That's why I think slow fashion is coming back because they want to know where things are made, how they're made, it's armchair activism but it's still activism nonetheless and I appreciate that.
They have also normalized behavior and identity in a way that we should have a long time ago, when it comes to gender, when it comes to sexuality, when it comes to size. The one thing millennials don't understand is age. And they don't understand it because they're not there. But also because they are digital people, they are not analog. There are the Zillennials, like yourself, which is between GenX and millennials, who understand analog but are more proficient in digital, then let's say me, a GenXer. At times I'm like 'These young whippersnappers - they don't understand, they put in no effort, they're so entitled..." Like did you hear about this thing called Seeking Arrangements where young women are funding their own startups via dating or having sex or stripping for older men in exchange for investing... like venture capital in their companies!?
So my thing about that is I'm being unfair - I want to know why, instead of just exclaiming 'I don't understand the generation that comes after me' which is what my grandparents did. I don't want to be that person. I want to be the person who can evolve, who's style can evolve, who's sense of the world can evolve. The digital Revolution is like the Industrial Revolution. It's a tectonic shift and in the way that the Industrial Revolution created the sense of a family unit I think the digital Revolution is going to create a different kind of interpersonal relationship. One of the things about digital that is so important that it took me a second to realize, is that it has completely warped the way we understand time. Digital is immediate. It is immediate gratification. You don't have to look anything up in an encyclopedia, you Google it. You don't have to go to someone's house to listen to new record, you Shazam it. There's so little effort into getting everything that the idea of effort attached to time, does not exist. True effort requires time, and you don't need time anymore. So it is a completely different mindset to say I want to be the CEO of a company tomorrow and not have to do very much to get there.
D. Jumping back to what we were talking about earlier and how there seems to be a greater awareness of where things come from, for example, people's food, but also a greater demand of urgency. Do you feel there is a contradictory force for a conscientious process that may take time but also a demand to have things now? I want it now but don't care how that happens?
S. A difference in that they do care where it came from but they still want it now. Additionally, what I worry about now is that feminism is a fad.
D. A valid concern.
S. It's the wrong word for a new evolved movement, that requires a different set of eyes and skills altogether. This Harvey Weinstein thing as a perfect example. Shit is going down and the patriarchy is really going to change.
D. They're panicking.
S. Women really will run the world. And women of color are finally being given the attention they deserve. They have cultivated their voices in such a profound way. Ava DuVernay is a hero to me. Her film 13th is about slavery to civil rights and prejudice to mass incarceration, which is simply another form of slavery. The #blacklivesmatter movement is so unfortunately NECESSARY. We need more diversity and women like Tracee Ellis Ross, Elaine Welteroth, Paola Mendoza, Luz Towns-Miranda, Linda Sarsour, Cleo Wade, Shishi Rose, Carmen Perez, Danielle Brooks and Ashley Ford are just a few of the young women making a social and cultural impact. Feminism is not JUST feminism as much as it is intersectionality.
There's so much going on sociologically and culturally right now. Sometimes it feels like the world is on fire. So why care about “clothes?” But then I realized the reason I've always been attracted to style and the reason it matters to me, is because this is what identity means to me. Particularly women. In large part, it is how we identify ourselves and others as part of our tribe and I find that endlessly fascinating.
Tags: Stacy London