The critical word here is ‘abundance’: mimicking natural systems that enable us to focus on what is possible instead of being restrained by how we should reduce our negative impact on the planet. From working against the earth, this paradigm shift entails a transition to an engaged collaboration with the earth and its abundant resources. The ‘Fashion Colloquium: Searching for the New Luxury’ will critically reflect on how this affects the meaning of ‘luxury’ in contemporary culture and society.
New (bio-)technologies, digital platforms and manufacturing processes are already being explored for their potential to overturn conventional concepts of luxury and set a more responsible agenda for the future of the industry. It is increasingly urgent to design with a purpose (Brismar 2015) and to envision a more responsible and ethical engagement with material objects that surround our bodies and living spaces. The world needs imagination and experimentation in order to develop a new kind of aesthetics and connectivity (Margolin 2007). Not just in the design of new textiles, materials and artefacts, but also in the crafting of radical new business models and forms of organization (King 2013). Aesthetics is essential to sustainability since ‘the aesthetic experience can lead to an emotional connection between object and subject, which creates a bond’ (Harper 2012). Therefore, aesthetics – in particular the imaginary power of fashion – is crucial in order to design for ‘emotional durability’ (Chapman 2009).
We need more critical fashion practices and critical theories to “fashion” a more ethical, inclusive and responsible reality – expressed by an imagination that connects us to the world by conveying these new values in an engaging way. And we are looking for interventions and ‘objects that almost become a new category of objects’ (Sudjic 2008: 57). The ‘Fashion Colloquium: Searching for the New Luxury’ thus underlines the importance of redefining value systems – starting from our own fundamental human values.
- New materials, living materials, biomimicry, biotechnologies
- Strategies to design for closed loops; innovation, novel business models and different types of value chains
- Emotional connectivity, aesthetic sustainability, emotional durability
- The role of purpose in moving beyond economic value, towards human values, ethical values, emotional values, social values and cultural values
- The importance of agency; embodied subjectivity, ethical subjectivity and material agency
- Developing a new kind of aesthetics, with a special role for all the senses
- Fashion’s power to create desire and imaginary worlds in order to transition into a more regenerative future society
- The role of resilience in fashion and design
- Other innovations that challenge our understanding of ‘new luxury’