We would like to present to you Uma Wang’s Spring/Summer 2018 Women’s Paris collection.
Photography by Eugene Rabkin.
Last year we celebrated our 10th anniversary by collaborating with various designers whose work we have championed over the years. That was big. The 11th anniversary is by definition small, but the number means something to Boris Bidjan Saberi. And so we decided that this time we will do only one collaboration, with 11byBBS. We settled on another backpack style, since the last one was so very well-received. So, here it is, in a limited edition of 11, obviously. In addition to what you see, each backpack is embroidered and numbered. It also features a carabiner keychain that will only be released by 11byBBS in the next season. All the custom details were done at the BBS atelier in Barcelona.
This past June in Paris I was sitting in the lobby bar of the InterContinental hotel, catching up with a prominent boutique owner after the Haider Ackermann menswear show. She was in dour spirits. “How am I supposed to sell fashion when even people who go to shows don’t wear fashion?” she asked ruefully and rhetorically. She was referring to the way the continuing casualization of style has been taking a toll on designer fashion at large. She was right. Today, one can see fashion insiders sporting Adidas track pants or a Nike jacket worn by a so-called “fashion person,” as likely as say a Rick Owens leather or a Celine bag. Last season, Instagram feeds of street style photographers were flooded with images of fashion people in Thrasher magazine t-shirts. This time the trend seemed to pivot in a new direction, as time after time I spotted attendees in various band t-shirts – Hole, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, and so on.
Fashion is often shunned by the thinking types. It is considered frivolous, shallow, and materialistic. And so much of it is. But there is something in the word “materialistic” that is not all bad. At its root is something grounded, tangible, graspable. There is something to be said for ownership. In its truest, considered form there is something like strength of conviction in ownership, a passion of sorts, and a deep sense of appreciation. Collecting is the most passionate form of ownership, a pursuit that is not all that shallow if carefully examined. Ownership and collecting are loaded with history and experience, with memory of things past, with respect to those who have created what you own. There is no shame in ownership of garments, and there is no shame in relating to material things, be they clothes or otherwise. In our rental culture, from streaming services to Rent the Runway to constant reselling, the pride of ownership and a sense of care that true ownership implies is diminishing in favor of display. Everything is transient, exacerbated by social media, especially Instagram.