And I've Always Said That #2

And I've Always Said That #2

#2 Authentic Fantasy

I spend a lot of time flipping through my mum’s old Vogues from the 70’s and 80’s. Not just for the nostalgia of flipping through actual pages, but for the beautiful black and white film photography, the larger than life eveningwear, and my god - the glamour. They give a Full Fashion Fantasy. These print media publications are also some of the last fashion sources to trade wholly on the polish of fashion, of the editorial fantasy. These magazines are how I discovered my own connection to fashion and something I still hold close to my heart.

Recently while flicking through one of these magazines, I was struck by just how different this presentation is to current fashion, which has ushered in a new aesthetic of authenticity. I’m thinking here of fashion’s current lo-fi aesthetic. The selfie. The BTS. The Phoebe Philo campaign that was shot on an iPhone. Knowing what your favourite designer had for breakfast and what time they go to bed. You know… the ‘authentic’. The machine of content.

In an industry that has traded on the Full Fashion Fantasy for many decades, is it this dichotomy between fantasy and authenticity that makes this new aesthetic feel so fresh and captivating?

I find this new selfie-first content seductive myself, cutting through in a busy and saturated market. This shift has also (somewhat) seen a levelling of the fashion playing field, opening up digital spaces for greater representation and allowing fashion to reinvent itself and challenge social norms.

But. I can’t help but wonder (!) if the careful staging of this new ‘authentic’ version of fashion also brings with it new complexity. Can authenticity be truly authentic if it's demanded by us as consumers? Does the careful staging, editing, planning of rough-and-ready content render it false?

On some level we all understand the effort and planning required to hit that perfect raw-yet-aesthetic visual. Yet what perhaps is less clear is that this is still a fantasy - it’s just been rebranded.  As fashion is about looking forward and embracing change, then perhaps it’s quite natural to see that Full Fantasy is shifting into some new packaging.

Fashion will always be, at its core, about creativity, but in this new era of authenticity it could be important to - from time to time- break down that fantasy. Shout about the time, energy and effort that goes into creating.

At UMA, each new drop we release takes more time than feels reasonable to admit. The research, mood-boards, location scouting, meetings, call-sheets, accessories sourcing, time scheduling, collaborating, editing...its joyful yet decidedly un-glamourous. And always includes last minute post office runs and lots and lots of coffee and snacks.

In the new age of authenticity, we hope you can still feel the fantasy in UMA's curation.

Hannah x

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