Fashion aide-mémoires

I often ask myself this rather rhetorical question: How random is this? I remember the time when I was a little girl and my grandma used to show me the old postcards from New York that belonged to my great-grandmother… Recently my grandma also gave me a brooch that my great grandma brought from her duty journey to New York when she was a member of the official delegation of the Soviet Union to the United Nations back in 1970’s. I instantly fell in love with this vintage accessory, as it held a value inestimable in dollars. For me, this brooch is a constant reminder of my great granny and her achievements as one of the first women diplomats.

Furthermore, this sweater is another piece of memory left from my great grandmother. She knitted this wool sweater some 60 years ago. It was passed to my grandma, then to my mother and eventually, it ended up in New York, as now I am the one proudly wearing it. I am currently doing an internship at the United Nations and hoping to follow my great grandma’s steps in the field of international affairs. Therefore, this sweater not only reminds me of her but also inspires me a lot, as my great granny was and always will be my role model. It is incredible how clothes and accessories have an ability to become the keepsakes or in the language of diplomacy, the aide-mémoires that we associate with people, places, experiences and times.

Wearing clothes that have an emotional value while looking and feeling great, makes me wonder if we actually need to constantly seek for new stuff in department stores or wherever it is possible. In fact, the materialistic output is not important, it is not even satisfying. We can be satisfied by things we already have, by giving them a new life, by learning the extremely satisfying craft of use. But the question is rather, whether there is a way for fashion to existing without being so connected with consumerism in the economy based on materialism?.. The economy that is fueled by consumerism making people spend money they don’t have for the things they don’t need. From this point of view, what such economy needs is actually a revolution of values.

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