Just as the global Coronavirus Pandemic has led to DJs flocking from clubs to the digital airwaves, it has also seen an innovative series of projects emerge from the fashion world; from high fashion to haute couture firms, writes Bex Taylor of BexEducation.com
How can fashion help boost our wellbeing in lockdown?
The outreach of the fashion industry has generally matched the advice being circulated by national mental health charities, such as the sharing of stories and recognition of creative outlets, suggesting it’s on the right track in offering support to those struggling in lockdown. According to local festival-based fundraiser, The MIND Festival, which has continued its support of NHS Crisis Line during the pandemic, upholding the commitment to deliver services could prove vital in offsetting the indirect impact of Coronavirus on mental health.
It was particularly noted how the showcasing of cultural forms, like art or music, unites people – highlighting shared interests, talents or experiences. Through the array of virtual events, workshops and classes that provide communal engagement or nurture a skill, essential human connections continue to be formed despite physical isolation.
The potential to connect can even grow – whilst many Alexander McQueen fans would feel too intimidated to enter a store without spending, there’s no obligation to purchase a two-thousand-pound clutch when downloading the label’s Spotify playlist or taking inspiration from its digital archive.
That’s not to say these initiatives are devoid of product promotion. It is evident the dividing issue here is intention – after all, fashion houses are not charities and must continue to drive sales. But the immediate aim of giving a welcome distraction from anxiety-inducing world events and refocusing on personal wellbeing is broadly aligned with that of industry professionals. Particularly in the case of luxury fashion, cultivating an online following conveniently serves the dual purpose of a successful marketing strategy whilst offering us some much-needed light relief.
Although this type of content may be helpful to some audiences during the Covid-19 crisis, there are some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. Each individual in every household will have a slightly different experience depending on their health, profession, family structure and financial security, so there is no universal panacea. The intrusive nature of social media is both a blessing and a curse; whilst it offers an incredible opportunity to share our achievements with missed loved ones, or even create completely new connections with like-minded communities, overexposure can lead to increased stress, anxiety and guilt.
The issue of ‘Smugsolation’ as coined by Glamour magazine, whereby idealistic images of quarantine lifestyles are plastered across social media, can add further pressures to those already feeling over-burdened. It is worth remembering that accessing the space for a home workout, affording exotic ingredients for a ‘cookalong’, splashing out on luxury facemasks or even having the option of staying at home are privileges not applicable to all. Now, more than ever, it’s important to construct a positive relationship with social media in which the desirable escapism we seek is balanced with some necessary reality checks.
Originally published on www.bexeducation.com. Republished for Vibesolate.com with author’s permission.