July 2021
A Review of Reviews
︎︎︎Published in Warehouse Review 002 

Warehouse Review 002 
‘A Review of Reviews’:

Stream — a haibun

Gorgeoooous pants
Fashion is dead
Viva Wuhan
No face mask

In a culture designed around collective endorsement the discipline of criticism is little more than trolling. Now a year of global upheaval has amplified public opinion even further. YouTube has disrupted a Fashion ecosystem rife with rigor mortis. It has sucked in a broader audience to the virtual front row. A trade event is consumed as if it were a film, piece of music or plate of spag bol. Image first, material second. Every single one us is a narrator of the unfolding performance.

Ales gut ich libedich ❤️Louis Vuitton❤️
Polska górą
Oh meu Deus!!!
Watching from India
Six minutes

Conglomerate luxury brand theatrics are streamed into our homes together with horrific world events. We have become desensitised to the punctum of what we are shown; ‘jewel-encrusted boleros’, ‘buoyant petticoats’ and ‘bourgeois tailoring’ are digital ephemera. A thread of comments is an orgiastic stream of consciousness; gasp, yawn, squeal. The Louis Vuitton Women’s A/W 2020 show is a tab on a browser, a backdrop on a phone. A squashed part of a moment that ferociously interrupts quotidian life. Critical distance is truncated. Those who typed live comments during its streaming on 3 March 2020 submitted unmediated, honest responses free from the oracular pretence of the critic.

quite fluffy and ruffly
those skirts are so wide
That coat 😍
Gorgeoooous pants

Online we experience a domestic version of what the philosopher and author Frank White called the ‘overview effect’. He coined the term to describe the feeling first reported by astronauts viewing Earth from outer space – each remarked on Earth’s precarious position. It seemed to hang in a void: ‘The thing that really surprised me was that it [Earth] projected an air of fragility. And why, I don’t know. I don’t know to this day. I had a feeling it’s tiny, it’s shiny, it’s beautiful, it’s home, and it’s fragile.’ Clipped lines from the banal to the beatific offer retorts to Nicolas Ghesquière’s fantasy. They are free flowing and amorphous evidence of cognitive shifts in awareness. Retorts to texture, size, colour, sound, pattern. A coat, a skirt, pants. Model worship and disillusionment.

oh jeanne boubou !
Loli la plus belle
I'm confused...
I don’t see renaissance
It’s cute though

The Louis Vuitton women’s A/W 2020 show hangs in a void. The commenter does not assess it within the industrial framework of the fashion system; this is a primal response to what is on display. Reaction is powered by the same judgement used when shopping for a new pair of jeans, scrolling through the news, trying to find something to watch on Netflix. Does this look good? Does this look right? Do I understand this? WTF. 

Fashion is dead
city steamer or a lockme tote
Need a sugar daddy haha
Oh my

Personal opinion cannot be challenged in any meaningful way in an age where speaking your truth is everyone’s MO. This quasi self-help internet parlance is an anathema to the dialogue between culture and criticism. It is echoed in journalist Cristina Manfredi’s report of the Louis Vuitton Women’s A/W 20 show for L’Officiel: ‘The message is strong: everyone is master of their own image and through what they wear, they can tell their story.’  Opinion is critique, trolling. The live chat of the is itself a form of automatic writing, vox populi review. Each commenter becomes an editor-in-chief sat on their own front row.

Robin Givhan and Vanessa Friedman are going to rip LV apart — and I CANNOT wait!!

Oh my
Here also lies an ode to the critic.

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