India will have a key role in defense cooperation and post-Covid-19 recovery efforts in the Indo-Pacific by the US and Australia, which plans to strengthen partnerships in the region to ensure it remains safe, inclusive and rule-based.
The issue arose during a meeting between US foreign secretary Mike Pompeo and defense secretary Mark Esper and their Australian partners Marise Payne and Linda Reynolds in Washington on Tuesday, with joint statements issued by the two parties making some references to India’s role in Indo -Pacific.
The US and Australia also expressed serious concern about “China’s recent coercive and destabilizing actions throughout the Indo-Pacific”, and the two countries said the Covid-19 pandemic had “created incentives for some actors to pursue strategic advantages in ways that weaken the rules. international order based and regional stability “.
The development came at a time when India was set to include Australia in Malabar naval exercises conducted with the US and Japan, and against the backdrop of months of border conflict with China.
A joint US-Australia statement said that the Indo-Pacific remains the focus of their alliance and that the two countries “work side by side, including with ASEAN, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Five Eyes partners, to strengthen the structure of our alliance network and partnership to defend the region that is safe, prosperous, inclusive and rule-based. ”
On the issue of regional coordination, the two countries said they were committed to “trilateral dialogue with Japan and Quad consultations with Japan and India”, and hoped for further ministerial meetings from this forum.
The Quadrilateral or Quad security dialogue, which includes India, Australia, Japan and the US, was raised to ministerial level last September. China often expresses opposition to the group, although India says it is not aimed at any country.
The US and Australia also refer to bilateral defense cooperation such as joint naval activities by their warships in the South China Sea, and say they are committed to “pursuing improvement and regulating maritime cooperation in the region, as well as the Indian Ocean, bilaterally. concerts with other regional and similar partners “.
Sameer Patil, associate for international security studies at Gateway House, described India as the “most natural partner” for security-related initiatives by the US and Australia in both the Indian Ocean and the wider Indo-Pacific region.
“Although China is its biggest trading partner, Australia has concerns about what it sees as Chinese interference in domestic politics and issues such as cybersecurity. Australia also has concerns about China’s growing influence in the South Pacific, which it sees as its strategic backyard and which has been the focus of attention from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, “he said.
“This concern and similar concern for the US is a field of convergence with India. Australia certainly feels that if Quad can act together, the four countries can counteract the increasing influence of China in the Indo-Pacific, “added Patil.
This year is like no other for fashion graduates, no matter where they are in the world. Pandemic, naturally, has thrown a number of curveballs, denying final-year students the opportunity to physically showcase their work – something that for many has become a childhood dream.
London College of Fashion (LCF) who passed the BA Fashion class, of course, were no exception to this solemn rule. Like their friends at CSM, RCA and elsewhere, the lack of access to the facilities and workshops that they relied on previously created unexpected obstacles, forcing them to test the limits of their minds. Some work with materials they have to deal with immediately, while others even do physical garment manufacturing, producing their final collections using skills acquired quickly in computer programs such as CLO 3D.
But it’s not just the ongoing pandemic that made this year very different for this talented fresh plant. They left the school shelter at the time of the conversation about social justice and equality, only to be ignited by Black Lives Matter movement and campaign for fair rights and protection for trans people, has never been prominent on the cultural agenda. The fashion industry, as a result, now assesses its role in upholding oppressive structures implicitly and explicitly. As the latest to enter the fold, it is now more important than ever for students who graduate to show awareness of, and involvement with, the conversations that define this generation. After all, being a fashion designer in 2020 isn’t just about making beautiful clothes – commenting on the world as it is and, perhaps, offering proposals about what you think can be just as important.
That is what has been done by LCF graduates this year, grappling with issues that include disappointment in city life under late capitalism, presentation of the sensuality of East Asian women, and the experience of modern refugees. Here, we learn more about the final collection of five Class 2020 schools.
“Completing the collection separately prompted me to find a new solution. Working remotely really encourages new collaboration with people close to me; my friend Charlie Parker demonstrated for me, we did the fitting in FaceTime. My flat friend Daniele Fummo shot my appearance book in our little flat in Haggerston with a piece of calico on the floor and no lighting equipment. Fiona Hartley 3D printing the jewelry from his home printer. All of these aspects really contributed to the new energy from the collection that I had never anticipated.
“My BA work explores alienation and the burden of being in the capitalist system, but now there is a real revival in society about why we live it, and for whom. The BLM movement was increasingly mobilized by the pandemic. A locked and non-working world has allowed us to dedicate our time to protest and think freely. This liberation has given way not only to a deeper understanding of systemic racism, but also to capitalism as a way of life and the demands it makes for us all. “
Seo Kim, BA Fashion Design Technology: Women’s clothing
“In baths, women are almost non-existent – they are silhouettes of a feminine curve. They wipe their bodies dynamically and carefully, and they look very comfortable and beautiful. In the baths, the concept of bathing is only interpreted not only as an act of self-washing but also as an act of self-care that is sensitive. I want to design clothes for a woman who embraces her feminine and active self, illustrating sensuality and sporty alignment.
“I plan to make a complete line and present a physical showcase in London, but because of the coronavirus, I can’t use an industrial sewing machine. Instead of making clothes, I prepared a virtual showcase for my last collection, which allowed me to improve my digital software skills. It’s fun to experiment, and it also allows me to play with fabric properties and realize my last collection in 3D.
“Fashion is important for women’s sexual liberation, and I am greatly influenced by female sexuality. In terms of inspiration, I am very interested in the work of Korean photographer Hwaya Park. This prompted me to further research lingerie, the female body, and to explore ideas about female meat exposure and sexuality. Through my last collection, I felt that I had developed my design identity. As a women’s fashion designer, I aim to explore the relaxed balance of womanhood and sensitivity. “
Rana Mohamed, BA Women’s Clothing Technology Design
“My collection is called” What is your Qabil? (Suku) ”, and that reminds the experience of my mother’s refugee who was forced to leave her home in Somaliland, who was only 18 years old after the civil war. I will reuse the traditional clothes my mother had when she first settled in Amsterdam, evoking transfer and healing.
“Because my collection is about culture, diaspora, refugee experience and sustainability, racial and political issues are central to my work. It’s important to have this kind of conversation. I feel they are not recognized enough. Being Somali is an important part of my identity. That’s all I want to know more about, because I feel like I was not exposed to Somali culture as a child. This collection has been a real advantage for me to find out more about my culture and my mother’s story.
“The pandemic has opened the eyes of many people and created a ‘new normal’. As a final year student, working from home is difficult for me to adjust to. I live with family, which means lack of work space and access to facilities. That said, one pro has learned to use new resources to find ways to create fashion. We were taught how to use a program called CLO 3D, which allows you to make patterns and make clothes on avatars using tools that we normally use in real life. I also really enjoyed making prototypes at home, using clothes from my closet, or even blankets, to hang on to the mannequins. It shows how things we have at home that we think are useless can be useful at times like this. “
“My collection,” Nonsense Makes Sense “, draws inspiration from my childhood memories of Mo Lei Tau, a Hong Kong subculture featured in director Stephen Chow’s films. They showed the commuter of the Hong Kong office addressing social problems in their daily lives. I have composed the Mo Lei Tau style scenario and followed the storyline day to night. The aim is to make a set of clothes with a unique aesthetic that is also practical for office commuters today.
“I am interested in how they can overcome the problem of social suitability and authoritarian workplaces. When traveling to school during rush hour, I will observe how the passengers dress for work. Inspired by this, I try to introduce designs that can simplify their daily routines and empower commuters to deal with this problem. One way I try to achieve this is by identifying how to combine the function of casual clothing with the details of finishing formal wear. I am also interested in the relationship between Cantonese cultural identity and contemporary fashion. Studying abroad for the first time, I felt a little alienation because I felt people had little knowledge of my culture.
“It is more important than ever for my generation to talk about current social problems. Fashion can have a positive influence in raising awareness about civil rights. Coming from an Asian background, I feel more comfortable discussing these issues such as gender diversity and sexuality in schools. Even though I am a menswear designer, I do not have the mindset that my clothes should tend towards men. People should not feel pressured to choose clothes that fit the binary gender category. My graduate collection aims to empower people to express their identities, especially in more conventional social situations. I am passionate about exploring my Cantonese cultural identity and try to include references to this in my work. “
“For my collection, I used the method of repurposing materials that used to be very important, but eventually lost their value. Nylon tights and wedding gowns are at the core of this collection, as are the performative actions of dressing for a wedding – this is closely related to my love of performance and the joy of dressing. With my childhood memories of the Eurovision and ABBA Song Contest on stereo, it combined my first fashion memories with my love of traditional craftsmanship.
“Because my method is based on the materials I use, the limitations that come with working from home during locking are not a big problem for me, and I spend my time working with what I have. I used used nylon tights as a yarn for my knitwear in the collection. The process is time consuming but feels very important in these times where we really need to give objects more value and value. A wedding dress riding a bicycle is another important component, representing the time and love that is put into a special day. I feel very beautiful to continue the garment story by reusing cloth, giving life to objects that are usually only used once.
“Every fashion brand now needs to develop new methods and alternative work environments. [Brands should hire] young designers who come with fresh perspectives [because] many young people can see the industry with fresh eyes and focus on what needs to be changed. The importance of creative collectives is key in the work environment and that the community needs to work with diverse groups of people to achieve the best things. I want to be a part of this, and I can’t wait to be able to show people what I can do. “
Much has been written over the last few seasons about the changing of clothes from the dirty streetwear silhouette to something a little more formal, a little more grand – including by us. In many ways, the rise of the bourgeois phoenix from the ashes of casual haute clothes should not be surprising. Fashion has historically been an industry based on offering the highest quality products and bespoke for special people who can afford the luxury.
However, more than half a century ago, large-scale logistical, social and economic changes have changed the way we deal with fashion, effectively freeing it from its previous status as the exclusive preservation of certain social groups or classes. That is not to say that it loses its exclusivity sheen, but rather that, since the advent of prêt-a-porters in the mid-60s, driven by designers like Yves Saint Laurent with its Rive Gauche store, and businesspeople like Didier Grumbach, access is available to anyone with the means to buy it, rather than people who have a personal relationship with a couture seller.
The commercial opening of this industry has brought aesthetic diversification over the years. As the brand’s customer base develops, so does the need to produce work that feels relevant to those that are beyond their traditional reach. As a result, the horizon of what qualifies for luxury ready-to-wear clothing has never been wider, from provocative sexiness to simple intellectualism to everyday t-shirts and jeans. That does not mean getting to the big houses – because the field has expanded and a niche market has emerged, independent designers have led the task of interrogating the meaning of luxury, reusing it to reflect on experience and fulfill people’s desires ignored by the mainstream of fashion.
As has been well documented, many houses then problematically lift the aesthetics from their original context, often socially marginal, in order to create and exploit temporary trends in the industry with bootlegging for example. That is why, with regard to this relentless mining of the ‘untapped’ reference, the return of the most arrogant houses to the meadows that many consider long abandoned. At times when it’s stuffy, the code that the class adds may seem less relevant than before, the industry, at least at first glance, seems to have embraced them again.
This is a proven trend in both sexes: in men’s clothing, for example, we see that Virgil Abloh effectively rejects streetwear, the temple of the saying where he once served as high priest, and pivots to make customized silhouettes in collections for Louis Vuitton. But it’s in women’s clothes where, at first glance, it looks like smooth bonne maman aesthetics are truly mastered. This shift is rooted in SS20, where a palette that looks stuck and pieces for summer collections are seen all over the board. However, for AW20, the timeless chic peak reached, with runways in Paris and Milan unexpectedly replicating the undeniable bourgeois ideas of dress.
In Prada, for example, many images from previous collections were calm, and known floral motifs, where they exist, were carefully arranged rather than allowed to grow freely – either in painstaking embroidered beads, or symmetrical prints. But it’s less subtle, artisanal talent from details like that which suggests clothes that you might find in Grandma’s wardrobe that are very nice than the dominant silhouette of that collection. A sharp padded gray wool suit and a checkered jacket on soft leather and fake fur – which is combed naturally – exudes a harsh atmosphere of Milan. Sometimes, it’s like a caricature of the power of masculine attire. At the same time, it doesn’t feel intentional nostalgia. Instead, it feels more like repurposing motifs and heirlooms. Things that might be read as chintzy, or fragrant bohemian frivolity – flowing lines of silk and beaded edges; gem chevron; the intricate macramé knot cap on the brown shaving coat – seamlessly becomes part of what feels like clothing for new aristocrats.
That is a similar story in Fendi, where the vision of top-tiered femininity is quietly empowered applies. Here, though, it’s arguably a little more rounded, showing Fendi’s woman in all the lights from the ‘conference room to the bedroom’. We were offered a complete biography about a Roman Donna Borghese. Soft sensual intelligence from the time of its debut – see: dusty rose layered velvet gown with frilled satin collar; a chunky knit salmon sweater paired with an almost intimidated olive skin skirt. Elegant day dresses with stocky set-to sleeves show quiet confidence, while pieces in paisleys spot leopards suggest latent sultriness. It became something a little closer to BDSM domme at night, with a black lace spray, and a biker suit with a boned corset and a stiff-paneled coat in the black calf’s skin flawlessly leaving a little imagination.
However, in both cases, although material choices, silhouettes, and references may often recall the traditional aesthetic ideals of women with high social status, bourgeois retrospection shown is more nuanced than simple nostalgic acts. For starters, women who wear clothes provide a vision that is far more representative – though perhaps no less ideal – for who they are. In Prada, muse’s house Anok Yai close the show. And at Fendi, Ugbad Abdi, Paloma Elsesser and Jill Kortleve all goes. Of course it’s a small step, but that’s worth mentioning, especially in Milan. By placing girls in clothes that are bound by social contexts where faces like them are not represented, the second collection of houses feels like an attempt to rediscover the meaning of clothes. It was not a girl who tried to fall into pieces in her mother’s wardrobe in the hope that one day she would be, and even more she tried to see how they could make sense in the world where she lived today.
This spirit is communicated the shortest at Maison Margiela, where Galliano pays homage to the tradition of the house to remake iconic vintage pieces under the ‘REPLICA’ moniker. Reinvented as ‘RECLICA’, a neologism that marries a house that was erected special expertise and recycled ‘art’, items hybridized from magpie clothing picked from charity shops, remade as expected to take soft staples. Lapel coat and button buttons draped over the shoulders of a light chiffon dress. There is a thick coat too, with beautiful patchwork to reach the outer layer of half wool, half silk. Nodding the tweed skirt and bow pus, too, keeps things tied to a certain old world, but the ragpicker-meet-couturier approach clearly talks about the bricolage strategy so that many of us today are taking to dressing, making our own portable postmodern collage with clothes whose code was once considered inviolable.
The seemingly irresistible rules governing how clothes are made and who they are made have long been bound by ideas of social status. And wearing certain clothes has long offered a way to visually assimilate into the class categories they represent. That does not mean that wearing a pleated leather skirt will turn you into a diplomat’s daughter, but it is tempting to think that what we are witnessing now in fashion talks about the longing for inherited security that is marked by the bourgeoisie. However, that seems a bit too simple. This is not about going back to the time where the fashions of confidence and serenity were the privileges of a few privileged people. Instead, what we see now feels more like an act of subtle emancipation – an assessment of how clothes become entangled in social expectations, and efforts to release them from the history that has long been a burden on them.
On March 2 the announcement came that, for the second time in history, Tokyo Fashion Week was canceled. After national and city authorities called on those in Tokyo to refrain from holding large-scale events, the decision of the organizers of Tokyo Fashion Week seemed inevitable. In the end, all the Autumn / Winter 2020 fashion weeks in Asia were postponed or canceled altogether.
From the weeks before the final decision was announced, the designers who were busy preparing their collections were in a state of anxiety, never knowing what news would be brought the next day. Some brands that plan to participate decide to cross out their plans, and are forced to pay cancellation fees. The worst case scenario of every designer – where their new collection can be displayed in an unsatisfactory way – seems to have very real possibilities for each potential participant. So, a few weeks later, how do the designers feel about the current situation?
“I really feel the need for sustainability, not only from a sales perspective, but also at a more psychological level,” said Yoshiki Hanzawa. After the cancellation of the runway event, its brand PER MINUTE released First video. PERMINUTE has also announced that starting this season, it will introduce a booking system that is managed internally. “With the development of global capitalism, the fashion industry has grown enormously, and I don’t feel the need to keep up with the speed that has been determined. I am starting to think that I want to attach more importance not only to having orders, but to interpersonal connections.”
Designer Hideaki Shikama, founder of the brand Children’s Disputes whose collections are based around deadstock fabrics, say: “If we stop then everyone stops.” From the start, Shikama had directed its brand to avoid mass production, being assertive about not taking orders that exceeded their production capacity. “Luckily, thanks to the fact we make our goods in the studio, our team that supports our one-off production method, and our factory located near our studio, we haven’t been too affected. “
At present, this approach appears as a kind of flare for others. Japan came to a place where we need to rethink the current state of Japanese fashion, where the brand has several bases spread across the country, each managing all stages of production. ‘Real local production for local consumption’ approach. Furthermore, this crisis seems a valuable opportunity to rethink the benefits and disadvantages of a mass production approach that produces excessive waste.
In this situation where the future is very difficult to predict, cancellation of orders and buyer doubt is very possible. In some cases, due to restrictions imposed abroad, factories were temporarily closed, and delayed product and fabric shipments proved a severe structural problem for the fashion industry. From here, the effects of this situation on all areas of the production cycle, from design and presentation and manufacturing to delivery to the store and when buyers try the product will become increasingly clear. But there are some brands that consider it important not to stop producing.
Reiji Harimoto, who founded his own brand APOCRYPHA after working at Yohji Yamamoto as a male pattern maker said, “Exactly because we are a brand new brand, it’s time to bring our goods out there, not to hold back.” APOCRYPHA took the decision to reorganize the show. it has been planned, rethinking not only the place and time but the contents of the show itself, finally installing the installation directly without the audience. “The mode of presentation is different, but the desire to make and put things out there might make people feel a little lighter and more positive about things that don’t change.”
Malamute, a brand whose collection revolves around a complex range of knitwear, and whose production tools have grown due to close collaboration with craftsmen and manufacturers based in Japan, reveals its new collection through Instagram stories. “We think about how we can traverse the movements and feelings of closeness that you get with runway performances, in a way where the audience doesn’t need to be in the same location,” designer Mari Odaka said.
To reiterate, the cancellation of Tokyo Fashion Week this season is inevitable. In practice, it is impossible to implement measures that will guarantee the safety of all parties involved in the event.
From an international perspective, the level of awareness of Japanese cleanliness in public spaces is on the high side. I remember a time when a friend from abroad visited and was impressed by how the server in the restaurant would sterilize the menu cover every time the customer finished eating. At this time of year, it is very common to see people wearing masks to ward off the spread of influenza. In fact, these actions are so intertwined in the fabric of our daily lives that they register as normal. Seeing someone wearing a mask doesn’t make us question whether they have a serious illness. Needless to say, preventing the spread of undetected viruses is considered very important. It is understood that, in consultation with the advice given by the government and experts, we must continue to think about the safety of ourselves and those around you, and to act accordingly. All brands that have held exhibitions since the outbreak of the virus have taken steps such as installing hand sanitizers in the venue, encouraging the use of masks, and imposing limits on the number of people received at one time.
This train of thought took me to another time when Tokyo Fashion Week was abandoned, after the March 2011 earthquake and Tohoku tsunami. The destruction caused by the disaster broke all kinds of records. The country’s understanding of the scale of the devastation, the number of people lost their lives, the depth of the tsunami claw marks, is growing every day. Throughout Japan, people experience a sense of crisis. Shops closed, people were asked to save electricity and take special safety precautions. Every environment in the entire country has fallen into chaos, and everyone feels it.
When foreign media broadcast photos of people lined up to board the train that finally started walking again, the outside world caught a glimpse of how Japan faced, earnestly and quietly, whatever difficulties they faced. For all these reasons, the Tōhoku disaster remains a memory and life experience that cannot be forgotten by people, regardless of their individual circumstances.
“I was a middle school student when 3/11 happened,” said Hanzawa, who is from Fukushima. “I feel that all the dramatic changes in society happened when I started thinking about my future that really shaped my attitude towards life. The current situation may be different, but at least with regard to a sense of instability, it’s similar. I think it will provide makers with new attitudes and ways of doing things as opportunities arise. “
Back in 2011, fashion designers had no choice but to make difficult decisions: cancellations, delays, changing the way their work was presented. It’s not unusual to hear people lamenting the powerlessness of the fashion industry. However, little by little, the mindset began to change. Culture doesn’t have to stop evolving. Thus the designers began to look for new methods to contribute to the recovery effort. Brand mint design and ANREALAGE, under the joint title ‘A New Hope’, decided to hold a runway show that they originally planned to cancel, thus giving a glimmer of hope for fashion lovers. They also intend to help with the reconstruction of factories that were swept away by the tsunami in the Tohoku region that was badly affected. Many people feel from this effort the positive light of hope.
Of course, a pandemic is very different from the effects of natural disasters, and maximum self-protection is the key. However, isn’t it important to have techniques to minimize stress and anxiety? In Tokyo, many of those who do their best to deal with situations that change from second to second find comfort in living their lives in ways that feel unique to them. There is nothing to boast about that out loud, but in this case we can see the character of the Japanese people and the teachings of 2011.
“The act of making a decision that can hurt someone is very contrary to our brand concept,” said Yusho Kobayashi, which plans to install its second installation at Tokyo Fashion Week since returning to Japan after graduating from Central St. Martins. “We decided to investigate various options for online shows, thinking that this is a good way to reboot the attitudes and expectations of people in this changing time.”
Opening five new Instagram accounts, the brand has broadcast recorded events from six different angles, including those taken on the iPhone from the PA room and backstage. “It’s being seen on a small screen, and it’s not a high-quality recording or anything. I want to have a DIY feel for it.” Regarding the future of the brand, Kobayashi continued, “Fashion is art and culture, but it is also a part of our daily lives. -day. Our top priority is finding the right balance between dreams and reality. Fashion is born because it has a certain amount of mental space – this is a similar incentive to buy flowers on the way home. That will also apply to what is sought from fashion in the future. “
How will fashion change once we move beyond this period of uncertainty? Keisuke Yoshida from KEISUKEYOSHIDA said, “I always think that fashion has the power to change people. Fashion designers create their vision of fresh ideas, which come to them through involvement in society. They always try to uncover the way people and their clothes in the near future. Given the state of society now, spring / summer 2021 will definitely be interesting. “
There is no doubt that contemporary designers will take this experience and connect it to the future. And so we will watch carefully and see what these cultural moments are and the energy of those who are determined to overcome them.
Polly Barton’s translation This article was originally published on i-D Japan and has been edited and summarized for clarity.