Living in times of social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has been a cruel challenge. A doable but truly an odd one. It has not only hit the economy brutally, but the inevitable lockdown has changed the way we look at things. Now it is more about how we perceive. The idea of social distancing has raised as many trends as the questions around it. This new buzzword has its shadow cast upon everything under the sun. The struggles are surely different depending upon where we are, what we think, what we have and what we are going to do with it. Our definitions are changing and now we know what we actually need. How you are seen also matters as of now.
In these last 30 days or so, social media is flooded with wonderfully weird things that are happening around. Absurd hacks, mocking tutorials, sarcasm-clad memes, funny videos among many other things are circulating as prophecies. Many videos circulated on Instagram talking about what people are wearing during social distancing. Home-fashioned donut headgears, cardboard dresses, pillow dresses were spotted and one also chose to wear a structured wire around himself along with a T-shirt that said ‘Social Distance’ as he walked the streets. The fashion world needs to look at these developments and also interrogate as to why ‘feeling it’ is more important than “looking-like it” when it comes to dressing.
But this trend is not a new one essentially. History has it that many cultures and communities across the world and time periods used garments to mark at territory. The norms of social dressing were not only to dress in terms of class, gender and race and but it interestingly created silhouettes and patterns that could work as a measure to create physical distance in the future. The recent Fall collections across the globe saw the volume play and the dramatics of it.
“Keep Away” was a clear message and “You can’t sit with us” meant much more than just a shrewd remark. Many designers were tagged as the propagators of ugly fashion, using absurdity also as a tool pointing towards the narratives of the present and warning us of the future. Well, now it is there and whatever you can put together as something wearable, as something comfortable as well as topically relevant is your fashion. That is your social distancing outfit. The bigger the outfit, the safer the chances of keeping people away.