When less really is more, the new anti-consumerism site can spark fashion creativity
I have to admit that I find the shopping haul video trend rather disquieting.
Even though I am in fashion business and have overstuffed closets, its jarring for me to watch a video of someone sitting in front of her computer and gushing over her latest shopaholic purchase of the day, whether it be a glossy new lipstick or a cute top.
In a time of economic restraint for most, it’s fascinating to me as to how there are hoards of fashionistas obsessed in the gorging of the latest fast-fashion cheapie trend rather than understanding that style is the amalgamation of the sum of its parts and not the collection of a batch of hit and miss items.
What ends up with all this random hauling is a bunch of girls who end up looking pretty much the same and not very interesting when– with some perseverance– they could look amazing. I keep thinking that this will all implode one day into the returns dumpster at the store where the clothes last nothing close to forever, let a lone a trip to the dry cleaners.
Then there’s the uniform set, they are sort of the antichrist to the shopaholic and share phenomenon. Fashion minimalists who have a core wardrobe of quality items that they turn to on a daily basis as either a fashion launch point for their style creativity or to find some comfort in its semblance.
It has been written that Karl Lagerfeld has a silhouette that he repeats over and over again for himself and keeps that same shape in two colors– black and white.
While it was also written that in his Gucci days, Tom Ford would select an outfit for the season (once it was a pair of dark jeans, a white t-shirt and a black sweater) buy that outfit in multiples and just wear his uniform every day so he could focus on designing.
That idea of a uniform, particularly when they are favored by such great fashion connoisseurs as Lagerfeld and Ford, caught the attention of Heidi Hackemer, a New York Advertising Strategist and former self-described H&M junkie.
Hackemer sent out a snarky tweet about how we should all just wear black all the time so we can get focusing on making great sh*t. Her friend Tamsin Davies in London picked up on that Tweet and they started a Twitter/Facebook conversation .
In this otherwise fast-fashion, instant gratification obsessed society, a couple of social network friends inadvertently created the global month-long project, sixitemsorless.com.
The Six Items or Less collective participants choose six (and only six) items of clothing and pledge to wear only those six items of clothing for a month. They share their experiences on the site to see the freedom that a uniform brings and the creativity that it can spark. It is the ultimate in the what NOT to wear philosophy and very similar to the less but more of the right things aesthetic of French Chic.
Hackemer explains, “in the beginning, Tamsin and I thought it would just be the two of us doing this, maybe one or two other friends joining in. We never intended nor dreamed that a lot of people would want to get involved, but after sending a few tweets and talking to people in our network, we realized that a lot of people wanted to take the experiment on. So we opened up registration for a week and by the end of the week, around 100 people from all over the world got involved.”
The geography of the participants:
View SixItemsOrLess/Sixers in a larger map
The global project tends to make people evaluate not only about their relationship with clothes, but also their relationship with themselves and what they consume in general, Hackemer says.
ôBecause both Tamsin and I are in advertising and innovation, we’ve been blown away by the sheer speed with which new forms of thinking and behaving can catch on now that Twitter et al has reached a critical mass – plus the media format tends to attract more adventurous experimental types, so projects like this can gather pace quickly. It’s really exciting,ö Hackemer says.
I think it’s really exciting to purge yourself of a constant diet of a million trendy items of the moment and to reflect on what you already own and how to wear it. Own your style, not a closet full of randomness!
Heidi Hackemer wrote a very interesting response to this piece on sixitemsorless, please read.
All photos: sixitemsorless