Thursday, August 13, 2020

September’s Milan Fashion Week To Blend Physical, Digital Showcases

In a sign of hope for the industry and the country, Italy’s governing fashion body Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana on Wednesday released the first provisional calendar for the upcoming Milan Fashion Week, dedicated to both women’s and men’s collections. Slated to run Sept. 22 to 28, the showcase will blend digital events with a slew of physical shows. There will be 28 physical shows out of more than 50 events.

“The September edition of Milan Fashion Week will be a ‘phy-gital’ showcase…with the goal to allow each company and designer to present in the most suitable format, in sync with their narrative,” said Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian Fashion Chamber. On the eve of the shows, Sept. 22, Italy’s department store Rinascente will throw a bash in collaboration with the CNMI, while the Milano Moda Graduate display of collections from graduates of local fashion schools will take place on Sept. 27.

“Getting back to business starting from young talents and valuing our incredible and one-of-a-kind pipeline, through our brands’ shows, events and presentations give us hope to look to the future,” Capasa noted. In keeping with the rotation of time slots that the CNMI asked brands to do starting from last September, the first major physical show on Sept. 23 will be Fendi, showing for the first time in a coed format. The luxury house had originally planned to show at its Roman headquarters, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, but subsequently agreed to take part in Milan Fashion Week.

Blumarine, now controlled by Liu Jo’s founder Marco Marchi through his Eccellenze Italiane holding, as well as Alberta Ferretti and No. 21 will be among the fashion companies hosting physical shows on the first day, while Missoni and Dsquared2 are expected to hold digital initiatives. For the first time since its launch, Redemption is decamping from Paris to Milan with a digital event.

The eagerly anticipated debut show of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons as co-creative directors at Prada is sure to steal the spotlight on Thursday, taking the 2 p.m. slot, flanked by Max Mara, Etro and Emporio Armani. As anticipated, Giorgio Armani has decided to show only twice a year for both his Emporio and Giorgio Armani labels, holding coed shows during the women’s fashion weeks. Meanwhile, streetwear brand GCDS, as well as Genny and Luisa Beccaria will organize digital showcases instead of a physical show as in past seasons.

On Friday, Boss will return to Milan, where it has been parading its collections since last September, while on Saturday, Ports 1961 will show its spring 2021 collection after debuting last February in the city under the creative lead of Karl Templer. Capping off Saturday’s lineup, Giorgio Armani will hold a coed show at its Via Bergognone headquarters, following MSGM, Salvatore Ferragamo and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, all opting for physical shows.

As reported, Gucci will sit out Milan Fashion Week as a consequence of trimming the number of shows to two a year as creative director Alessandro Michele challenges the industry’s vocabulary and opts for “bringing oxygen” to his creativity. One consequence is that the label will not be ready to show in September. The last two days of Milan Fashion Week are expected to be a mostly digital affair dedicated to emerging designers, according to the provisional calendar, with such names as Spyder and David Catalan, among others.

YouTube’s Resident Goth Expert On Race And Rebellion

Depending on your generation, the word “goth” may trigger memories of Bauhaus albums and Robert Smith’s smeared red lipstick or a Rick Owens clad Wesley Eisold of Cold Cave. The aesthetic is instantly recognizable, and the movement’s pop culture presence means that the movies and records are familiar, but there’s more to it than media. The intricacies of goth’s history are best understood by those who embrace the lifestyle, and anyone in search of primer need only look to Rose Nocturnalia, aka Chelsea Clarke. The 28-year-old content creator’s YouTube videos range from the YouTuber classic “What’s in my Bag” to the niche “Goth Club Tips and Etiquette.” Her platforms offer a crash course in all things tied to Western goth and Japan’s gothic Lolitas. For the uninitiated, those are two separate entities, each with a lengthy history. Clarke unpacks everything in detail, allowing her 16K subscribers the opportunity to understand the origins and evolution of the subculture while dispelling myths. “There’s a bit of a popular misconception that Lolitas are in some weird state of arrested development, obsessed with childhood, or we’re refusing to join the adult world,” she shared via email from Toronto. “In reality, most of us are grown, working people aged 20-40—you need a good job to pay for all this stuff—we just enjoy dressing up and having fun.”

First introduced to the concept via neighbors in her Toronto suburb, Clarke soon found herself captivated. “[They] were your stereotypical 90s goths — think big platform shoes, lots of crushed velvet dresses, and too much eyeliner,” she says. “I thought they were the coolest people I’d ever seen.” Armed with an internet connection and a willingness to explore, she delved into goth music at age 11, immersing herself in Siouxsie Sioux, Patricia Morrison and Strawberry Switchblade’s Rose McDowall. Time on forums and Livejournal communities led her to gothic Lolita, the Japanese subset that merges Victorian classicism, kawaii cuteness, and darkness. Though she experimented with countless styles as a teen, Clarke, now 28, came into her own post-college. “I didn’t feel fully comfortable expressing myself through my clothing until I was an adult,” she says. “I guess I was a bit of a late bloomer.”

She chooses her looks based on essential accessories and her favorite pieces—extra large wide-brim hats, Vivienne Westwood’s ballerina shoes—with dramatic babydoll dresses or monochromatic separates. “One of the perks of having an almost entirely black-and-white wardrobe is that everything matches,” she says. “I like to layer and mix textures so that I don’t look like a blob of uniform black, and I break it up with lots of accessories like belts and necklaces.” A former runway addict, she now pays attention to forward-thinking designers like Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, and Iris van Herpen, whose out-of-the-box creations appeal to her sensibilities. But now, she’s committed to anti-consumerism and browses forums for second-hand goth and gothic Lolita clothing.

Growing up, she had to deal with stereotyping as a result of her unorthodox style. “Since I was never a social butterfly to begin with, and I didn’t dress normally or listen to the right music, I was an easy target,” she explains. “I got more than a couple of “school shooter” and “Trenchcoat Mafia” remarks. The dust had just barely settled from the Columbine massacre by this time, and the popular image of goth and alternative kids was very negative. People thought we were violent, depressed, on drugs, or all three.” Teenagers can be ignorant, but several of the authority figures in her community proved equally uninformed. “A couple of my teachers reached out to me, concerned that I was using drugs, even though in reality, I was too scared to try them. Adults, in general, treated me with a lot of suspicion,” she says. “I couldn’t even go into a store without being closely followed by the staff while my friends were completely ignored. I’d even been stopped by the police a few times, even though I can’t imagine how anyone could have thought that a scrawny teenage girl could be much of a threat.”

The bullying had an isolating effect. “I tried to act like it didn’t bother me, but deep down, it hurt. I just wanted to be liked,” says Clarke. “I developed a kind of cynical, contrarian, smart-ass personality as a defense mechanism, which didn’t exactly help me win people over. After a while, I tried to tone myself down to blend in a little bit better, but it just made me even more unhappy.” Though she had a close-knit circle of friends, Clarke didn’t meet many other Black people interested in the goth or alternative scene until she was in her 20s. “I was actively attending events and traveling. I realized just how many of us there were out there,” she says of the larger than expected community she stumbled upon. “It’s kind of funny since rock music of any kind wouldn’t even exist without Black musicians.”

Despite rock n’roll originating from African American blues and jazz, many POC encounter racism and gatekeeping within the insular musical communities that have stemmed from the genre. Clarke shared her experiences with such discrimination via her viral YouTube clip, ‘Black and Goth,’ that has since garnered 42K views. The topic, initially posed by one of her followers, was one Clarke reluctant to explore. Despite having touched on the topic years earlier with a video, she was uncertain about the vulnerability that comes with sharing your private life. “I didn’t want to discuss it at first since my teenage years were pretty miserable, and I’m not very open about talking about my feelings,” she explains. “I had to cut huge sections out of the video because it was getting too personal. The video sat in my YouTube queue for a few weeks while I debated releasing it.”

The Black Lives Matter movement and the spate of anti-racism and police brutality protests that arose worldwide made her want to speak up. “I figured that now was a good time to talk about how broader societal racial discrimination against Black people have even filtered down into this little niche subculture,” she says. “How it manifests itself in things like beauty standards and subtle remarks.” In the the video Clarke outlined the challenges she’s faced being an alternative Black girl growing up in the early aughts covering everything from her experiences with classroom bullying, the idea that the Black culture can be uniformly defined, and even criticisms she’s faced from other people of color. “I got a lot of criticism from my peers that pretty much amounted to ‘why are you like this’,” Clarke says in the video. “Non-black kids were often not directly aggressive towards me but they were condescending [saying] ‘oh I didn’t know that Black people did that’ as if all Black people were a hive mind and we’re only allowed to like and do certain things.”

Once released, the video immediately struck a chord with viewers. “So many other Black people, particularly women, commented that they experienced the same thing in the punk, goth, and metal subcultures,” says Clarke. “I also got responses from people of color from all over the world talking about similar experiences in their own cultures and countries. I didn’t expect that my story would be so universal. It’s disappointing, but it’s also comforting to know that we’re not alone in our experiences.” Thus far, Clarke has been moved by the positive response. Fans reached out with thanks and shared how her honesty inspired them, which showed just how important representation is. “It’s so easy to feel alone when seemingly nobody in your subculture looks like you,” Clarke says.

Though she began vlogging as a hobby, she now hopes her social media presence will have a positive impact. “There aren’t a whole lot of goth YouTube influencers as is,” she says. “Almost none of them are people of color. Just being visible on this platform as a person of color sends the message that we also belong in the goth subculture.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Shiseido Brand Opens First Flagship Store Virtual Flagship

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced brands and retailers to rethink how to best sell their products in an environment that has undergone drastic changes in just a few short months. For Japan’s largest cosmetics company, the solution is a store that is heavy on high-tech, digital services that reduce human-to-human contact, as well as an online version of the same store.

Shiseido Corp. opened its first flagship store for its namesake brand in Tokyo’s Ginza district Friday. The opening had been planned for spring, but was delayed due to the pandemic. Yoshiaki Okabe, chief brand officer of Shiseido, described the store as a “hybrid” model combining the digital experience with Japan’s legendary hospitality and customer service.

“What can be done digitally will be done digitally; what cannot be done digitally will be done by people,” Okabe said during a virtual press conference to unveil the store

The Shiseido flagship is divided into three floors, each with a distinct theme. When customers enter at street level, they will find a variety of stations that encourage different types of product sampling. In addition, special wristbands used within the store enable customers to add products to their virtual cart as they move through the store browsing and sampling products. When they are ready to check out, their products will be brought to them at the cash wrap.

At a station called the Digiskin Tester, customers use a stylus to answer a questionnaire on a touch screen, at the end of which the machine recommends skin-care products that fit their needs and skin type. If they wish to test the products, a staff member will sterilize them before handing them to the customer to try.

The Make Me Up area allows customers to test color cosmetics via simulation. On a mirror-like touch screen, the user can change products, colors and the placement of the makeup in order to get an idea of how the colors will look on their own skin, all without any risk of cross-contamination of tester products. At the digital foundation bar, customers take a digital photo of themselves in order to find their perfect shade from among 30 options.

Also on the ground floor is an automatic dispenser for testing Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune product, as well as a vending machine for purchasing it without the need for contact with another person.

“We have found that people are tired of being at home and tired of doing everything online,” said Emi Watanabe, Shiseido’s brand manager. “They want to go out, but they want to feel that they are safe when they do so.”

The second level of the store focuses on unique services, including a new style of counseling that is more of a makeup lesson. Trained beauty consultants teach tips and tricks of applying makeup, and guide customers through it as they try it for themselves. There is also a wrapping station where customers can choose from a variety of origami papers, ribbons and gift boxes, as well as an engraving machine where they can get products that are etched with their choice of symbols, phrases, their name and more.

The basement of the store houses Somadome meditation pods for the first time in Japan. Customers can book an appointment online and then visit the store for an entirely solitary, technology-enabled session. Watanabe described the aim of the meditation as “awakening the beauty in you.”

While Shiseido went to great lengths to ensure that its new flagship store would be a place where customers can shop safely and with peace of mind, the company also made the choice to open a virtual flagship on the same day. Customers who view the store online see it just as it is in person, and they can click the different floors and stations to move about, watch dedicated video content, and discover and purchase products.

Chanel’s Newly Launched Rosé Will Transport You To The Côte d’Azur

An August heatwave calls for a bottle of rosé – a fact Chanel has happily anticipated. The French house famously owns vineyards in the world’s most beautiful wine-producing regions, from Bordeaux to Napa – and, at the close of 2019, it acquired quite possibly its most stunning property yet: the 50-acre Domaine de L’Ile estate on Île de Porquerolles.

Set just off the Côte d’Azur, the crescent-shaped island is known for its pine forests, white sand beaches, and turquoise sea, and its typically Provençal landscapes come with a romantic history. Belgian entrepreneur François Joseph Fournier first bought the island as a wedding present for his fiancée in 1912, with his descendants remaining the caretakers of key areas of Porquerolles for the next three generations. Last year, Fournier’s grandson Sébastien Le Ber put the family estate in the care of Chanel, allowing the maison to produce wines that capture the essence of the largest of the Îles d'Hyères.

Now, Chanel’s first French Riviera vintage is here, and the wine is predictably exquisite, down to the newly designed label – which, the house explains, “pays homage to the special light that gives vibrancy to the umbrella pines, adds divine lustre to the fine sandy beaches and makes the pink heather gleam”. The grape varieties, meanwhile, were selected to express all the “distinctiveness and insularity” of the terroir by winemaker Nicolas Audebert, who also oversees Chanel’s vineyards at Chateau Rauzan Ségla, Chateau Canon and Chateau Berliquet.

Made entirely from Rolle, the refreshing Domaine de L’Ile White includes delicate notes of mint and eucalyptus offset by a touch of salinity – but it’s the Domaine de L’Ile Rosé that deserves your attention now. A vibrant blend of traditional Provençal grapes that “evokes the light and serenity” of Porquerolles, it’s designed to conjure up memories of holidays along the Côte d’Azur. What more could you ask for from a bottle of wine in 2020?

Michael Kors Picks A Date For A “Multilayered Digital” Spring 2021 Experience

Last month Michael Kors announced he was opting out of New York Fashion Week. The mid-September time frame, he said, conflicted with the deliveries of fall 2020 merchandise, which were pushed back by the production delays caused by coronavirus lockdowns.

Today, the designer confirmed his new date, October 15, and his new format: a “multilayered digital experience” across the brand’s social and digital platforms. The day before, Kors will share the collection with members of the press in intimate, live presentations, as well as via video appointments. “It is key for us to be able to bring our collection to life and translate that in-person runway show experience as best as possible to the digital world,” Kors said in a release. “To ensure the press and consumers alike are able to view the clothes and accessories in detail, virtually, is my top priority.”

The million-dollar question—not just for Michael Kors, but for all designers and brands—is: What is the best possible substitute for IRL runway shows? After several weeks of digital men’s shows and an extended virtual couture week that ran the gamut from a minute-long glorified ad campaign to a 12-hour livestream extravaganza, the answers aren’t clear. Kors, who is one of the most quotable designers in the business, could do something where his outsized personality takes center stage. Then again, he also likes to put on a real show. 

Maybe Orville Peck, Barry Manilow, or Rufus Wainwright—or maybe all three—could make a cameo? If he goes the costly and time-consuming virtual reality route, he has an advantage that his peers on the official New York Fashion Week calendar don’t: four extra weeks to produce it.

The Fashion Mannequin Needs To Be Rethought Now, Says Rosalind Jana

In an age where consumers increasingly care about the sustainability of their clothes, how do they feel about the figures that display them? As fashion grapples with the urgent responsibilities of improving representation and its sustainability credentials, the mannequin is coming under increasing scrutiny.

They look like us, or at least we’d like them to. They remain eerily still. Mostly. They are considered crucial to the showcasing and sale of clothes, which makes them complicated. For a period of time during lockdown, they were the only thing to inhabit many clothes stores. Now some of them have been put to use in cafes, bars and other venues where spacing people out is imperative: living, breathing customers arranged between motionless facsimiles of themselves.

I’m talking, of course, about mannequins. In a world where human contact has become fraught and the normal fashion system has been upended, the mannequin has become a surprisingly relevant focal point: whether emblematic of a disrupted world of consumerism or offering practical display solutions in face of social distancing and isolated working circumstances.

The mannequin is having a moment

In fact, recent digital fashion weeks and presentations have been rather mannequin-heavy. At Loewe, creative designer Jonathan Anderson showcased his 2021 menswear collection and women’s pre-collection on a series of simple mannequins. Various designers including Kaushik Velendra also explicitly chose to invite viewers behind the scenes, revealing their clothes in the process of being made on dressmaker’s dummies. For Dior’s couture show, too, mannequins proved central to the proceedings, the label’s video Kingdom of Dreams featuring clothes presented in miniature on a series of small, headless mannequins, with the fashion house promising to send them out to key customers so they could preorder.

It wouldn’t be Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior without a historic reference or two; these mannequins formed a direct nod to another period of tumult that required inventive thinking. After the second world war, with fabric in short supply and the world of haute couture in economic free-fall, 15 French fashion houses including Schiaparelli, Lanvin and Balenciaga joined forces to put on a spectacular public attraction that also functioned as a handy advert for their wares. They made scaled-down versions of their best-loved clothes and displayed them on wire and porcelain mannequins that stood at a third of their usual size. The Théâtre de la Mode was a huge success. It initially showed in Paris where it welcomed over 100,000 visitors before touring Europe and America.

This post-war show of ingenuity isn’t the only time the fashion industry has made canny use of mannequins either. Alongside their obvious position as a necessity in stores, the humble mannequin has also been a mainstay on shoots, catwalks, and presentations, as well as in museum exhibitions. From Maison Margiela’s autumn/winter 1998 collections, presented on a series of rather eerie marionettes made by stylist Jane How, through to fashion shoots by the likes of Tim Walker and Helmut Newton, playing with the lines between living body and static form, the mannequin has offered many creative — and sometimes uncanny — opportunities over the decades.

Why should the traditional mannequin be reconsidered?

In more recent years, the very nature of the mannequin has come under increasing scrutiny. As the fashion world grapples with present, urgent responsibilities, as well as more existential questions about the future of the industry, the use of mannequins comes with new concerns, both in retail settings and elsewhere. Some of these concerns are practical. For example, in an age where consumers increasingly care about the sustainability of their clothes, how do they feel about the figures that display them?

Many mannequin manufacturers are already experimenting with ways to make their products more environmentally friendly. For Belgium-based Bonami, their ‘Future Mannequins’ are made of a strong, lightweight, 100% recyclable material called bonplast. “We’ve spent several years on research and development to create and produce mannequins using advanced eco-based manufacturing that is friendly to the environment, while at the same time meeting the retailer’s demands for a perfect fit and design,” owner Nico Bonami tells me.

Other companies are investing in new approaches too. A range of suppliers including Genesis, Bonaveri, and Hans Boodt have similar ethical credentials, ranging from reduced greenhouse emissions to biodegradable materials and paints to carbon neutrality and closed-loop (fully recyclable) production.

How to diversify the mannequin’s antiquated image

It’s not just what mannequins are made of that’s the issue, it’s also how they’re made to look. The standardised mannequin form — slender, tall, able-bodied, often exemplifying all the beauty ideals long perpetuated by the fashion industry — is also in need of an overhaul. Over the past decade, a number of brands, Nike among them, have addressed this lack, offering displays of mannequins that more readily reflect those buying their clothes. However, these gestures can feel tokenistic: only in store for a limited period of time, rather than illustrative of any deep, structural change. Other options, like the iDummy, which can mechanically change shape, seem like an interesting route forwards, but aren’t yet used widely.

It’s an area of progress that writer, speaker and advocate for disability and design Sinéad Burke is keenly invested in. Last year, as part of an exhibition for the National Museum of Scotland’s Body Beautiful exhibition, her body was cast in order to create the world’s first little-person mannequin. “Being able to witness and experience every stage of the process, I thought my first sighting of the mannequin would be casual — but the awe I felt caught me by surprise,” she tells Vogue. “I hadn’t seen a 360-degree representation of myself or someone who looked like me ever before. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the impact it might have on others, particularly those who are younger, who might just assume that such inclusion has always existed.”

Burke has been a passionate and articulate activist for change within the fashion industry over the past few years. “I view diversity through a prism. I see it as a vehicle of education, innovation and creativity,” she says. “By mobilising diversity as the starting point for any design process, rather than something which only occurs within a legal framework towards the ends of a system, it creates an opportunity to design for all, simply by focusing on the experience and expertise of the minority group. For so long our exclusion has been explicit, even if it wasn’t intentional. Our inclusion has to be deliberate.”

Although rooted in the physical world, these concerns aren’t exclusive to it

If recent digital fashion weeks — and several magazine covers this year — are anything to go by, technology offers new potential for the future of the mannequin and other representations of the human form.

For art and design duo Auroboros, blurring the line between model and mannequin isn’t just a question of commercial ease. Instead, it presents a great opportunity for innovation. They have been working on a purely digital clothing collection, which they describe as “accessible, digital-only prêt-à-porter, free of all material constraints, meaning no gender or size issue, nor the negative impacts of physical mass production.” These virtual clothes come complete with what they term Biomimicry digital display mannequins. “The mannequins can, similarly to the clothes, be designed in limitless forms,” Paula Sello and Alissa Aulbekova, the creators behind Auroboros, tell me. “The beauty of the virtual sphere is both utopian creation and also representing those human forms that may have previously had limited visibility in the rest of the fashion industry.”

Tangible or virtual, old-school or cutting-edge, it’s clear the future of the mannequin is one in which the question of how we display and consume clothes is paramount. This is a question with huge creative potential and complicated social and ethical dimensions, requiring great consideration of what our default ideals look like, and what we want to see in shop windows, on screens and in museums. Hopefully, with this current, renewed interest in what mannequins can offer, these questions will carry on being asked — maybe with some interesting answers along the way.

Can A Closet Cleanse Change Your Life? In Lockdown, One Writer Takes The Plunge

“Blame it all on Jane Birkin,” I mumble sheepishly into my laptop. On the other end of the Zoom from my London lockdown is Vogue’s resident closet-cleansing guru, Liana Satenstein—otherwise known as the Schmatta Shrink—in New York, and she seems aghast by my stash of a dozen or so wicker basket bags. Among them is a reminder of that escape to Deià; the wedding in Morocco; a modern-classic Loewe—oh, and a versatile, hand-woven Brother Vellies clutch, for the past three summers my loyal walker to any event. “They’re all quite different bags for life,” I hear myself saying. “And I do wear them all year round.”

A recalibration of our homes, and the abundance in them, has been ushered in during isolation. For some, that’s meant clearing out the baking relics in the kitchen cupboards or addressing jammed sock drawers. Pre-pandemic, I was packing at leisure and having vague thoughts of “paring down” my closet in a way that now seems stupendously luxurious. Truthfully, I had done very little but still knew it was a rare moment to access how much I actually needed, what I could let go of—and what I planned on holding on to forever. My rhythm of donating or recycling basics and baby and gym clothes is well tuned, and certain areas of my life are edited with a Pawson-like minimalism. (My jewelry consists of two mannish watches—one stainless steel, one gold; a Cartier bangle; my engagement ring and wedding band.)

On the other hand, I’m not great at letting go of fashion. Enter Satenstein, who has a great pedigree, having recently helped streamline the closets of model Paloma Elsesser and Vogue Contributing Editor Lynn Yaeger.

As the only child of an antiques dealer, Satenstein feels destined to closet-cleanse after her formative education trailing her mother. “I went to every sale: trailer parks, flea markets, estates. I saw how easy it was for people to get rid of things and learned that at the end of the day, stuff is just stuff.” (I’m not a complete stranger to the concept. During pregnancy, I rid myself of some beloved pieces that no longer fit—but, in reality, laid down the lion’s share like a fine wine in hope of being svelte again.)

We all know in theory how liberating—both psychologically and financially—responsible wardrobe cleansing can be, but I’m cautious of letting someone else’s opinion into my closet. (Years later, I still regret being talked into letting go of a feather-hemmed Prada dress.) But I hold my breath, pull everything out, and Zoom in. “I will be taking notes,” Satenstein says.

I start with my stash of floral Erdem and polka-dot Alessandra Rich silk plissé—what I call “smart day.” But having returned to London to embark on freelance life, I’ve had a head start on WFH style and figured out that it requires a uniform. Mine: button-through shirts paired with jeans or Isabel Marant Étoile track pants. Still—surely these dresses take up precious little space on their skinny velvet hangers?

“One should suffice,” Satenstein says, deftly reminding me that my use of “smart day” seems increasingly less relevant as our current moment has further tested the limits of just whom we’re dressing for. As I unearth more, though, sartorial solecisms are splayed out across my bedroom floor. Impulse purchases—Satenstein deems them “the candy”—jump out immediately: a Cecilie Bahnsen backless blouse, a Gucci cat jumper (I am a dog person).

“Take a moment,” advises the Shrink, “and ask yourself why you are buying these items.” (The doctor, it seems, is in.) We find stubborn survivors from past culls, including two 20-year-old Ghost dresses. As I try them on, the Shrink—somewhat shockingly—thinks I should keep them: They fit well, roll down to nothing, and could make great summer day dresses. Looking at my pile of 35 jeans in a spectrum of sizes, the Shrink simply says, “Don’t live for the past or the future—live for how you are right now.”

Now in full shrink-session mode, we resolve to look through old images to ascertain why I keep clothes. Photos bounce from London to New York, alongside new selfies. A harsh message from Satenstein pings: “Any regrets—that’s just nostalgia. Like an ex-boyfriend: Just because you saw him and he looked great doesn’t mean that you need him back!”

I have a Maybe pile with a 30-day expiration deadline. My Resale and Repair piles, meanwhile, are getting larger. “They should be visible,” says the Shrink, “so you don’t forget them.” As the fashion industry at large navigates a seismic transformation, though, I’m also wondering what it all means for me. (The uncertainty of freelance life, for one, has had me pumping the brakes on spending.) Obviously, the most sustainable item in your closet is a piece you already own—a helpful maxim as I evaluate the edit.

Key lessons learned: A sparer closet not only helps you home in on your style, it helps you look at things in a more creative way. Even if not shopping the runway, I’m still inspired by it. After all: Pleasure is still meant to be at the heart of what we wear.