When the majority of us were deciding on new year resolutions back on the eve of 2020, did we actually believe we’d get to this point in the year and still be doing them? I certainly didn’t. One of mine was to get physically fitter, (another was to be more creative) which I championed through multiple fitness classes during January, to then slump in February: blaming fashion month for my fatigue in fitness routine. However, since being in confinement fitness has come at the top of my activity lists, after testing my abilities to do a class a day, everyday, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m actually enjoying it and want to do it. Who’d have thought.

Like my resurgence of athleticism, the fashion industry is doing the same but with artistic thinking. While we don’t have much else to do, (or many pennies to spend) brands are going above their means to promote creativity as an outlet activity. Whether it’s international fashion houses or small, younger brands, there’s a collective opinion that instead of advertising their newest collection – which the sales of may be crucial in keeping that company afloat – their voice should be used to spread design inspiration for the consumer to be motivated by. It’s not surprising that brands aren’t pushing us to buy right now – I don’t need to explain the lack of importance a new t-shirt is when it could, at its worst cost a life  – but why is it the pursuit of crafting and making seems to be the message that brand’s would like to share?

"Doing something creative, exercising a different part of the brain is a really nurturing and cathartic thing to do when you might be feeling lost," explains Rosh Mahtani, the founder of jewellery brand Alighieri, who are conducting workshops on their Instagram channel in still life drawing and sound bath meditation. "It's all about escapism, I think that if you can allow yourself to go into a different realm, even if just for a moment, it calms you down."

The setting for an Alighieri Art Therapy workshop.

Creativity has always been a healthy emotional outlet for those who work in that world, and for those who don’t, colouring books opened the public’s eyes to how healing it can be. On the eve of Good Friday, I was debating with myself how to spend a four-day weekend in lockdown, that was in someway different to the weekend before. Coincidently, I received an email with the subject line ‘A little something to do this weekend at home’ and attached was a floral colouring page – which you can download here – from designer, Mary Katrantzou. "Sitting down to sketch and produce something artistic enables us to take a step back from the everything that is happening around us and simply enjoy creating something," she told me. "Creativity is a great wellness tool during this time and it can have a meditative effect."

A snippet of Mary Katrantzou's colouring page, download the full image here.

The slower pace of life, that we’ve had to accept, has definitely instigated us to focus more on ourselves, as well as those around us. As quickly as my street’s Whatsapp group was created, were IG live streams appearing of celebrities sharing with their followers their day to day experience. Merve Manastir, Creative Director of Manu Atelier, tapped into that one-off experience, and decided to host live Q&A’s with industry experts – street style photographer, Lee Olivera and stylist Daniela Agnelli, for example – on her brand’s social media. As a brand, "creating a real community has always been key, as well as having a strong bond and sincere interaction," shares Merve. "During these tragic days, each one of the live streams we did was different, but meaningful to us." It’s also been a way of meeting new creatives, albeit virtually. "We haven't met everyone [in real life] that we did a live chat with, but we have been following them personally. It has been a great chance to be able to get to know new people that we love to follow from around the world, especially during this time."

Lara Stone for Manu Atelier SS20 campaign.

The industry’s use of creativity amongst it’s following shows it as the antidote of our current world’s anxieties, especially for it’s distraction technique. Escapism is a community that is inclusive of everyone, something that in the past, fashion has been critiqued on for not being so. These artistic actions and activities seem to be a way of inviting their following into the mindset's of the talented, which can only bring joy in a time when we need it.

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