Something to read

Thursday, March 19th 2020
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I’m sure this won’t be the first message you will have read about Covid-19, and how it affects what we do. But I think it’s worth setting out a view, even if it repeats what others have already - perhaps more eloquently - said.

Fashion is non-essential. Clothes are a long way down the priority list of things core to life. As I’ve written about in the past, I’d go as far as to say they’re plain not important.

As I also wrote in that click-bait post, I’d put clothes on a par with haute cuisine: not essential to survival, but certainly one of the pleasures of life. And worth enjoying when you can.

For me, reading about clothes, their aesthetic and functional pleasure, is something I get a lot of joy out of. I’ve just finished In His Own Fashion, the Ralph Lauren biography, and have just started Rowing Blazers, which Jack Carlson kindly sent me.

They’ll be a ray of sunshine if at some point soon I’m self-isolating, and stuck in a room on my own.

So with that in mind, Permanent Style will be carrying on as best it can. Writing about things I love, how they’re made, and how to look after them.

There might be rather more posts on the last point: how to care for the clothes you have, get the most out of them, and treasure ‘how great things age’. That feels important.

But there will also be posts on brands and craftsmen. Partly for the point above - the joy of witnessing craft, or expressing beauty through the cut and colour of clothing – but also because I think we should continue to support these small operators. If we can.

Small companies usually have little cash at hand. I’ve already heard one conversation in a shop about how many weeks (not months) of zero sales they could survive before they went under.

The founder of Noah wrote an interesting piece along these lines on Tuesday – on their Instagram page – called ‘Not business as usual.’

Only when possible and responsible though. Not if personal circumstances mean all those more important things rule it out. And it makes complete sense if people want to support local restaurants or theatres instead. They will be quickest and hardest hit.

But it is possible to help the shops we love, online. And hopefully that will mean they're still here in a few months’ time, when I really hope a lot of this is behind us.

Thank you


P.S. For those that have asked, the PS Shop is operating and shipping normally, with the only restriction being slow delivery to some countries as their border controls are stepped up. More information here.