Pre-quarantine, we would get out of bed everyday and dress for an occasion, whether that occasion meant work, the gym or an event with a friend. We would take pictures of our outfits, of our social interactions and post them on the gram, to remind ourselves we exist, that it happened, that it was real. Because if we don’t document our performance, does it even count?
Post-quarantine, we wake up, we work from home, we may work out, we may virtually socialize but without the externally imposed expectations to look good or dress ‘appropriately’, is there still a performance we must adhere to? Who do we really dress up for: ourselves, other people or social media? The honest answer is probably, ‘all of the above’.
How far can we translate our physical reality into the virtual world? And does ‘social distancing’ in the age of social media really make room for isolation? The way friends, celebrities and even brands are using social media in these times of crisis points to the simple truth that we find comfort in our shared misery and we are all in our own way trying to make sense of this crisis, of the uncertainty we feel by connecting through technology.
Mindy Kaling is Fabulous Even During Lockdown
The other side of that being, that while technology keeps us connected, it also keeps the veil we project to the outside world up which means that even during self-isolation, we are still performing a narrative separate from our messier realities on social media.
Quarantine fashion extends from flirty and fabulous, like Mindy Kaling and Kim Kardashian in floral. Or high-end pajamas and whiskey, thanks Elizabeth Banks. Or tricking yourself into working harder by dressing for work in your living room (no not all of us have home offices okay). Or just pull a Justin Bieber and dress in your branded sweats and hoodie for an ‘I don’t have the time to dress up but I’m still fashionable” look.
In these dystopian times, our only hope is to continue with our lives and preserve the illusion of normalcy, to keep our minds and hearts sane. Dress up if you feel like it, dress down if you don’t, engage socially if that makes you feel connected or take this time to stay offline if that feels more comfortable. The greatest artists felt fulfilled performing for themselves as much as they did on stage. Free yourself from the pressure of surveillance and expectation and return to your body.
Leandra McCohen is experimenting with her outfits
We’ve come up with “Isolation Dressing for the Gram” Series where Cecilia and Julie will be sharing their favourite Staycation Looks with you. Share your styling experiments with us, even if you’d be hesitant to wear them out in public. The blessing of styling for the home is that this is a trial run before you take the streets.
Stay safe. Stay creative. Stay connected to your body. Stay Stylish.