Through glimpses of me in this blog and the work of the MSL team you will know
that I am passionate about many things, including fashion. I am passionate about
the ability of the arts to change social perceptions and to inspire others;
fashion forms a significant part of that desire to change. Through the stories of
our Behind the Seams service, Semple Secrets events and the networks we create at
MSL we aspire to be change agents.
I am told I always live in the future, not in the present: working in the present,
informed by the past with a vision of what the future may hold. Social networks
sometimes change rapidly, because of people who believe passionately in a
different future, or perhaps because of an item of technology. A short time ago a
mobile phone was used to make a voice call to someone whose number you knew. The
sub culture of SMS texts that quickly emerged, the new expression of identity and
the etiquette of using a mobile phone in public places are key events in social
change that we have all contributed to, helped define.
Sometimes change is hard work and requires a great deal of energy, sometimes it
happens, like the emergence of smart phones, at an extraordinary pace. My own
passion to inspire and create a climate for change is fluid and influenced by
opportunities that might have been denied my mother’s generation. I recognise that
it requires resourceful self-motivation, that sometimes people around me do not
understand or appreciate the point of change, may fight against it. Ultimately
change can only happen because people want it to.
Each day the MSL team brings evidence of effective change in fashion, not always
driven by mere whim but sometimes by people who perceive an innovative future
where materials and production techniques can move the fashion industry and
eco-design to change.
I find being a change agent empowering, but recognise that quite often people in
my networks provide a legacy of change on which we must all build. Last week I had
the pleasure of meeting the editor Louise Court of Cosmopolitan at and we
reflected on the huge shift that Cosmo was responsible for in the lives of young
women from the 60s onwards, empowering the history of women’s lives. We are
surrounded by examples of people who have contributed to that legacy, for example
in the jackets and comfortably structured clothes we wear for work, once a
startling choice for women. Those fashion influences have remained intact for more
than fifty years: I wonder what aspects of our daily fashion will survive into the
future. Let’s all grasp the opportunity to live in the future!