It has just been announced by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that the COVID-19 restrictions on cafes, pubs and restaurants will ease and, from June 1st, they will be allowed to seat 50 patrons at a time. We are going out, people!
The big question is, are we wardrobe ready?
Will we be able to make the transition from the elastic waist stretch pants and yesterdays’ sweatshirt to grown up, going-out clothes? I put on a pair of jeans last weekend for dinner at a friend’s house and there was a couple of things I noticed.
Point one, all that walking around the park and yoga with Adriene on YouTube was not enough to counteract two breakfasts, multiple cups of tea with accompanying biscuits and home delivered lasagne by Michelin star chefs.
Point two, unsurprisingly related to my first point, they felt restrictive and uncomfortable. So, too, are shoes. I feel we need to rethink them. I have moved far, far beyond the high heel debate, and now firmly believe that fluffy lambswool lined suede moccasins are a valid day-to-dinner shoe.
In fact, last Saturday night, I decided that the hand knitted socks I bought at Bilpin markets were perfectly appropriate to wear to the table, sans footwear, even with other guests attending. Unless I can wear Adidas, I am not ready for re-entry. But I miss seeing what other people are wearing.
I saw an article about a restaurant that has re-opened in Lithuania, and the owner had seated mannequins at all the tables that were unoccupied due to social distancing rules. The mannequins were dressed in current season fashion, helping to promote the local designers and retailers in the area. What a bonkers (but maybe genius) idea, a public space full of wonderful fashion to admire, but none of the pesky behavioural problems that come with real people shouting, screeching, being generally annoying or, indeed, contagious.
Although I don’t mind dressing like a vaguely animated laundry basket, I miss seeing fashion, both good and bad, as I have always been a voyeur. There are no red-carpet events to critique, no street style antics, no Met Ball, no lavish Tuscan weddings to ogle on Instagram. People have been livestreaming ersatz fashion shows from iso at home via TikTok etc, but it’s all bit realistic for me.
While the fashion world regroups and rethinks, I’ve had to go to other places for a dose of glorious excess, which has led me down the rabbit hole of humungous American kitchens (see points one and two for context). My industry friends and I have been contemplating the future of fashion post-COVID, and whether it’s seeming irrelevance is only temporary, or whether we will see a genuine mind shift in terms of demand and supply.
However, I can’t wait to get back to drooling over the new Dries Van Noten collection, or the latest shoes on a Prada runway. Even if I have no intention of wearing them just yet.