Purple Magazine
— The Essence of Fashion Issue #41 S/S 2024

editor’s letter

Today, the world of fashion seems to be limitless. Fashion is extending its influence across multiple domains, fromgender politics to celebrity culture, from social documentary to contemporary art, fromTV series to pop music. It’s becoming a global cultural paradigm, an ephemeral but optimistic future in a panic civilization, the main subjective resource for everyone in a time of narcissism and anxiety.

Are we experiencing the pinnacle of the power of fashion, or the start of its decline? Is this expanding empire of signs — with its gigantic corporate groups, seemingly limitless economy, and swarms of creative emerging labels in every city — only at the beginning of its cultural domination? Or, on the contrary, is fashion already losing its purity, radicality, and originality, to become so commonplace that any influencer or celebrity can launch their own label?

Working on this issue — a fashion magazine exploring what fashion means — I realized that the essence of fashion is multifaceted. It cannot be encapsulated in a single concept since it reveals itself through multiple appearances, signs, fragments, moments, talents, stories, and ideas. Fashion shapes the fundamental aspects of human life and dreams, and their capricious, unpredictable evolution.

To capture something of its essence, I have created a lexicon of concepts listed in alphabetical order. Each of them represents a fugitive facet of the essence of fashion and the ways it is expressed, whether through a brand’s identity, a designer’s story, a photographer’s lens, a model’s attitude, or even a city’s vibe. Of course, this open, unfinished list does not claim to fully describe the system of fashion. It’s more like a toolbox for your own take on it, your own vision of fashion.

To me, fashion signifies freedom. It’s an effortless way to free ourselves from countless forms of control and conformity, even from the dictates of fashion itself.

Olivier Zahm

[Table of contents]

The Essence of Fashion Issue #41 S/S 2024

Table of contents

Subscribe to our newsletter