Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.
Watching all the Twitter feeds and YouTube videos posted by the citizens of Iran this week, I can't help but think it's time the Internet started revolutionizing the fashion landscape as it has the media and political landscapes. New York designer Malcolm Harris’ new One Dress project may just be the ticket, not to mention the first true expression of democratic fashion, way beyond mass retailer H&M and luxe label Jimmy Choo trying to cash in on yet another collaboration.
A graduate of FIT in New York, Harris makes his first foray into the industry with the Madonna-fronted line Katsumi & Malcolm in 1996, followed soon after by his own label Mal Sirrah. Then, three years ago, finding himself disenchanted by the fashion merry-go-round, the celebrity freebie mentality and the insatiable appetite for new merchandise, Harris took a break.
“Part of being a fashion designer is solving problems, but I didn’t feel like that was what I was doing. I was making esoteric things but not solving problems,” the designer told me by phone today. So, he founded the charitable organization Designers for Darfur in 2006 with Lydia Hearst, organizing a runway show to raise money for refugees and experimenting with MySpace for the first time to publicize it. Although he admits it sounds hokey now, while trying to chart his next move, he kept playing over a scene in his head from the film, “The Color Purple,” in which Celie makes a pair of pants that fit everyone. “I always wanted to create something that would be a gift in that way.”
The Internet was the key.