Monday, 14 March 2011


Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave takes on a horribly poignant new meaning.

It is almost impossible to comprehend the scenes in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck last Friday. Even the most talented Hollywood set designer would have a hard time imagining scenes as apocalyptic and viscerally horrifying as those which have been broadcast around the world since the catastrophe unfolded. From the footage of the black wave of death crashing onshore and tossing around huge boats as if they were toy models, to pictures of lone figures calling out the names of missing family members among the devastated landscapes where their homes once stood, the horror is unimaginable.

When you work in – and live and breathe – fashion, it is often difficult to fathom the disconnection between the fripperies of the fashion world and serious events going on in the ‘real’ world. I was looking at my Twitter feed a moment ago, and the juxtaposition between my tweet on the Japan situation and another about the holographic masthead on Vogue Italia was startling. How irrelevant all the speculation about which designers might be heading to which Parisian fashion houses now seems. What can you do though? It is a philosophical conundrum which is not easily resolved. Dropping all personal projects whenever something awful happens in the world is hardly a practical, or useful, solution. It does pay, however, to take time to stop and think.

And here’s something practical that you can do. Japan is a prosperous, proud nation which has in the past recovered from unimaginable horror, and will doubtless recover from this catastrophe, not least thanks to the attitude of its people, which has been utterly remarkable and admirable since the disaster, but at present it is still a country in dire need of help. Further aftershocks and the possibility of a second tsunami loom on the horizon, as does the spectre of a nuclear disaster. There are hundreds of thousands of people without homes and with limited access to basic necessities. You can make a donation to the Japanese Red Cross via the homepage of your own country’s Red Cross.

|American Red Cross | British Red Cross | Australian Red Cross | Canadian Red Cross | French Red Cross | Italian Red Cross | German Red Cross |


  1. Beautifully written. I was unable to put my "fashion-head" on today at work.

    It is a colossal reminder that although we may think we have the power and are in control, it is actually Mother Earth and there is nothing we can do about it.

    I feel humbled...

  2. Lovely post. I understand what you mean, with twitter posts about fashion news next to so much more important ones about this disaster, but it's definitely hard to find a balance. We just have to keep praying and keep sending our support their way! This country deserves it so so much.

  3. I just need fashion not to get completely bonkers with all this shit going on in this world. The Fashion Philosopher

  4. This is a very nice post x