I'm embarrassed: I let an entire year go by without posting on Fashion As a 2nd Language. This is partly due to the fact that I'm writing about fashion elsewhere, but that's not the only reason. I've also become an avid Instagrammer, enamored of social media's immediacy –– but, again, that's only partly to blame. The real problem is much simpler: I've felt overwhelmed by too much information about mediocre products, interchangeable brands, overhyped fashion events and ludicrous "celebrities." For someone who loves beautiful, unique and/or handmade items (like my gorgeous John Lobb shoes, above), this era offers some very slim pickings.
That said, the optimist in me (not to mention the die-hard fashion editor) knows there are always wonderful new talents to be discovered –– I come across them practically every time I venture forth on a showroom appointment. Which, in itself, is part of the solution. Too many people these days have their eyes glued to a screen, large or small, as they tap or scroll their way from one digital soundbite to another. To really find the goods, you've got to hit the streets, and encounter the latest products, and their designers, in what's still called "real time." In fact, it's time to revive a great old expression (with a passing nod to Fran Leibowitz), and reconfirm the mantra, I cover the waterfront. Which means a hell of a lot more than just reading emails.