Surreal times. Uncertain. Scary. But also full of possibility. An opportunity to change things for the better. Not only on a personal level, but a global one too.
Fashion has always reflected the times. Whilst a ‘non-essential’ business, people will always need to wear clothes (unless of course you decide a nudist colony is where you’re headed after this.) And whilst clothes don’t define us, they certainly reflect how we feel, or want to. Sometimes the simple act of putting on a favourite dress, or amazing-fitting jeans or those to-die-for shoes that are totally impractical but make you feel like a million dollars, can lift our mood, increase our confidence and therefore change our entire outlook – at least while we’re wearing them.
Fashion is also creativity. Like art, music, literature. Fashion is an expression - of the designer, of the culture, of the times. Some of history’s greatest icons are remembered just as much for their outfits as their talents. Think Bowie, Prince, Madonna, Diana Ross, Audrey Hepburn, Cleopatra! When I first created MM the WARRIOR collection was aimed at empowering women – making them feel good from the get-go, making them feel strong, powerful, ready to take on the world. That has never felt more significant than now. As fashion photographer and milliner Bill Cunningham so aptly put it;
“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.” And right now many of us will really be feeling that.
Aside from PJs and loungewear, however, most of us probably aren’t doing that much dressing up right now – although be sure to wear head to toe gold lamé from the kitchen to the living room, if it helps. Retail stores have closed and many people are in lockdown. Online shopping is still for the most part available, but with so much uncertainly, how many of us are actually buying? As a fashion brand these are uncharted waters. How do we navigate through this and come out the other side, without sinking? It’s a question most of us are now asking.
Anyone that produces in China right now will have suffered huge losses. In fact anyone producing abroad is likely to have been impacted. From the early days I never wanted to have the brand ‘Made in China’. I wanted to use local Fair Trade factories that I could visit personally, and easily. Are they more expensive? Hell yes, hence the price tag… but morally I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything else. These decisions impacted the brand financially in a negative way. Investors wanted more margins, as did potential distributors – as the prices stand they’re still not ideal for the wholesale market. But go any higher and really, who can afford them? It’s still a challenge. But perhaps in the aftermath of Covid 19, people will start to shop differently, more sensibly. Instead of buying lots of disposable and badly made Fast Fashion pieces, perhaps they’ll invest in less but higher quality ones; ones that will last, ones that have been made ethically, and sustainably. Pre-loved and vintage clothing will become even more mainstream. If a bikini costs just $5, how much did the people making it get paid? Think about it. Yet I do get it, 100%. Not everyone can afford high ticket items – their disposable income simply doesn’t allow for it, and after this - many more people won't be able to. Job losses are already happening.
So how can Slow Fashion brands lower these prices whilst still keeping afloat? Perhaps governments can subsidise factories to allow for cheaper, local manufacturing? After all by producing locally we’re also reducing our impact on the environment – so it’s a win/win situation. Perhaps we can access unwanted fabrics to turn into masterpieces. Perhaps environmentally friendly fabrics can become more affordable. There has to be ways to be able to continue the fashion industry but without negatively impacting people or the planet – goodness knows Mother Nature needs a little help, and at the very least, she is the only one being spared right now.
I’m hoping that somehow amid all the fear and uncertainly we will re-think the ways we’ve been doing things across the board and ensure every move we make from now on, is in the interests of everyone. If this virus has done anything at all, it has created an equalizing effect. We are literally ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. Rich or poor, famous or not, there's no escape. And in a way, that’s comforting. Maybe it's time we leveled the playing field. Maybe it’s time we stopped focusing on how many ‘followers’ someone has but rather on what they bring to the table. Let's not be the generation that is best remembered for taking a good selfie. Just sayin’. Let's make history proud.
So whilst this may not be the time to be buying clothes, it could be the time to work on creativity - play dress up, customize, design. Tap into those parts of our brain that take us to another world… and perhaps once this is all over we can set about creating an even better one, a cleaner one, a more ethical one, a kinder and more genuinely inspiring one too. Pretty sure we’ll be seeing lots of incredible Art and Design that will define this moment for generations to come.
Miss Matahari xx
MM Warriors - Ali Tollervey
Diana Ross - Michael Ochs
Mask - The Blondes
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In many parts of the world there's a huge stigma associated with menstruation, and young women are being subjected to shame, guilt and even bullying as a result. A fashion designer from Uganda has begun a campaign to educate women in her local area about menstrual hygiene and body positivity, whilst teaching them the necessary skill set to make their own sanitary products, and thereby changing their lives.
As the world slowly starts to emerge out of its pyjama/blanket clad cocoon, I wonder what we can take away from this unprecedented experience of Covid 19. What have we learnt? What will we miss? And what will we want to change moving forwards?
This global pandemic has affected so many people in negative ways, but still, somewhere amid the fear and uncertainty we have also seen hope, and the potential for a better and braver new world.
Size Guide information - best viewed in landscape mode/on a larger screen.
The models in The Warrior Collection range from 5'5" - 5'9" in height and size 4-6 US (8-10 UK). They are all wearing our size S.
The main model in The New Frontier Collection is 5' 10" and a US size 2-4 (6-8 UK). Her bust is 34", waist 26" and hips 36.5". She is also wearing our size S. The petite model wearing some of the styles and accessories is 5' 3" and a US size 2. Her bust is 33", waist 25" and hips 39". She is wearing our size XS. If you fall into the petite category, you might find XS fits you better length-wise.
Note on pants - The workout tights/capris in The Warrior collection fit a little larger than pants/leggings in The New Frontier collection, as they've been specifically designed to flatter all body types, with a slightly more generous cut on the thighs and around the waist. If you have very slim thighs, we recommend you go down a size in any of the Warrior collection bottoms. In general all of our pants are designed to accommodate curvy or muscular thighs. When in doubt, drop a size.
We've also created all styles across all collections to fit a little longer on the sleeves and legs to provide more allowance for different shapes and sizes; not to mention we love the longer sleeved/legged look.
If you have any queries on sizing, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be more than happy to discuss your specific requirements.