I’ve always loved
putting together a November issue. It’s a marker for me, something like those first Christmas decorations that go up in your local shopping centre around August, but, you know, welcome. It means all the best things in life are just around the corner: beach days and afterwork swims and spontaneous barbecues and pool parties and frozen margaritas and the smell of frangipanis and (thankfully) the end of the year. This year, though, when we’ve had record spring temperatures, blazing hot days like the kind we usually only get in February, when adults are relieved to go to work in an air-conditioned office and kids gossip about whether or not the urban myth is true that school gets closed when the heat goes over 40 degrees, it feels more urgent to get this issue out than ever.
Adding to that feeling is that I’m writing this letter from Milan, where my fashion-week wardrobe of carefully put-together coats, boots and blazers is hanging bereft in my hotel closet because the weather is unseasonably glorious. On the street, Italians who aren’t in the fashion industry (there are a few in Milano – not many, but a few) are openly embracing the Indian summer: elegant women in flowing sundresses and woven sandals, handsome men in white shorts and pastel shirts. I can’t say it’s not pleasant, but I’m not prepared, sartorially speaking. Neither are my counterparts. Everyone here is desperate to wear their new winter looks, schlepped all around the world just for the occasion, and are having to compromise to beat the heat in various creative ways: a long-line blazer worn on its own to show off late-season Mykonos-hued legs, those ubiquitous furry slides (surely the ultimate winter/ summer middle ground) everywhere.
It’s clear to me – and not just from the ill-fitting suits – that Trump, our own far-right Liberal government and the entire anti-science community are definitely not in the fashion industry. Because if they were there isn’t any way they could still be sceptical of climate change. Longer, hotter summers around the world has had an enormous and very real effect on both fashion sales and the traditional retail calendar, as we not only shy away from heavy coats and thick knits in favour of lighter, more versatile fabrics that make it easier to dress for all kinds of unexpected weather, but also the idea of seasonal fashion at all.
I can’t quite get my head around how they don’t believe what they must be experiencing just as much as the rest of us are. Maybe really, really horrible clothes work as a magical barrier to the elements? From where I sit – hopefully somewhat better dressed – it’s glaringly obvious. It might be spring in the Southern Hemisphere and autumn in the Northern, but it seems that we’re in the middle of a global summer, making this swim issue as essential right now as one of those frozen margys.
my current obsessions AMERICAN VANDAL A satirical take on the Serial/making A Murderer genre set in a high school. What’s not to like? THE HOXTON, PARIS I’ve always wished I had a homeaway-from-home in the city I visit so often and now I do. SCOTT & SULLIVAN CLEANSING PAD Same job as facial wipes but much more gentle and elegant in your bathroom.
Enjoy the issue,
ALMOST SUMMER Enjoying the unseasonable warmth on the set of our cover shoot with Jessica Marais in Sydney’s Manly