While the previous issue of our magazine was focused on ourselves, on weighing up our career and celebrating our first ten years as METAL, this time we focus on those things that happen around us, and we do so based on the following premise: is it possible to find balance within the whirlwind that surrounds us or, on the contrary, will we end up being absorbed by this apparently never-ending culture of excess and immediacy? There’s no doubt that what’s interesting is taking risks, demolishing frontiers, breaking the mould, shaking off prejudices, taking on new values, and always pushing things a little forward. I believe there’s a lot of this nowadays, but sometimes one gets the feeling that things are getting out of hand.
Today, everything needs to be more. And better. And faster. There’s no longer room for reflecting or being calm so as to appreciate beauty –or the lack of it– as it should be appreciated. “I get so addicted to Instagram. I keep going from one account to another and everybody probably posts the same, but when I find someone that really has very good taste and shows beautiful things, I just get hooked. Then I go to someone else and I forget about the previous one. It’s very superficial,” says Rolf Snoeren from Viktor & Rolf, with whom we talked about their extensive career and their upcoming exhibition in Melbourne. Who can’t relate to these words? It’s not just about the amount of words we are exposed to on a daily basis, it’s about the amount of information that’s all over the Internet and the media, and the need to give and take that information as fast as we can. “It’s crazy to imagine that posting a review six hours after the show is seen as late,” reflects Paper magazine’s editorial director Mickey Boardman. Do we really need everything to be that fast? Do we need the “see now buy now”? Does merely buying that gorgeous handbag right after we see it on the runway make us happier?

If we asked LifeEdited founder Graham Hill about that, the answer would probably be no. Hill is a firm advocate for the “less is more” movement, or in other words: material things can’t buy you happiness. “I think that people are looking for happiness in the completely wrong places. Happiness isn’t just about stuff, it’s about building relationships, connections and experience.” Japan’s minimalist movement takes this idea to the extreme. “I love it when people go to the extremes. It doesn’t mean that everyone else has to do that, but it teaches things,” he says.

As I said in the beginning, pushing things forward also has a positive side to it; it pushes us and puts us on the verge of what’s commonly accepted, it makes us doubt and that’s always interesting – also in fashion, of course. Even though not everybody is made for that, truth is moving between the two extremes is a current trend. We’re still obsessed with youth, but luckily the old age is starting to be appreciated as well – Ari Seth Cohen has been doing this for a long time with his project Advance Style. We admire not only beauty, but also we’ve turned those things that are different or just plain ugly into a new form of beauty. New designers such as Alejandro Gómez Palomo make gender differences fade by dressing boys with lace and flowers. “I think that it is now that guys want to dress like that. I do believe there is a movement, or ‘something in the air’, and boys want to start wearing whatever they want while enjoying it,” says Palomo. Maybe it’s because fashion, as Mickey Boardman reminds us, needs romance – because fashion, far from marketing and sales strategies, is also about dreams and fantasy. In this issue, you may not find answers to the questions that we pose, but I do hope it will be useful as a space to reflect or daydream. 
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