From his earliest days, Lewis was at the center of the movement for social justice. “When I was 15 years old and in the 10th grade, I heard of Martin Luther King Jr.,” Lewis remembered. “Three years later, when I was 18, I met Dr. King and we became friends. Two years after that I became very involved in the civil rights movement. I was in college at that time. As I got more and more involved, I saw politics as a means of bringing about change.” By the time he was a student at Fisk University, Lewis was leading sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters in Nashville. He was among the Freedom Riders brave enough to travel by bus across the South to compel the federal government to enforce the Supreme Court ruling that made segregated interstate transportation illegal. Loathed and reviled as they moved through the Deep South, the Freedom Riders were greeted with mob violence and prison. In Montgomery, Alabama, Lewis sustained serious injuries. Reportedly arrested more than 40 times, Lewis still bears the literal scars of the attempted Selma to Montgomery March, where he and Hosea Williams led over 600 people across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The demonstrators were met by state troopers who ordered them to disperse after a brief warning. When they responded by stopping, they were beaten with nightsticks. Lewis’s skull was fractured. Lewis was one of the speakers at the historic 1963 March on Washington. “To those who have said, ‘Be patient and wait,’ we have long said that we cannot be patient,” he declared from the podium. “We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again. And then you holler, ‘Be patient.’ How long can we be patient? We want our freedom and we want it now. We do not want to go to jail. But we will go to jail if this is the price we must pay for love, brotherhood, and true peace.” The way the bodice fit her upper body and accentuated her neck and shoulders worked so well on Catherine, and then her dress flared out a bit at the bottom. I like the black on the bodice of her dress. It added panache and accentuated the Duchess of Cambridge’s slim figure wonderfully.
The team caps and Jamaican-inflected string vests are nods to Tosh locally produced hand knits that are fast becoming a best-selling signature for the designer. Thanks to his LVMH Prize money, Daley was able to continue with the knitters he’s been working within the U.K. He’s had considerable success with his inventive slogan tees as well. The title of the new collection, “Stepping Razors,” was writ large in flocked karate-style type on the new versions, and with a graphic illustration of Tosh, mid karate kick, across the back, his first hoodie is likely to be an online shopping hit too. On Daley’s mood board, there were numerous pictures of the musician, including one of him dressed in a karate uniform. You don’t have to look too far to see connections between karate and Black culture Wu-Tang Clan spring to mind. However, it’s the lesser-known history of Black karate pioneers that Daley is most inspired by, including the likes of Moses Powell, the first martial artist to be invited to perform a demonstration before the United Nations. Daley paid homage to that legacy by enlisting Jordan Thomas, a former world and European champion and Britain’s first Olympic karateka, to model the collection. His talents are on full display in the images, which capture Thomas in a series of impressive karate moves. Even amid a global pandemic, it’s clear that Daley is fully committed to his community-led approach to fashion and making space to elevate talented Black voices as resonant and exceptional as his own. Lewis, who has served as U.S. representative for Georgia’s fifth congressional district since the mid-’80s and has been called “the conscience of the U.S. Congress,” clearly didn’t heed his parents’ warning. The powerful noise he has made for the last several decades, his profound courage, his ability to stare down evil, is really what we honor tomorrow and every Martin Luther King Jr. Day. History can seem so stale even stunning victories after decades of retelling can take on the sad aroma of the schoolroom. But in their time, these struggles were so vivid, so remarkable the players so fierce, and often so young. I thought Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress was amazing, beautiful, fit her like a glove and made her look like a celebrity in a very good way. Catherine wore an Alexander McQueen dress made of black lace with a beige lining, but the sleeves were just the lovely black lace. Prince William’s wife paired her awesome dress with black Jimmy Choo shoes and she looked gorgeous!
I’m hopeful I can return to face-to-face meetings in the fall. Still, the Zoom calls did provide a new kind of connection with the designers I interviewed: Because of the novelty of the personal experience and the extremes of the global one, they were the most candid conversations about fashion that I’ve ever had not just about the challenges the industry is facing but also about the joys of making. Alessandro Michele said he “felt like a kid again” when he was finally able to return to Gucci’s H.Q. When we go back to real life, I’ll miss these chats. As of September approaches and it looks more and more likely that Milan and Paris will stage live shows smaller and less grand, but still live it’s a real blow to know that as an American I probably won’t be able to attend. The E.U. has banned travelers from the U.S. for health reasons. So I hope that designers keep the lessons of the quarantine close both when they’re making clothes and creating the digital content that’s becoming just as important amid all of this. Intimacy, authenticity, the positive vibrations of craft, the value of having values these are the things that matter. Whether it’s knitting, baking sourdough bread, or learning Cantonese, sanity-saving hobbies might be the biggest trend to have emerged from lockdown. Over the past few months, karate has been Nicholas Daley’s pastime of choice. He picked up the sport thanks to his musician girlfriend she’s a black belt shortly before the order to shelter in place went into effect in the U.K. t’s easy to see the martial arts influence in his new menswear collection, with its karategi-style layering pieces and high-waist pants. Daley collaborated with Lavenham, a British manufacturer specializing in quilted outerwear for the great outdoors, on the cool tie-front quilted jackets that toe the line between the dojo and the street. Perhaps not immediately obvious is Daley’s reference to the reggae icon Peter Tosh, a relatively unsung hero in the pantheon of stylish music icons. I’ve seen some of my younger, female coworkers in outfits that, if I were their father, I wouldn’t let them leave the house in. Outfits that, if they wore them to actually teach, I doubt the boys in the class would hear a word they said. Personally, I usually just wear an old T-shirt and shorts on those days the same outfit I wear when I’m mowing the yard or doing any other hot, dirty work.
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