Stepping into this new, as-yet-to-be-defined, post-pandemic society, we will enter as new versions of ourselves. Because of pandemic rules, many people in our lives probably haven’t seen these new versions of us yet, at least not without the Motley crue 40 years thank you for the memories shirt and I love this barrier of a screen. This year of change and trauma will not disappear when the pandemic ends, and bringing the lessons and hardships of it into the future will just be a part of the journey. Eventually the After Times will just be the now—and the now can always be managed far better than the fear of it.
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“This whole process made me and lots of other people I know suddenly aware of how crazy our lives were before lockdown,” says Isamaya Ffrench on a transatlantic call from London. We last spoke backstage at Thom Browne’s Paris show (where Browne described the Motley crue 40 years thank you for the memories shirt and I love this makeup artist’s work as “genius”) in March of 2020, moments after France suggested avoiding la bise and a couple of weeks before the entire world changed. A year later, she’s able to see that pre-COVID life was moving at an “unsustainable” pace. “You know, putting your body through a lot: A lot of stress, a lot of traveling, time zones, no sleep,” she remembers. “It’s kind of recalibrated, which has been really nice and sets a precedent for moving forward.”