Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis has worked as a writer, columnist and editor for several sought-after international publications. She counts her years at American Vogue, working under the title of style editor-at-large, as one of the most formative professional experiences to date. Her monthly column, eponymously titled TNT, documented personal adventures and observations, as well as trends, art and travel.
Aside from writing, Elisabeth has also directly collaborated with select fashion brands, most recently partnering with Loro Piana and with Sotheby’s, curating the Magnificent Jewels sale in 2013 which included a video collaboration with artist, T.J. Wilcox. In 2013, she co-curated an art show at the French Institute Alliance Française that featured female artists with a strong sensibility to New York. Elisabeth believes, all her projects, as diverse as they might sound, are just stories, emerging from her colourful meridians of interests and life experiences.
Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis has published two books in her native Germany and is currently working on a third title.
What is a trend or item that reflects women’s style at this point in time?
Well, the first thing that comes to mind is, do trends really even exist anymore? Do they really matter much? I know this sounds somewhat self-defeating for fashion, but I think there has been a huge shift away from trends and towards a much more holistic approach to dressing – at least for me there has. However, if I had to point towards a “trend” that symbolized this best for, I’d pick knitwear. It is very of-the-moment, but it’s also timeless. Some of its key attributes are comfort, quality and the ability to make you feel great internally and externally, say, with the perfect cable knit cashmere jumper. This, to me, reflects the moment.
How can fashion as a form of individual and free expression play a role in our changing societies?
I think fashion is always very close to the current pulse, sometimes more so than others. In previous decades – think of the ’60s and ’70s – fashion really shaped and dressed the revolutionary spirit of the time. I don’t feel this influence as much today, but there is definitely a lot of exchange going on nonetheless. Right now, we have immense creative freedom to express ourselves through clothing. We are more free to mix and match between different concepts and types, and we borrow from each other’s wardrobes – vintage, men, women and so forth.
How does the current crisis impact people’s relationship with clothing and fashion?
I think this question very much ties into my first answer. I believe people are much more conscious of their spending; and of course, they are not going out as much, which has definitely impacted demand for fashion. Instead, there is the whole leisurewear and athleisure wear sectors which continue to grow. Now more than ever, I think people are paying more attention to what they are buying; shopping in a timeless manner; and considering matters of quality, sustainability in a much deeper way.