Between her Financial Times columns that are astute, unsparing and laced with wit, and her focused approach to fashion and luxury overseeing How To Spend It magazine, Jo Ellison is an editor whose voice rises above the rest. Before joining the Financial Times in 2014, she was the features director at British Vogue.
As the world moves ahead, what is your take on fashion’s role in contributing to positive change?
On a very basic level, fashion makes people happy. It brings people together; acts as a social adhesive, engenders friendship; and when politicised – as it is increasingly – it helps communicate a social message.
What is one trend or article of clothing that will define the coming year?
Our wardrobe heroes will be those things that have a degree of versatility. Things that are weatherproof; work in lots of different environments; can withstand sudden downpours or unexpectedly boiling temperatures; suit us in the office; but are comfortable for when we’re working at home. In many ways, I think we’ll return to classic pieces that have already proven their durability: the trench coat, jeans, shirts, simple tailoring – dressed up with jazzy extras. Our newly hybrid lifestyles require things that can serve lots of purposes, and the key word will be functionality.
What is something you’d love to see in fashion’s future — even if it remains a fantasy?
The technology to enable all clothes – even those with mixed fabrics – to be returned to their raw materials. I’ve heard it’s about 20 years away; but it would be great if it arrived sooner.