H&M’s latest is an interactive mirror that takes pictures of you and also offers fashion suggestions. The business idea is to integrate being in a shop and digital sales. Just watch the video embedded in the article for the idea: https://www.retaildive.com/news/hm-tests-voice-activated-mirrors-at-nyc-flagship/525296/.
It is an interesting example of conservatism in fashion. Psychoanalytically, the mirror reaffirms the law, that is, it relives castration. Castration puts you in your place (and, psychoanalytically, this is a very good thing).
According to Lacan, each of us has our most basic identities cemented in the mirror stage: see his famous 1947 essay, “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the I Function.” From before birth even, each of us is being integrated into the law, i.e. taking shape at the behest of others’ various expectations. Taking on the shape of the demands of others, the mirror stage is also a time of fundamental alienation, a moment we become estranged from our libido. This phase of childhood development peaks around eighteen months. At its conclusion, two things have happened: you and I have an ideal, a sense of who we ought to be, and this ideal or law determines our cognitive and emotional grasp of the world and our future choices.
Our experience of self, others, and world stem from this estrangement. H&M’s mirror reinforces this castration.
It also invokes the method by which the law alienates the child from her libido. Lacan argues that we integrate into this ideal through mimicry and gesture. The H&M mirror, besides its fashion suggestions, offers the option of a selfie: it photographs you and once you’ve captured a link on your phone an image of you as though on the front cover of a fashion magazine displays. As you’ll see in the embedded video, when taking the selfie, right on psychoanalytical cue, everyone strikes a pose and makes gestures. The cover of a magazine demands an ideal, after all.
For more on Lacan as a conservative theorist, see my post over at Law & Liberty: http://www.libertylawsite.org/2018/01/17/jacques-lacan-conservative-icon/