To Clarify on Odd Runway Designs

You question it and I question it. Why do designers create such crazy clothing for the runway if its not meant for everyday wear? 

 Alexander McQueen - Paris Fashion Week 2009

Alexander McQueen - Paris Fashion Week 2009

The answer comes in several layers:

1) Publicity

High end designers want the shock value that makes the public pay attention. The collections that are presented on the runway are made to elicit a response. The most talked about designers showcase the most outrageous designs and shows. For example, Alexander McQueen's famous hologram of Kate Moss in his 2006 Fall/Winter Fashion Show (below video). Rather than just having models walk down the runway with his clothing (how boring!), he decided to try something new and that is what made him stand out.

2) Concept

Designers make it a point to put emphasis on beauty, art and ideals. Each collection is part of a particular concept for the upcoming season and has a theme prevalent whether it is nautical, floral or Victorian. What is usually seen on the runway isn't seen in retail stores. Mass production happens after the debut of the collections. The colors, fabrics and overall aesthetic remains true to the collection, but it is a translated version of the outrageous outfits to every day wear. That means we don't have to be wearing that big box with legs we saw walk down the runway in the past season, just something similar to it!

 Alexander McQueen - "It's Only a Game" Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2005

Alexander McQueen - "It's Only a Game" Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2005

3) Innovation - Architecture, Art, Design

Historically, fashion started out with handmade material for different designs. Since technology had progressed, designers were able to make use of sewing machines, leading to new ideas and new designs. Nowadays, designers are incorporating new strategies for design, such as 3-D print designs which might even be seen in retail stores in the near future. 

 Iris Van Herpen (who also interned for Alexander McQueen) - Amsterdam Fashion Week 2010 

Iris Van Herpen (who also interned for Alexander McQueen) - Amsterdam Fashion Week 2010 

Sensing a theme here? It's safe to say the late Alexander McQueen was one of my favorite designers, mainly because of his high attention to detail and his ability to put on quite a show.

This brings me to my last point… September is coming up soon and you know what that means…NEW YORK FASHION WEEK!

Ciao. 

What is the Future of New York Fashion Week?

It's time to get serious. This past New York Fashion Week was the first time the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and a few designers experimented with see-now-buy-now fashion to keep up with the demand of the consumers. What do the people want? Instant gratification. 

The history of the fashion show includes the showcase of designer collections usually about four to six months before it hits the retail stores. Originally it was only seen by exclusive insiders: buyers/editors/the media/celebrities. They were the key people that determined what styles were "in" and what styles were "outdated" for each new season. Now that social media is used as another form of influence, there is a larger audience.

The attention span of viewers seem to have decreased over time. The only way to make an impact is to keep up with the fast pace. Social media has played a large part in the changing fashion industry. Snapchat. Twitter. Instagram. These strategies are used more and more to adapt to these changes. For the fashion show, the idea of see-now-buy-now is to keep the excitement of new product and drive sales.

What is see-now-buy-now? As soon as the designers showcase their collections on the runway, it is available to purchase directly.

PROS: 

  • It will cover our culture's insatiable need for instant gratification.
  • It will boost full price selling.
  • It will increase perceived newness.
  • BIGGER BUSINESS.

CONS: 

  • It becomes too commercial.
  • The timing of retail deliveries will be out of sync with the seasons.
  • It is not realistic for some designers to create in-season shows. Some designers spend a lot of time on concept and fabric development. 

I'm curious to see how the next New York Fashion Week will pan out. The CFDA announced that fashion designers are free to choose their own strategy moving forward. It is going to be a messy next few seasons. Ladies and gentlemen we are witnessing a revolution. 

Bonsoir.