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!


Who Shops at the Mall Anymore?

Back in my teenage years, I lived at the mall. I diagnosed myself as a crazed shopaholic. Then I grew up and something changed. Was it bills? Was it my priorities? Oh no. I still prioritize in looking decent, but the difference now is that I don't have time to go to a brick and mortar store, look around, try on clothing and make small talk with the employees that work there. Nope. WAY TOO MUCH EFFORT. 

I'd much rather shop online. It cuts my gas costs significantly and I don't have to physically move if I don't want to. (Well, maybe to the door to grab my package.) Most people I know would rather browse for outfits online rather than wander around the mall for five hours. Why is that? Convenience is the word of the century. 

Retail stores have gotten creative on incorporating technology to update the consumer shopping experience. The other day I heard that Burberry was making significant efforts in using technology to mimic the experience of online shopping in store since they were finding that less and less people were coming in to their stores. 

Check it out here: 

Pretty cool right? I mean LOOK at that. Imagine walking into a retail store with multiple TV screens that use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to trigger multimedia content that relates to the store's products. Mirrors are able to transform into screens with real time runway footage. Sales associates can use iPads to keep record of past purchase history and refer the customer to similar items. I guess seeing what that experience is like would make me get off the couch.

Okay, maybe Burberry is a bit of an extreme example, but the point is, retailers are going to more extremes to 1) Keep up with technology and 2) Keep shoppers interested in physically coming in to the stores. Change is in the works, but is it effective?

So what do you think? Would you rather shop online or go to the store for the personal experience?