by Ieva Zu
Have you seen the Givenchy SS16 show at New York Fashion Week on 9/11? You might have seen it live, as the brand, who is showing at NYFW instead of Paris this season, has invited 1000 ‘real people’ to become the spectators of the fashion and art extravaganza. Which by the look of things has loosened the perception of what is acceptable for a high-fashion show. The shift towards humane fashion makes me happy. Regardless of the hype, Mr. Riccardo Tisci has presented a fabulous collection.
I started contemplating the bathos of the four fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan, and Paris). I know this statement might sound like fashion sacrilege, but facts are on my side. With London Fashion Week starting tonight all the designers, PRs and even bloggers go mental. No one has time, no one is available, everyone is ‘so stressed-out’. Everyone at least slightly involved in the industry has drawn themselves in the endless marathon of (sometimes unnecessary) drama and stress. With a number of colourful fashion weeks/weekends happening around the world each season the big four seem unbeatable.
The obvious reason is that all the big names and respected fashion houses are showing their new collections at one of them. The second obvious reason is that these cities have produced those big and respected fashion houses. The third obvious reason is that the organisers are trusted and respected industry veterans who can deliver. A bit of a hidden reason is that all the ‘it’ girls and ‘that’ guys will be mingling in the front and back rows, often, at more than one show (this one goes for celebrity hunters).
However, every argumentative essay must have a contra argument. My essay has a few. Following fashion weeks, grand shows and catwalks worth hundreds of thousands of pounds/US dollars/Euros, I can’t help but ask – who is the main beneficiary? Is it the public, needy fashion media, a fashion house, a Creative Director? Well, not the Creative Director for sure. The poor guy (let’s say Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy) must be getting grey hair before each show – all eyes are on him. And this guy, who’s just moved from PFW to NYFW is not even French or American, he is pure Italian born and raised in Southern Italy. Have you praised the town of Taranto for nurturing this talent? So, is the public the beneficiary of the grandioso fashion shows? Very unlikely – they can’t even get access to these shows (Givenchy SS16 is a nice exception), unless they know someone who knows someone or work really hard to become the chosen ones, as this blogger explains in her Fashion Week tutorial.
The aim is to sell the collection, right? But is it really? Are the 100+ guests the only customers of Ready To Wear collections? Is it to please the press? Can’t find a counter argument for this one. Inviting the well known ‘bob’ and a recognisable ‘up-do’ to sit at the front row of your show, you can’t go wrong. But is it really about pleasing the influential fashion editors? Why do they have to be pleased? To become their flavour of the season and be featured on their glossy pages? Isn’t the collection itself a good enough validation criterion? The designers and their teams have been working for months to make a 15 minute impression and they have to try harder because the clothes don’t play the major role anymore.
And I have more questions to stick into your head. Why do we care so much about the show, not the clothes? Why are we mad about the big four cities? Why do we follow the brands, not the designers and their teams? Why are we scared to say Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy and always have to add ‘Hubert’ to it? Why don’t we celebrate the legacy by embracing the change, by celebrating new names? Why don’t we relax a little?
Not to be a hypocrite, I am quick to note that Fashion Bloc team is attending London Fashion Week and looking forward to it. As always, we will be meeting our designers and scouting for new names to add to our family – enjoyed Fyodor Golan, looking forward to meet Belgrade fashion stars at Fashion Scout and see the Natasha Zinko show on Saturday. Because we’re all about discovering new talent and looking for the extraordinary. And off I go – I need to plan my LFW outfits.