Bridget Foley’s Diary: Fashion in the Shadows, 12/20/16– WWD

Source: Bridget Foley’s Diary: Fashion in the Shadows – WWD

Wonderful piece from fashion critic Bridget Foley in which she opines that instant fashion or “fast fashion” garnered more attention from the general public this year than classic or genuine fashion. My favorite passages :

When conversation about the when of a fashion season and the where of a fashion season is more compelling than the what of a fashion season — and that holds true through an entire year — what does that say?

Sadly, a great deal. The consumer can see it live-streamed (or in some cases, in person) today, buy it today, wear it tomorrow — praise the Lord and type in the AmEx security code. But what is “it?” How much time was spent during the shows and thereafter discussing which creative choices mattered in fashion this year? What resonated, what stirred emotions? Where is the attention to fashion itself — not only its major themes, but also its matters of silhouette, color, fabric, intricacies of cut and construction? At best, these seem to be afterthoughts. The satellite issues that should revolve around the core have exploded into supremacy; fashion is no longer at the center of its own universe.

Among the myriad reasons for this, one seems obvious: too much merch of too little creative significance. Purveyors of such can celebrate their own procedural innovation if not that of their fashion. Yet given that inarguable fact, one would think that the great moments would shine all the more vibrantly amidst the mundane. Instead, the reverse happens. What’s the scientific conundrum about the definition of sound — if a tree falls in a forest…? In fashion, if something glorious happens on the runway and we don’t take the time to breathe it in, think about it, contextualize it — most importantly, to revel in it — did it really happen? If showgoers are preoccupied with personal brand-building Instagram posts during shows, and brands and retailers, with speed-to-market competitions thereafter, how much energy is channeled into experiencing the runway moment? Do enough people still care deeply enough about what happens on the runway?

The facts suggest no, a shame on multiple levels. The fashion industry should start paying attention to fashion again. Though endless lip service is given to the truism that product comes first, the hyper focus on non-sartorial issues — the calendar, speed to market, technological progress — has developed at the expense of celebrating fashion. Even executives at the highest levels of luxury often seem more impressed with celebrity retweets than when their designer showed a dress that took your breath away (if you were paying attention). Meanwhile, how’s business?


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