The State of Fashion address.
Photo by Adam Katz Sinding.
In the midst of Fashion Month, most people (notice the use of people and not “fashion lovers”) have seen or unseen a fair share of street style pictures, most notably from New York Fashion Week. Which could precisely be the problem.
Upon my first read of Suzy Menkes’ “The Circus of Fashion“, ( the link initially posted by The Man Repeller) I, like the Man Repeller, was outraged. Granted I am nowhere near the magnitude of “blogger” status as her, I , still somewhat a blogger, was outraged, if not fazed. Fazed, due to the fact that the author of the article is partially right. Fashion Week has become swarmed with “paparazzi” doing whatever it takes to get “the shot”. At that, these paparazzi aren’t getting the shot of partially talented or innovative people per se, but the people who manage to wear the craziest, most uncomfortable looking outfits. Outfits that attract views. Making NYFW really a “circus”.
The author is also right, in noticing the pace and amount in which Fashion has changed. Technology and the internet make seeing the “highly exclusive” shows possible to common person. No longer will you need to be one of the elite, particularly New York elite, or an editor of a huge company to go to these shows. Now people from all different backgrounds and all different upbringings and even occupations can have a chance to go.
Where my views differ is on the topic of the Lincoln Center and fashion show goers. I, still a mere tadpole in the world much less the fashion world, have no real re-collection of the world of Fashion before the 2000-ish time. I have known about the Lincoln Center most of my life and although , like many things, I knew that it was not always the beacon of Fashion Week, but it is now. The one point that particularly hit a nerve, was the fact that author (Suzy?) Simply clumps all bloggers as “people famous for being famous” and disregarding all possible talent that these “people” might have, although not conventional. As people who wear actual peacock features as a plea for attention. Although that may not be my cup of tea, one day it might and I certainly wouldn’t want to be grouped as “gasping for attention” for wearing something that I feel like I want to wear.
Now on the other hand, I do understand that there are people who would wear certain things to gain attention, but most who are “ready and willing to be objects” usually leak authenticity, they aren’t flaunting the outrageous in public then wearing the minimal in private. These people are outrageous all the time, not just for the cameras on the welcoming mat of the Lincoln Center, the Anna Della Russo’s.
Just because people pose for the camera does not mean that they are gasping for the attention of the swarms of photographers. It is a sign of the times, now information travels (arguably) faster than the speed of light. People all over the world, now have an equal chance to inform themselves. What could be so wrong with that?
One point that the author argues is the “loss of exclusivity” (for lack of better wording) in the world of fashion. The author begins that article by telling an anecdote of the world of Fashion when before, pretty much, the internet. The author retells when how the fashion elite, dressed in black, would gather around the secretly allotted locations of shows, unlike the free-for-all that the Lincoln Center is viewed as now.
But where the gap in understanding is apparent is that, the way that people can now break into fashion is not bad, its different. This generation, is the future palette cleanser, the “entrepreneurial generation.” “Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own.” Which not many of previous generations could necessarily do. Many of my generation are experts in their field, or possible fields of work, before they’ve even left their formal education, as early as high school. Sure, its unconventional or surely untraditional but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Tradition and innovation are rarely ever put together in the same boat, but to gauge the success of the former against the latter, the latter has proven itself much more effective, especially now.
The success of innovation is largely due to our upbringings, living in the 00’s is vastly different than living in the 90’s, 80’s or the 70’s. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc all are providing new and different ways of learning information. They certainly aren’t going away anytime soon so the true test from now and on would be how to use and manipulate these tools, and who does it best.
But there is a fair amount of blame to be put on the industry of blogging all together. With an industry so new and vast, its hard to regulate it and or even manage it. Even those waist deep in it are still figuring it out themselves. Blogging still proves to be unpaved ground in need of some guidance. The industry needs some change to jolt it in some sort of direction, we must find a way to guide ourselves.
Like The Man Repeller said, Darwinism will prevail. The truly innovative and strong will go on, and those ankle deep will not.