Fashion Week Politics
It all started last season when Queen of the Critique Suzy Menkes spoke out and said what I’m sure many an editor and buyer were all thinking. Then Cathy Horyn backed her up. Then my all-time-against-the-celebrity-in-fashion designer hero Mr de La Renta chimed in agreement, announcing he’d halve his guest list for S/S 14, only inviting important fashion people with “a legitimate professional purpose”. Finally, I thought, it’s kind of about time.
The notion that fashion weeks have become more of a parade for the celebrity and random blogger desperately seeking street style-subject notoriety is no doubt more accurate and real than ever before. At first, the occasional blogger and interesting sartorial subject (hello ADR and TTH) pictured by someone as amazing as like, Tommy Ton, was genuinely really new and captivating. But already to me, these street style photographs of, it seems now, literally every random showing up at these shows, are just getting too ubiquitous. It’s already getting outdated.
I mean, I for one am definitely a fashion nobody in the grande industry hierarchy of buying for big retailers, heading up the biggest glossies and essentially influencing what the best part of the world will be wearing for the next year, but I can totally get why these professionals of high importance are getting pissed at having to walk through huge crowds of people like me, mixed in with a load of irrelevant celebrities (shout out to NeYo at Carolina Herrera…)
Although fashion weeks have fast turned into even greater churners of publicity material via instant means on social media, their initial purpose WAS to provide things to buy and sell on for retailers, and of course, for editors and journalists to cover and put into beautiful spreads and features in magazines. Like most fashion-lovers in the universe, I appreciate that images of the newest collections are almost immediately put online for us to view and admire, but I am quite content admiring the clothes that exact way, from a respectable distance, online, not being sat among the best people in the business, of whom many were probably attending shows when I was still in school.
It seems from the recent press coverage, this political topic is only going to gain more discussion matter until something really does change. As many have commented already, there does need to be a balance, and I think Oscar de La Renta has already proven a very fair point. I mean really, does it actually make much difference to the success of the collection whether hundreds of extra street style shots are taken outside the show or not, or if someone like NeYo takes time out of, ehemmm, his hectic schedule, to make an appearance? Maybe if there are after-parties, or if they make a guest walk like Rita Ora at this September’s DKNY, but maybe not sitting equally among the people who matter the most.
Images from Montreal Post and Nymag.