A week ago at the beginning of New York Fashion Week I wrote I would be posting my favorites of the day. You may have noticed that I haven’t posted any clothes all weekend. The reason? I didn’t see enough that moved me to post. Too many collections made me question the future of the business. Questions like who is going to wear this and where, and why is so much geared to 17 year olds? Shows have become PR vehicles to communicate message with more salable clothes in the showroom. However the message I’m taking away from too many shows is Kardashian style shock value and attention mongering is the new norm. Things like fit, construction and intellectual exploration of a concept have fallen to the wayside. Obviously this is not true of every brand but I see it as an alarming trend.
Many of the newer labels so desperately want to be the next Vetements that they are doing bad parodies of what Vetements has already done. Others are rehashing what has been on the runways for four seasons already; superfluous sleeves, tugged and tortured asymmetry and deconstructionism run amok. No wonder New York gets a bad wrap and many of the legit labels are jumping ship for Paris. All I’m asking for is more craft, cohesion and most of all substance. Brands not ready for prime time should forego a show and with the money saved hire an experienced pattern maker. Work on your craft and explore your own unique concept, think it through thoroughly, and build your business on it. Don’t jump on whatever trend bandwagon is blowing through town.
I know how hard it is to bring a collection to fruition, and on top of that produce a compelling show. It takes a tremendous amount of grit, determination, creativity, plus long hours of work. But the fleeting glory of a show and Instagram moment should not be the end game. The noisy echo chamber designers work in and the constant distraction of the Kardashians, celebrity headlines and social media must not be given prime real estate in the brains of designers. Fashion is a reflection of the time we live in, but it does not have to reflect the most dumbed down aspects of our world. Designers must rise above the noise and dig deeper into their own creativity or else why go to all the trouble?
Not to end on a negative note, here are examples of what I did like from the past few days…
To end on a positive note, on Saturday a new tennis star was crowned when Sloane Stephens won the women’s title for the US Open. The third set against Venus Williams in the semifinals was, in my opinion, the best tennis of the tournament. She’s super fast on her feet, has a killer smile, and a winning personality. A true champion.