I often use the word ‘relentless’ to describe the season’s packed calendar, constant travelling and myriad trade shows and fashion weeks.
Just back from Copenhagen and with New York upon us, what might help chip away at the monolithic calendar is for brands to really consider the best format with which to exhibit their collection to buyers and press.
For many the catwalk is seen as the pinnacle; the culmination of much blood, sweat and toiles, and the
ultimate presentation a brand can embark upon. But all too often fashion week schedules are crammed with
names that, if we’re honest, have no place on the catwalk.
This is not elitism, nor snootiness on my part, rather a straightforward assessment of the effectiveness of a catwalk. Naming no names, there were more than a couple of brands at Copenhagen, for example, whose aesthetic is just not suited to marching models and stark lighting. In general catwalk shows are over very quickly, so if your collection isn’t visually striking or intriguing the point of doing one is lost - without the drama (note, not necessarily theatrics) the show boils down to nice clothes on good-looking people. This is all well and good but it’s an expensive way of showing you make great products. In the stomp-stomp and swish-swish the detail designers have been painstakingly crafting is, more often than not, lost.
Similarly, trade shows aren’t for every brand either but they at least afford the viewer a more hands-on and less fleeting experience. On the downside, attendees can get snow-blind in the avalanche of brands, with drama and emotion playing second fiddle to the practicality of showing a full collection. Rewinding to London Collections: Men, perhaps Tom Ford had it cracked with his salon show. OK, so not every brand has a charming Texan to present its latest wares but the marvelling at and man-handling of a collection is a compelling combination.