A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in my first Fashion [Unfold] debate hosted by Justine Iaboni (@EurotrashGirls) of Whatever…Eurotrash and now it’s my turn to lead the discussion. Below is a description of what Fashion [Unfold] is and how you can participate.
What is Fashion[Unfold]
Fashion[Unfold] is a Debate initiative for Industry insiders to address/discuss Fashion issues. An initiative brought from concept to reality, via Tweets by Noëlly Sam @MissSLY, Fashion Editor-in-chief at Miss SLY!™ and Marcus Kan @fusionofeffects, Toronto based Photographer.
Every Tuesday, a Fashion topic is selected, and the discussion gates are open to everyone, to weight in their two cents via Twitter and comments, here is how you can participate:
1. Follow us on Twitter for live interactions during the debate time period: @FashionCrazy_ @MissSLY & @fusionofeffects
2. Add the hashtag #fashionunfold to your tweets, so we can automatically see your reaction
On the Debate Host’s website:
- Drop a comment on the debate post for that week
After a six-year hiatus Tom Ford made a triumphant return to womenswear with the unveiling of his eponymous ready-to-wear collection during the Spring/Summer 2011 season in New York.
However, those who did not receive the golden ticket (aka the much-coveted show invite) were unable to see the collection due to the designer’s media clamp down (until this weekend of course).
Ford, the man who ushered in this age of immediacy and accessibility in fashion, decided that this need to instantly inform the public was passé and he ushered in a new era of exclusivity—at least for his fashion house.
“The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they’re online, the world sees them. They don’t get to a store for six months,” he told Women’s Wear Daily. “The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They’re in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They’re over-exposed, you’re tired of them, they’ve lost their freshness.”
Ford put himself in the driver’s seat and instituted a “no photography” policy during the showing of his collection and restricted the distribution of all images and information. That meant no images of the clothes would be revealed until Ford gave the say-so, no full run-of-show, no full-look images accompanying reviews, no magazine coverage until the January issues and no celebrities wearing the clothes until December.
“I get fashion immediacy…I don’t get the need for this immediacy. In fact I think it’s bad,” he told WWD.
Do you agree with Tom Ford? Is the culture of immediacy destroying the fashion industry? Is it time to re-jig the fashion calendar and the current system to one that favours, supports and nurtures fashion designers and their labels rather than feeding the insatiable need to know of the public? And where do bloggers fit into all of this?
My 2 Cents:
The fashion industry is definitely in a difficult spot.
Fast fashion retailers can knock of a designer’s creations before the designer can get them to the store. Celebrities are seen in looks from a collection moments after they go down the runway. Full collections including detail and beauty shots are on the internet mere hours after the show. Showstopping looks appear on the covers and within the pages of magazines the world over (Balmain’s Look number 22, anyone?)
And I think that all that needs to stop.
Anna Wintour was onto something when she showed looks from the Fall 2010 collections during Fashion’s Night Out just before they were set to appear on store shelves.
Consumers need to be re-programmed (and magazine editorial calendars need to be re-planned) so that the people who will be buying the clothes can preview them before the clothes hit store shelves. Fashion shows can become like tradeshows and become more exclusive and the media, buyers and other industry insiders can see the collections during the regular seasons.