The Fashion System
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Is Fashion dead?

I simply haven’t been able to get this article out of my mind:

The Fashion Industry doesn’t even care about Fashion anymore.

If you read one article this week or month, let it be this one. First I reposted it to The Fashion Crowd FB page. Then I reposted it on LinkedIn, and then to the intranet with my MA class from Academy Of Arts University, but I still feel I’m not done with it. The title says it all; The Fashion Industry doesn’t even care about Fashion anymore. It’s a very strong statement and rather negative too. Is fashion dead? Let’s explore.

All the people I know in fashion are utterly passionate about it. Otherwise they simply wouldn’t be there, as it isn’t worth it. Too much hassle. It’s people who dream about fashion, spend their Friday nights on Pinterest, and who will consider their wardrobe more of an archive. So, in my humble opinion, it’s not the fashion professionals, who don’t care.

Indeed we – as in a broader range of people in various fields – have created a system, where there is much hype about other factors than the actual clothes. The location of the show has to be grander than last time (and Instagrammable), the strongest show pieces wont be bought by the retailers as it’s not safe for the mainstream audience, and the same customers are used to new products all the time leaving little time for design reflection. Nobody explains that like Raf Simons. So it’s the world that has gone bananas (not sure you can say that in English, but you can in Danish, and I’m sure you get the point). Of course, every designer has the free choice to not follow the rules of the game, but in business you have to survive, and it’s very hard not to adapt to a certain culture and withstand.

From how I see it, it’s the customer who has forgotten the sweet joy of fashion indulgence. Of luxury. Where it’s about you, and not what other people think. Like with great sex (sorry, it’s really the first parallel that comes to my mind). You don’t have it, I hope, mainly to show and tell other people about it (though that can feel pretty good too). Fashion should be the same. Personal indulgence. Guilty or not guilty pleasures. We have deprived ourselves of tasty chocolate and is only eating the 90% dark, boring and healthy one; stopped going to Bali and started going to Helsinki, Finland (for Christ sake!), and we spend our weekends preparing for marathons. We need to be correct, show some character and ‘get some Likes’.

The customer really does have a lot of influence, and in the fashion picture the customer is also often young. Most brands are after the Millennials consumer, as they will be around longer and really care about their look, while they carve out their identity. They will get excited about the first black rock collection, they see, and the brands will do their best to satisfy them. Experienced fashion professionals will have seen the rock look a zillion times and claim ‘Fashion is dead, there’s nothing new to be invented’. Li Edelkoort just being one of them. Strong statement too.

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So, what to do? The fresh vibes, I see being brought into the picture, are almost all from individual designers rather than directors taking over established brands with billion-dollar turn-overs. I believe you see the individuality, freshness, excitement and less compromise. And you get a full spectrum to chose from from the most emerging and artistic new entries to quite established brands, and it feels true. And that will always be exciting.

Fashion Cat

8 Comments

  1. I feel the same.. i’ve always wondered, as a fashion design student, does the world need anymore fashion designers? but you see, practical minds would say no… i’m never practical… for me, fashion is definitely an archive… it reflects the world and the time… it’s so sad now that our time, and fashion will speak ten years from now, that we are a bunch of easily bored people who wants it easy, fast and now… nobody has the time to digest the changes because we allow to change everyday… big brands show almost 4 collections a year, sometimes 6.. with the internet now broadcasting the trends while the show is on going, everyone wants to emulate…

    consumers have taken over indeed.. and i have nothing to say to that because it is our time now, it is who we are… and while being different is how one designers can start, sometimes it is staying relevant that keeps them in the game.. and sometimes staying relevant means following the crowd, or the young people… influencers are getting younger everyday now.. and aint nothing wrong with that… but it’s difficult to find brands now that speaks their voice louder than the hungry young… i salute those who stay true to their brands… always… i hope i made sense there. lol

    ps. i’ve needed this site for a long time now!

    • bette bondo says

      What an interesting reflection, Aurea!

      And for sure, there’s never anything practical about fashion but on the other hand a lot of emotion. Truly worthwhile design still matters – and 10 years from now, that will be what we remember.

      Where are you from, and are you in the fashion sector?

      Bette

      • Aurea says

        I’m from New Zealand.. (i’m a filipino though)… oohh hoping to be in fashion one day.

        • bette bondo says

          So what would you like to do in fashion? And how are you planning to pursue the dream? B

          • Aurea says

            initially i wanted to do costume design. I still want to because i like the limitation is gives.. but also i wanna design modern style filipino work… so will keep studying different techniques before starting a business.. i also want to be more environment conscious but it’s a whole lot of studying too

          • bette bondo says

            Well, it seems like you’re keeping your options open to explore some different paths and that is good. Eventually – if I should give you a piece of advice – it could be beneficial to pinpoint what is your SUPER PASSION and then focus on that. But there’s time for that, and also it’s a process.
            Being environmentally conscious is going to become a lot cooler and more varied in the future, and also it’s a necessity that brands will have to address, because the next generation will not compromise on it. So it’s a really interesting journey with loads of opportunities to create super cool brands that will make a lot of older brands seem totally out-dated.
            Good luck with it all 🙂
            Are you on Instagram?
            Bette

          • Aurea says

            Yup! Options are good.. but recently, I’ve been cery passionate about bringing our culture to new zealand. That’s why a lot of learning has to be done and costume making would be a way to keep a job on garment construction.. i’ll basicallt only use it for skill improvement hahaha

            yup. a lot more people are much more conscious now. :3 so it’s definitely goo.

            Yes i do. @aurelia.andrea

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