The Fashion System
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London Fashion Week ss17

London fashion week ss17 street style

London Fashion Week ss17 is over, and it has for sure been a rich experience! As we always do, we collected the looks that stood most out to us on Pinterest (check it out here) in order to sort out what inspired us. Later, when all the fashion weeks are over, we will run over it again and use it for our trend forecasting. For now, it’s just fashionable indulgence.

We have previously argued that it’s important to form ones own ideas, as it’s otherwise easy to be influenced by other peoples’ opinions. The reason is that fashion is socially contextualised, and therefore we all experience fashion differently. There are no right or wrong – though there are general opinions prevailing – and at the end of the day it’s all just very subjective. This can be good to remember, when we hear various opinions pointing in east and west and don’t know what to think.

Vogue praised the best 10 shows of London Fashion Week ss17 and – among others – mentioned Christopher Kane, one of London’s favourite darlings, as number 2, surpassed only by the big and brave Burberry. On the other hand, BoF argued that in London, the designers are “lost in collage” while featuring the opening look by the aforementioned appraised Christopher Kane. The comment reminds me of a French tutor, I used of have in London. When my classmates and I said something incomprehensible, her dry remark would simply be ‘est une salade’ meaning that it meant no sense whatsoever and was just one big… well, mixed salad.

Christopher Kane ss17

Personally, I appreciated Christopher Kane ss17, and found the various elements in the ‘collage’ quite well balanced. How I experience London, and a designer like him, is as a place that turns out quirky, playful, funky, fresh, unpredictable products and looks. I feel differently about the other big fashion cities, but this is essentially what London is also to me – where collections are made up by different components turned into a whole, new blend where inspirations are subtly blending together.

 
Mulberry ss17Life as a Creative Director is hard! Johnny Coca, who just sent out his second collection for Mulberry, was by Vogue reviewed as being a bit off, and not really succeeding in resolving the Britishness that this brand is very much about, while still being relevant in the ‘Vetement kind of way.’ While I think there were many good points in the collection for this urban, yet feminine girl, I perhaps wondered if some of the shapes weren’t really for a young consumer – or if it was quirky enough. What we all compare against is of course what the brand and Mulberry girl is really about, and to that there can be varied answers.

 

And if fashion design life wasn’t already complicated enough, there’s now also a choice of what season to do. While Burberry sent out fw1617, the other brands did ss17. A part from production and retail logistics, it’s interesting if the human mind – designer and customer alike – can comprehend to design for or desire something in 6-12 months’ time. Desire isn’t easily scheduled, but is more a here-and-now craving.

When designers work, they do so based on impressions during the process. That means, these must be current. They of course take notion of ‘everything that has already been’ and make sure to create something with a novel and fresh feel, but ultimately it’s very hard to imagine yourself or a customer one year from now. It’s how we work, yes, because that’s the structure of the fashion system, but ultimately all the trend forecasting and envisioning the future are perhaps more theoretical and not very applicable to how life really is.

It’s a question of asking yourself, where certain impressions are on the trend curve (upcoming, mature, out-dated), but even then we get inspired by what we see and feel. Though the world is big, Creatives tend to seek out and see the same things (exhibitions, restaurants, magazines) and go to the same places (holiday, areas). So does it mean that Christopher Bailey (Burberry) is taking notion of current art exhibitions, while Johnny Coca (Mulberry) is more looking into future exhibitions and films to be launched? And if Johnny goes to an art exhibition, which he finds inspiring, he can’t, God forbid, be inspired by it? Alas, it’s complicated! Let’s just agree that trends are very, very fluid, and not so schematic that they seem to appear in magazines and trend forecasting prognoses.

Cover is from Vogue fashion week street style.

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