Mrs Menkes’ article ” Sign of the Times -The New Speed of Fashion” featured in ”The New York Times” online and pose a number of interesting questions with the insight and the deep knowledge that characterize her and her journalistic work.The main theme was fashion’s new pace,meaning that most fashion House’s produce almost 10 collections a year (counting Resort in) while consumers dont have time to actually keep up with that and designer are being put into a lot of pressure and strain,a situation that does not encourage creativity. The ”new rich” are actually people that have not been nurtured with the idea of elegance and style that older rich families are by heritage,they just rush for the newest ”it” thing,the most expensive,the better for a grande show off.But still,is that an explanation of all this fashion frenzy?Mrs Menkes nails it when saying that ‘‘With the traditional six-month lead time on the delivery of international show content, designer collections can be outpaced by the so-called fast fashion chains. H&M, Topshop and Zara, or even Target and J. Crew, would have their versions for sale before the designer looks hit the stores.”
Indeed,fashion houses had to compete in a race that would lead nowhere for them,and entered a game without having the foresight to see its future consequences. Fashion chains mostly copy iconic designer pieces or transform trends to suits everyone and every budget.The policy on Zara stores is that the windows should change almost every week to produce the effect of ”buy it now or lose it”, withdrawing pieces even when not being sold.Its a good marketing strategy as proved yet its an unsuited one for Fashion Houses.From the start,what made a high fashion item so precious was the time spend in it in terms of designing,pattern cutting it and embellishing it by hand most of the times.That took more time than a retail piece but you paid for the quality and the work on it and that made the difference in the garment itself from its high street copy,better fitting. I belong to a generation that my mother used to have her personal seamstress to either have her outfits altered sur mesure or adjust bought ones.That wasnt the exception,it was the rule amongst women of upper middle classes.
Two things come to mind.Those women werent going crazy for ”newness”,they were going for in fashion-flattering outfits.And for an outfit to flatter a silhouette that’s not model like,adjustments had to be made for the perfect fit. Yet,nowadays,with size zero as a norm in fashion industry (and i don’t only mean the models) anything can fit.Anything fits but how good does it actually look?Is elegance deriving from clothes falling as if of a hanger in a size zero body of tiny pants for women while not taking into account that ”girls are girls not boys”.Or let me put it differently,they are women,in case certain designers have forgotten this single point.
Another thing that put pressure on fashion designers is the extended net of fashion bloggers.They get the infos,they reproduce it,they expect the new almost every day,not paying attention to pattern cutting,design or quality fabrics.They just have to feed their appetite for something ”brand new”, more ”today” and call it the ”trend of the season”,until next post..With unlimited access to web-shopping and fashion shows being shown on the web,the fashion bloggers’ society pushes for more.The lack of fashion history and sociology of apparel is apparent to most of them,all they want is to feature ”something new” first.How about featuring ”something elegant” instead?That would reduce the speed of posting,tweeting,instagraming more than we can imagine.And perhaps give designers and creative times some time to breath,find the necessary stimuli and present inspired collections,perhaps even themed ones-as it used to be.
World economics scholars comment that the transition from capitalism to anarchocapitalism have led money to be transferred through stockmarkets to spreads and from there to obscure off-shore companies sometimes in a time of a day.But this is exactly why money now are being considered non existed in terms of gold or even banknotes.With this speed leading to ”plethoric” money you’d expect a ”plethoric”situation in fashion also.And so there is.This fashion show frenzy represents none,from retailers to fashion devotees,and puts extreme pressure to designers’ arms killing creativity in the name of quantity.But if noone’s benefiting from that,why does it keep going?The answer is simple.In anarchocapitalistic economies,it takes one to start and the rest will have to follow,taking your own pace appears to be losing influence and status.Fashion Houses dread the loss of their status and market value as recognizable labels.So they have to run,as long as the others run also.Its a trap they all have to fall into.’‘Anarcho-capitalist themes abound, including an exploration of not honoring sovereign immunity, privately owned road systems, a laissez faire market and competing currencies.” If we apply those basic rules to fashion industry he have the answer to its speeding up,its just keep pace with actual society.But in a market where creativity and inspiration used to be the driving forces,such a phaenomenon can only lead,as Mrs Menkes concludes in her brilliant article, to: ” whoever said that logic and fashion make a good fit? As the fashion carousel spins ever faster, the concern is that, while the stream of newness never runs out, there’s going to be a good deal more crash and burn among designers in the future.”
My idea?Slow down,its all about quality not quantity.That’s why High Fashion is for.For if i see a fashion house lowering quality or inspiration in terms of competing in this collection frenzy,i will choose H&M. Tend to represent almost the same thing in a fraction of a prize.