We are about to go through an historic change in the fashion system. Cracks are forming and designers and fashion houses are trying to fix them before the walls come down.
But is it for the better good, or is the industry panicking. Over the last few years the conversation about fashion and its old ways has been masticated by the fashion pack, chewed around and never swallowed. Until designers started saying "no more."
the leaders of the pack slowly bowed out as large houses put strain on creative minds. In the last few days the face of fashion shifted. Tectonic plates under the once glorious and lush fashion kingdom have awoken and slowly and surely the proverbial fashion planes are shifting and colliding. Uncertainty poring through the gaps and people running for hills.
Burberry, Tom Ford and one of the most influential houses of the moment, Vetements have announced in the last few weeks that they will be showing mens and women's collections together.
Burberry have announced they will be showcasing seasonless collections and that they also want to make the collections available to buy directly after the show, online and in store.
In Burberrys case they are going to rename the shows to "February" and "September".
We want it now, the world has cried out, we cannot wait. The excitement of the shows dimmed by the time the collections reach the store six months after a presentation.
In Vetements case, they want to show mens and womens in January and June.
Each house applying different rules and process that they feel will best work for them and their customers in these digital times.
The BoF reported yesterday,
"So, our view is that, going forward, there will not necessarily be a single operating model that the entire industry employs, but rather a variety of ways in which designers will address the question of how to connect and transact with consumers in the digital age. We could go from one way of doing business, to multiple ways, each catering to the different strategies, end customers and business goals of a given brand." - Business of Fashion
Why does this effect us, you might be asking yourself.
Fashion is a hungry beast, one that is all consuming and leaves a nasty mess in its trail. Hurricane Mode, sucking up anything in its path. You might feel like you're in the land of Oz, but in actual fact you just have concussion and all that remains are those red bottomed Louboutins stuck to your feet.
Canzas is looking like the safe place again. But can the fashion industry get back there?
Production of collections will have to happen before a single customer/buyer has seen them. Predictions made on how well the sales of items no one has even had time to look at or consider. The impact on manufacture and consumption methods changing again.
You will have the products at the time you want them, and then you can wear them for six months before you buy something new, which I do think is a good thing. We need to appreciate fashion more.
But What does this mean for the menswear shows that have been so influential over the years. Merged with womens, does this mean the excitement and drive for innovation in menswear will be diluted? Are we moving to a more genderless fashion system?
Is this a progressive move to better how we interact and consume fashion? Or is this a desperate power struggle by houses looking to keep their place on the top spot? Time will tell.
Not all fashion business can work to this format, many younger new designers do not have the funds or investment to cope with the turn around that fashion feels that it needs. I think that innovation within the fashion system should come from the bottom up, like many design talent does today. It is the role of new designers to rework the system and speak to the people, they are the influencers of today, the voices that make a difference to a generation.