WE BOUGHT A ZOO
by lady silk
An ocelot prances to the left, a cheetah moves swiftly down the middle, a gloriously black and white striped zebra stops and poses; exotic snake, eel and stingray skins glisten against the sun- and there is multi-hued pony hair everywhere! Gaggles of freakishly tall fashion personalities teetering dangerously close to the edge of being a fashion victim rock 5 and 6-inch platform heels and stilettos, dripping in the latest, greatest and the most outrageous trends in street couture all converge on the sidewalks. All of which is being captured by photographers, paparazzi and those on the outskirts of the once exclusive fashion community. Welcome to New York Fashion Week.
The biannual event held every September and February since it's inception in 1943 by legendary fashion and P.R. maven Eleanor Lambert, New York Fashion Week (or Press Week as it was called ) has always been about promoting American designer's collections to the the fashion editors, buyers and private clients. A movie star might occasionally pop up on the front row, but it was nothing like today's celebratory brouhaha of disposable celebrities. The internet is a major reason for the recent massive high interest in fashion and has allowed both fashion and style to become accessible for everyone who wants in. As a result, an explosion of fashion bloggers, street style stars, and other hopeful fame by association industry groupies have infiltrated the scene, and now the outside of the tents where the collections are shown, resemble a zoo.
Industry insiders say that Fashion Week has turned into a nightmare and has made it hard for those working editors and buyers to actually do their jobs. After several seasons of complaints from designers and editors alike, Lincoln Center, where NY Fashion Week has been hosted since 2010, is said to be making changes to accommodate the schedules to make it a more exclusive event. But is it too little, too late? Top designers Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera are not showing at the tents in February and fashion industry newspaper Women's Wear Daily (WWD) is reporting that two more designers, Michael Kors and Diana von Furstenberg may not show.
With the advances of technology, (which fashion has always embraced, none more so than English brand Burberry, who last September was given access by Apple to use the Isight camera phone and was an early adapter of shopping online and the first brand to use Twitter) the globalization of luxury fashion in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, eCommerce (clients can now pre-order directly from runway shows,) and the ever changing fashion cycle (spring, fall, cruise/resort, pre-fall repeat!) some are even asking is Fashion Week still relevant and if so- for how long? With many shows being offered via live streaming and other instantly gratifying ways to market, promote and sell brands online- what do you think?
*photo from Stylecaster.com