February is one of my favourite months. Not only does it consist of my birthday, the day of love (whether you love it or hate it), twenty-eight days, and lots and lots of chocolate, it also means New York Fashion Week.
There’s been a lot of hype about this year’s fashion week, but instead of the usual “who’s wearing what?” I get a sense that the questions we’re starting to ask are more along the lines of how to avoid street style photogs, who’s being cut from the shows, and how will designers and the fashion industry continue to push the limits in diversity?
Apart from the clothes shown at fashion week, the event is a breeding ground for all sorts of juicy industry politics.
Ten Things To Look Forward To This Fashion Week:
1. Angry Bloggers.
Due to the so-called “circus”, Suzy Menkes dubbed the week of fashion, I anticipate there to be a decline in the amount of bloggers who have access to shows. As more and more bloggers emerge, more entitlement to attend shows will emerge also. This will result in an angry mob of down and out bloggers strutting outside Lincoln Centre and the small few that make it to Spring Studios and Brooklyn Navy Yard.
2. Boring street style outfits the next street style trend.
Again, “the circus” as a running joke will likely pare itself down in attempt to deter the craziness that surrounds Fashion Week. Editors and journalists this year will be seen wearing head-to-toe black or grey with no-name handbags, no cutesy graphic sweaters or hats, and absolutely no pony hair or feathers, including Anna De La Russo who’s main goal is always to push the envelope even if that means to not push the envelope.
3. An expectation to address the issue of diversity in fashion.
Last year’s Rick Owen’s show was seen around the world as an aggressively progressive piece of performance art rather than a catwalk show. This year, show goers will hopefully expect to see more of the same devotion to changing the fashion industry by incorporating more diversity into designer shows.
4. A better grasp on technology as a positive method of promotion.
In the past, bloggers have dominated coverage of fashion shows where they could near say anything and everything whether good or bad. This year will mark a far more controlled environment of fashion bloggers and social media mavens. Bloggers and design houses now work together to project a brand into the stratosphere where in exchange for being invited shows and having the opportunity to promote their blogger brand, designers can simultaneously promote their brand through bloggers where their followers reach well into the millions.
5. Lack of diverse content.
That being said, bloggers are obligated to post positive reviews about shows and the clothes in order to remain on good terms with brands and to keep a good rapport. This doesn’t bode well for audiences seeking are more critical take on fashion week. Fashion criticism seems to be a dying discipline where writers are no longer being trained to speak critically and instead have a commitment to write positively about whatever designer they are representing.
6. Technology is even further embraced by the fashion industry.
If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. There is no way to get around technology and social media at fashion shows so the best thing to do is to simply embrace it. Use it to benefit the brand by getting people more involved and start more conversations using social media as a platform to shout from the mountains how these clothes will help to shape fashion for the future. Expect some interesting new experiments that mix fashion with tech.
7. Being able to smell the next post on “shit bloggers wear” from a mile away.
Just scroll through Instagram and wait for the myriad of uploads featuring the next “it” bag by 3.1 Phillip Lim with the caption “THIS IS EVERYTHING”. If you need to know what the next big thing in fashion trends will be just keep your eyes on Instagram and Twitter. The truth is in the feed.
8. Shows to look forward to:
Marc Jacobs, 3.1 Philip Lim, Alexander Wang, Band of Outsiders, Carolina Herrera, Chadwick Bell, Charlotte Ronson, Cushnie et Ochs, Honor, Hood By Air, J.Crew, Jason Wu, Josie Natori, Karen Walker, MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, Prabal Gurung, Rag & Bone, Rebecca Minkoff, Rodarte, Rosie Assoulin, Steven Alan, Suno, Tadashi Shoji, Thakoon, The Row, Thom Browne, Tibi.
9. Seeing just how the New Model Alliance Bill takes affect.
I don’t know how they will monitor this, but the bill was passed in order to protect models under the age of 18 by monitoring and implementing cutting back on long work hours and deterring prolonged missed absences from school, chaperones, permits to work, and oversee that the child model’s income will be handled appropriately where 15% of money made will be put into a trust that can be accessed when the child reaches 18. Changes to the show due to this bill would probably include less use of young models where mature and adult models would fill the runways.
10. Watching FW attendees trudge around through snow and cold while I watch from the comfort of my Vancouver apartment cuddled by my favourite blanket and UGG boots.
I went there.