The major fashion weeks of the world are a biannual event; February to prepare for autumn, and September to prepare for spring. This in itself needs an explanation; normal folk might ask ‘why would you show winter clothes right when spring is starting?’ and vice versa, and the fashion folk will have an answer for you: designers need to prepare for what will go into mass production well in advance, and so they have about half a year after their collection shows to put their products onto the market.
That’s all well and good, but what isn’t is the fact that Fashion Week is no longer about viewing beautiful pieces of wearable art and the steps that take them from the runway to tables in stores. What used to be editors and buyers attending shows for practical purposes has become a frenzy of celebrities, bloggers and any other ‘it person’ you can name parading around in the most ridiculous garb in order to get a good street style shot and their 6 seconds of fame. It’s not even 60 seconds anymore: our society moves far too fast for that now.
While the main aim of Fashion Week used to be to showcase the hard work and creative vision of designers, it has now become all about hashtags (#MBFW or #fashiongirlproblems, anyone?), taking photos of food during between-show breaks and after-show parties, selfies and front-row fame. The selection of people who pay attention to the actual clothes has dwindled down to a miniscule percentage. Whilst the shows are going on, at least 90% of the audience can be seen looking down at their phones, either making transport plans to get to the next show or Instagramming everything in real time.
But nobody lives in real time, and the days of appreciating the art of fashion are long gone.