‘Fashion Week’: Does It Still Resonate?
13 September 2019
Author: Jasmine Waters
The fashion and homeware trade show circuit being in dire need of change and renovation is something our blog has never shied away from. But the spotlight for change has now turned towards fashion weeks across the world, where there are growing opinions that the traditional framework needs to see some form of evolution. With some brands looking to gear themselves towards more consumer-led experiences, how can this ‘elite’ tradition keep in touch with, and resonate, with the market itself?
How did we get to ‘Fashion Week’ to begin with?
‘Fashion Week’ as a concept is something that first dates back to 1943, after European and US designers found it harder to showcase across the pond after the Second World War. While many elements have adapted (such as the growing requirement of elaborate ‘visual displays’), the framework events operate under remains very much the same. This has led to many of the industry’s ‘big players’ to question how the model can now grow, and what kind of innovation is left in it. Smaller brands are also often left on the outskirts of season programmes, mainly due to steep entry obstacles made by ‘official’ schedules. Perhaps because of these concerns, the event season is now starting to see small shifts in both how the events themselves are conducted, as well as participants finding other ways to use the momentum that fashion week builds.
What room is there for potential change?
As of September 2019, there have been a number of dynamic changes noticed during a variety of fashion-related events closing out the year – as well as the decade. Accessories designer Anya Hindmarch chose to use their fashion week platform to create unique consumer-led experiences, such as a maze constructed as a ‘gallery of curiosities’, and visitor access to modern calligraphy experts, penning letters for those attending, linking to some of their bespoke collection. They have also spearheaded change in allowing the general public to access their fashion week showcase for a paying fee, something more New York and London based designers are opting to do to help eradicate exclusivity. Another great example of fashion week ‘change’ this season has been the Savage x Fenty show, largely for being accessible to an international audience by being streamed on Amazon Prime. The theme of the show itself was geared towards a diverse cast (regardless of ‘binary’ gender) claiming their freedom to move through undergarment power dressing, showing potential progress in both its inclusivity and creative staging. There is now a perfect opportunity for the framework to continue adapting from this small beginning to simultaneously providing advantages for the consumers of larger established labels, alongside providing ample opportunity for the smaller, more local markets to grow.
Photo credit: http://lapalmemagazine.com