It’s so interesting to me that as fashion has gained the global status of being cool and interesting, the looks on the runways of today’s top designers are far from the fantasy and desire of the days when fashion was a sacred industry only seen by buyers and the press before the garments hit the stores for retail. Fashion was considered an art form by those genuinely involved with the sacredness of detail, workmanship, draping, and adorning the female form. Each season, in Fall and Spring, the garments of the most recognizable fashion designers in the world would be presented to the fashion trade. The garments were presented on models you could only dream about looking like, with music that made you fall in love by showcasing the drop-dead exquisiteness of the artistry, the colors, and the fabrics of high-end fashion. Going through the New York collections every season was like visiting a fantasy world I was lucky enough to share and dreaming about a future where I would be draped in such elegance.
Now fashion has the attention of a much larger global audience of spectators tuned into the sexiness of “power dressing” and the star power of its designer talent. The audiences for the collection shows have grown from intimate settings at the Pierre and Plaza in New York to the global exposure of the presentations through live streaming and video of the actual runway presentations. Over the years, fashion cool has mostly obliterated the “art” of fashion when both elements together are what made “fashion” so extraordinary for those inside the industry.
My career expertise has always been interpreting my love for fashion into the ability to showcase the excitement of design and style and translate that desire to my audience. Through the proliferation of fashion on video, the general public has been brought into the “cool” of this industry. My issue now is that the industry has pushed so hard to be different and edgy every season, appealing to the global youth, that the clothes and the presentations are far from the beauty and elegance that made fashion “art.” The bareness of the styles today shows off bodies that look like starved species rather than the sensuous forms that were presented in the past. The clothes are ripped, deconstructed, voluminous beyond comfortable wear, or totally exposing the body underneath, which is more than we want to know about in the real world. And these traits become more exaggerated each season from the most respected brands in high-end fashion. What’s a poor girl to do? This brings up another point: the androgyny on the runways makes me totally confused about who is who and what is what. All the elements that once made me want to spend my total net worth on clothing have melted away, forcing me to think about spending on other things like food and home furnishings.
All of this causes me to think about the awareness and interest in vintage clothing and the idea of brands reselling slightly used merchandise from years past. Maybe this is telling us as much about a desire for the “art” of fashion as it is to support the eco-friendly focus of this industry. Now I think the interest in the past is due to the lack of interest in the present. Today’s fashion stars have captured the eyes of the world, and I hope we won’t lose the “art” of the industry in appealing to the otherworldly looks on today’s runways.