I have a bit of a confession to make. I haven't exactly been following the shows taking place in New York this past week. While this may seem the most insignificant of actions, it's perhaps reflective more of the state of the shows themselves than my (neglected) duty as a faithful fashion follower. You see, my problem lies not in the massive number of shows that take place, nor in accessibility to the collections, but rather in their contents. I'm finding that every show looks just like the one the designer created the year before, complete with all the same concepts and executions. From the small glances I can afford to pay to the collection, every look resembles a previous look, a bit too similarly to spark interest, but just enough to spark recollection. Put quite simply, I'm bored. And with the fashion weeks just starting, this may prove to be a complete misinterpretation of what (hopefully) turns out to be an innovative season, but for the moment I am not impressed.
With all due respect to my base city, New York has never been known for its artistically innovative design (with few inevitable exceptions such as the genius of Thom Browne and Marc Jacobs, and younger talent like Vejas and Eckhaus Latta), but the sameness and insignificance of the shows makes me ponder their necessity, and on a greater scale, the necessity for fashion week as a whole. If every Calvin Klein collection produces the same monochromic set of basics, every Anna Sui the same acidic boho, great coats at Altuzarra, New York simplicity epitomized in Hugo Boss, and the most of elegant side of New York summed perfectly up between Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta (both originally not native New Yorkers, yet capture the essence of its most traditional beauty the best, but that's a talk for another day...), is it really necessary to hold shows for all of these? If consumers know what to expect then there's really no need to show the clothes like they don't. Fashion shows should be saved for the noteworthy and/or newsmakers. If it's not innovation or creation, then we really don't need to see it walk down a runway (again.)
Every designer, every brand, every established fashion house wants their own show, their own literal 15 minutes in the ever-hungry, unforgiving, and forgetful spotlight of fashion, but all the focus (however short) on mediocrity sullies a fashion season and/or city as a whole. I don't even attend shows and I'm still tired and bored with most of what I see. That's not to say fashion shows should be exclusively avant-garde presentations akin to the likes of Rick Owens, but I think I might have a originality-starvation-inflicted mental breakdown if I see any more damn neutral-colored, structured outerwear from New York fashion week.
The opening look at Calvin Klein.
Photo by Vogue Runway.