This Fashion Week situation has been the longest battle to date. People haven’t been this up in arms since the Galliano fiasco.
Women’s Wear Daily Bridget Foley took to the magazine to write a small essay about New York Fashion Week and the fact that New York officials come to a decision with Milan and cutting the Fashion Week by a day or so. It seems as if Foley agrees with CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg’s assertion that “New York, London, Milan and Paris are not four separate, independent entities but one long fashion train with four stops,” and therefore they need to compromise and remain unified. But, Foley adds, that might be sort of besides the point. “Maybe…the dates dilemma merely obscures the real problem…” she wrote, “Maybe the reality of today’s industry no longer jibes with the once tidy flow of shows from city to city.”
Fashion insiders can agree that having a month-long shows twice a year can be a bit jaunting. Even more so, it is very stressful having to fly from one continent to another, knowing well that you will be missing important shows on the last day. It was noted that New York shows are seen as the most “egregiously long run”. The head of their Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana Mario Boselli noted the fact that it would be in NYC’s best interest to reduce the week of shows from its current run at nine days to seven. And though Foley agrees that the week should be shorter, at this junction, there might be no way to shorten it. At average during NY Fashion Week’s nine day “week” run, the are about 37 shows per day with the total running just over 320 runway shows and presentations. There wouldn’t seem to be a simpler way to shorter the week except the most obvious solution which is to cut out shows completely.
“We all know that from a creative standpoint many shows — perhaps a full half of the New York schedule — have no reason to exist,” Foley writes. “That conversation tends to focus on younger types ‘not yet ready to show.’ But…there are just as many established companies who show for no apparent reason other than the press they’ll get.” There in lies the problem of turning down designers. But who would be the first to go? Designers in which the public is well aware of their design aesthetic (i.e. Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Carolina Herrera) or new designers making a name for themselves and focusing on the up-and-coming, like Derek Lam and Cushnie et Ochs?
So Foley presents two solutions: either A.) have New York adhere to a schedule of “deliberately concurrent shows, as many as three an hour from, say, 9 in the morning to 7 at night. Retail and edit teams would have to split up, period. Political problems would ensue, but that’s life. The schedule could potentially be cut by two days.” or B.) have “brands, the ones who won’t rock the world with fashion, show online and distribute look-book photos.”
Which would be easier? Which do you think would work the best?
– Taneisha Jordan
Photo: gaylealstrom.com; Zimbio