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Revolutions in Fashion: A Wind of Change

Mar 05, 16 Revolutions in Fashion: A Wind of Change

What is Fashion? What is Art? We all are used to look at art as something superior, some kind of divine expression of feelings, of reality, of the existence. We see haute couture and high fashion as sort of art, that expresses current times.

Paris. The capital of fashion. Parisian fashion weeks were always the ones to look for, while searching for the highest point of the Art of Fashion.

At the first day of the fashion week, one of the most noticeable shows was Koche. Christel Kocher, the designer, whose label was launched only in 2014, surprised every attendee to her show. The area and the venue of the show, one of the oldest passages of boulevard Saint Denis in Paris, offered a little sneak peek to what was about to come. The smell of the cannabis spread before the beginning of the show predicted that the new fashion is coming from the streets. The new fashion is coming from the places that some of us are trying to avoid and to deny. The street fashion is becoming the new couture. The models who walked on the runway were a mix of top class professional models together with designer’s friends and people she found on the streets. The mix of high quality couture materials and a street-wear must mean something.

Kocher RTW Fall 2016 Kocher RTW Fall 2016 Kocher RTW Fall 2016 Kocher RTW Fall 2016

This is a new era when fashion is everything and anything. When street style is the best and the most important inspiration. The fashion is brought down to earth.

At the Issey Miyake show Yoshiyuki Miyamae introduced well known and loved Japanese styles of cut and shapes with the always interesting and different variety of colors. Yet there was one exceptional fact. All the clothes shown on the runway were made from one single cloth, using a special computer technology developed by the label. The music and the lights at the beginning of the show were designed specially to help us understand, that what we are about to see is the future. The many stripes and circles on the clothes created many optical illusions. The sculptures, perfectly created with the help of a computer, offered a sneak peek to the beyond. A small eye on the future that is already here.

Issey Miyake RTW Fall 2016 Issey Miyake RTW Fall 2016 Issey Miyake RTW Fall 2016 Issey Miyake RTW Fall 2016 4

This is a new era where machines and computers are creating materials from scratch and where the technological utopia is already here. Everything can be done.

At Dior there was one question mark that floated above the runway. After Raf Simons leaving Dior, and with someone to take over his post yet to be found, those wore the studio directors who took the lead on the collection. At the new ready-to-wear show they were trying very hard to keep all the legacy and all the codes of Dior. There were the flower prints and the X shaped silhouettes. There were the fluid feminine dresses. The focus on the black color and the gothic style of makeup offered something a little different than what we all knew from Dior. But something was clearly missing. There was no designer’s creative point of view. There was no innovation. But yet there was something new, and it would be the question of how and if a brand can continue exist without a creative director.

Christian Dior RTW Fall 2016 Christian Dior RTW Fall 2016 Christian Dior RTW Fall 2016 Christian Dior RTW Fall 2016

This is a new era when many design houses are dealing with the creator directors, who were so identified with the brand name, are leaving the house. The destiny of those houses is yet known.

Tom Ford and Burberry recently introduced a new strategy of selling. Both companies announced that the current system of showing a collection around for months before it becomes available to the costumers, is no longer relevant. For the next collections, the brands are going to offer the possibility to purchase the clothes immediately after the shows. After the live streaming of fashion shows offered everyone the ability to be a part of the before higher world of fashion, the change slowly began to spread. And it was inevitable.

This is a new era where the whole system of fashion selling is changing. The “want it all and want it now” request of the new generation is being acceded to.

“Fashion is changing, but style is eternal.”  But is it, really?

Are we witnessing a new revolution of Fashion?

Or is this term just becoming more blurred, losing its initial beautiful meaning?

To me it seemed like the fashion is slowly dying.

“But don’t you know that fashion and death are sisters”, a good friend of mine told me. A satirical poem from the 19th century by Giacomo Leopardi, under the name of a “Dialogue Between Fashion And Death” is a reminder of two simple facts. Fashion is not immortal, just like everything else in life. We are witnessing constant changes. And the satire is a better way to look at all of this.

In Memory of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Comfort, a fable by Richard Avedon

Maybe we are living at the time of the sunset of our culture and of everything as we know it.  And maybe, just maybe, it is only the wind of change of fashion that is blowing again.

The fashion week is not over yet, but there is one thing that can be said undoubtedly: all that we see today is just an end to the old story.

Photo credits: Richard Avedon