Link to Article:
“It’s the end of fashion as we know it” says Li Edelkoort.
This has to be required reading! One of the leading forecasters in the world is now proclaiming the “Death of Fashion” (Oh my!!!) Didn’t see that coming, did we? (Or have we perhaps been following the history for the past 40 years or so…?)
(Sorry, I can’t help it. I´m grinning ear to ear…)
The best part is that Edelkoort brings this to some kind of full post-modern circle. The “end of fashion” now means the return of couture. (As if there’s nowhere else to go…. I love it.)
This is the end of fashion as we know it. Fashion with a big F is no longer there. And maybe it’s not a problem; maybe it’s actually a good moment to rethink. Actually the comeback of couture, which I’m predicting, could bring us a host of new ideas of how to handle the idea of clothes
And then the lament
Then the designers themselves are all proclaiming that they are no longer doing fashion but are doing clothes, clothes, clothes. So everybody for several reasons is concentrating on clothes.
And then marketing of course killed the whole thing. It’s governed by greed and not by vision. There’s no innovation any more because of that.
Fashion shows are becoming ridiculous; 12 minutes long. 45 minutes driving, 25 minutes waiting. Nobody watches them any more. The editors are just on their phones; nobody gets carried away by it.
Where to begin…
OK… How about with our recent reading of Walter Benjamin and the Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), where he points out the “commonplace” ancient lament that arises from the experts at times like this:
The mass is a matrix from which all traditional behavior toward works of art issues today in a new form. Quantity has been transmuted into quality. The greatly increased mass of participants has produced a change in the mode of participation. The fact that the new mode of participation first appeared in a disreputable form must not confuse the spectator. Yet some people have launched spirited attacks against precisely this superficial aspect. Among these, Duhamel has expressed himself in the most radical manner. What he objects to most is the kind of participation which the movie elicits from the masses. Duhamel calls the movie
“a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.”
Clearly, this is at bottom the same ancient lament that the masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator. That is a commonplace.
“The fact that the new mode of participation first appeared in a disreputable form must not confuse the spectator.”
This is why one should read Walter Benjamin, yes?