The end of an era? That means the beginning of a new one – except in this industry…
Over 30 years she created some of US Vogue’s most exciting and influential photo spreads, but now Grace Coddington has stepped aside. Is this a turning point for the industry?
Source: Grace Coddington: the woman who made fashion art | Fashion | The Guardian
Yet another sign of the growing irrelevance of Vogue?
BoF can exclusively reveal that the legendary stylist, who will assume the new role of creative director at large, is poised to take on a growing number of external projects alongside her styling duties at the magazine.
Source: BoF Exclusive | Grace Coddington to Step Down as Creative Director of American Vogue | Breaking News, News & Analysis | BoF
A resistant market? Well, there’s something to think about. “No one left to dress,” said Balenciaga, when he left the business. “No one to play with” said Yves…
Miuccia Prada wove more of her eerily dissociative magic, but will it cast its spell on a market that seems increasingly resistant to such blandishments?
Source: A Spacey Flight of Fancy at Prada | Fashion Show Review, Spring 2016 | BoF
New York fashion week: notes from the frow
Annie’s Miss Hannigan, model groupies and catwalk tumbles … what’s catching everyone’s eye at the shows?
Source: New York fashion week: notes from the frow | Fashion | The Guardian
Just bumped into an editorial from last month on BoF. Link: Week in Review | Is Another Fashion Week the Answer? – The Business of Fashion.
This has been an increasingly apparent problem in the fashion business for a number of years now. I think adding more fashion weeks, especially to New York, seems more like desperation than innovation. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this.
But as the writer wonders: What else to do? This might be worth a terms-worth of discussion, but worlds change and structures change and sooner or later the former elite has to let go…
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?
Link to article: The 20 Most Influential Personal Style Bloggers Right Now – Fashionista.
Just in time for our “how does fashion move (here)” discussion!
What I find especially interesting is how they determine their ranking in making these bloggers the “most influential in the world” (the world!)
- Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest followers, as well as website traffic. These numbers gave us a snapshot of how many people these bloggers are reaching every day.
- Brand extensions. We gave props to bloggers who have used their influence to create original products.
- It factor. We talked to industry insiders about whom advertisers are loving right now, and who is moving the most products via affiliate links.
- Google News searches. Headline makers were rewarded for extending their reach beyond their own network.
Notice how all the influence (except #3 “It Factor”) is measured in Internet traffic and positioning. Not that that is in any way odd – these are after all bloggers, but the complete absence of overlap with any other media is significant, especially coming directly out of a McLuhan lecture…
I would also wonder about the preponderance of Los Angeles-based bloggers. If it isn’t just bias on the behalf of the Fashionista editors (and it might well be, but how to determine this?) then what does that mean?
Link to article: The Top 10 Moments From Spring/Summer 2015 Couture Week.
Question of the day, then: Is there anything to be learned from this? Maybe it’s just because I have a cold, but I can’t think of a single thing to point to….
Overloaded something-or-other, minimalism, Bianca Jagger’s suit for the thousandth time, Bowie-influence for the thousandth time, bla bla bla… If these are the ten most memorable moments, then this was a dismal week….
(OK, I’m also being deliberately a little ornery – maybe I’ll have something more positive to say on Monday…)
(6 hours later:)
OK, the obvious point is “of course, there’s something to learn from it!” Pointing to the absence of anything new; pointing to the rehashed and slightly desperate use of tried-and-true references… This is also a pointing to something worth looking at. If the Couture Week looks like this, full of desperate rehash and overload; form over substance – icing on icing, on the same old cake – then things are really getting to the point of no return.
But, as always, we have to ask: What next?
The “Fashion World” maintaining it’s own mythology, perhaps. Why Galliano, when there are a number of other talents to applaud? This article is extremely revealing about the spectacle itself.
John Galliano: penitent return of an enfant terrible | Fashion | The Guardian.
And we may wonder: Why them? What is new here? What is not?
2014’s Noteworthy Dressers – Slide Show – NYTimes.com.