Monday, September 13, 2010

#NYFW ... Summer '11

 The Museum at F.I.T. posted the story from Conde Naste archives today about the origin of New York Fashion Weeks. There'd been worries during WWI that there could be a disruption in the fashion industry of Paris and then nothing to fill the pages of American Vogue.  France fought its war and its fashion industry continued, even with Monsieur Poiret, Jean and Jacques Worth in uniform on the battlefield; the pages of Vogue were filled and the War ended (that is an odd pairing of thoughts, I know.)

Those worries came to fruition with WWII but it wasn't going to only be about Paris again; Charles James, Adrian and Claire McCardell were not doing odes to Paris - it was American style time.  Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist not dissimilar to Kelly Cutrone, simply did what should be done - she created New York Press Week which, voila, became New York Fashion Week. The pages of Vogue were filled, of course.

It's New York Fashion Week again and because of the language of 140 characters, it's #NYFW. I miss it this season, the elbows slightly out so you're not pushed and pulled with your things (oops, the ipad/iphone does change things; no more polaroids (yes, Grace Coddington owes me a couple of boxes of film I lent her in Rifat Ozbek's showroom) and stacks of film, no more pads of paper and for years now no more cigarettes), careening in front of taxis hopeful that it might empty out right in front of you, torn between fragile chiffon something or a nice sturdy cashmere, one dab of Shalimar because it is not nice to overwhelm with your fragrance.

It's confusing because buyers need to be in showrooms, touching clothes, worrying about a budget and deliveries, what other stores (roll of eyes) in the neighborhood will you be sharing the collection with, could you have any editorial credits. A few shows yes ... the fantasy and theatrics are just plain fun, when they're good. Not that the runway should influence a buyer - it's all the designer's choices and clothes and that's not what a good indie would do.

There's so much noise and confusion. The shows are streaming to your ipad, so you don't really have to be there or maybe you multitask, watching one show on your ipad and another in real time, trying to convince security that it's ok if you stand at the back (sorry, that's front row to me - breathing room and near an exit.) Opinions, twitter reduced to one word or even initials and twitpics and a few editorial/blogger people that have a confluence of language and fashion emotion. And the swag is ever so much better now.

The showroom seems imperative this year for buyers. Apart from a very condescending statement by, well I don't have a shop so I'll say it but remember this is just my feeling nothing more, Burberry that its decision to sell directly and deliver (grrrrrrrr, I never saw a delivery like this) in six weeks will be good for its retailers because then they'll know what their customers really like (ok, in any universe I think this would be insulting and defying logic and a damn expensive thing to believe in, good grief), this will come up and it's honesty time. Luxury goods are selling beautifully online, on the designer's own websites or those really amazingly well-run luxury websites. So ... my hypothetical store is torn between wanting the most beautiful pieces ever and coldly saying no to those pieces because, ahem, we can't do business that way.

Suzy Menkes said (I repeat this too much but it's so good to remember and not wish it away) we can't go back. She was referring to bloggers sitting side-by-side with editors of print media; well, it's true about the entire industry. An industry that is in need of recovery and owes a lot of respect for the ladies of fashion that do what they can to let it survive, even if it is for the pages, oops I mean, blogs of

And just when your shoulders might be slumping or pushing up towards the top of your head, well there's always indies. Kickstarter is starting to work to get money quickly in the hands of indies. Stacy Lomman aka Taffeta Darlings went Kickstarter and her #NYFW show was tonight.

I keep thinking about that 1225 square feet on Abbott Kinney. That's me buying old school, paper and pencil and counting on my fingers. Oh and I love the twitpics of Halston. The first thing I thought was that they're beautiful and I'd think they'd sell out. Well yes, the clothes need to sell right out.


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