24 August 2013

When the likes of Suzy Menkes writing something, it seems everybody's just got an aha moment, regretting realizing that she got a fresh idea of a trigging topics first. I couldn't help but jump in the wagon and get along. This time, the dramatic fashion circle that spins faster than a carousel.

Clockwise: Chanel Spring 2013 RTW, Fendi Spring 2013 RTW, Karl Lagerfeld Spring 2013 RTW, Chanel Metiers d'Art Prefall 2013, Chanel Couture Spring 2013, Chanel Fall 2013 RTW, Fendi Fall 2013 RTW, Chanel Resort 2014, Fendi Resort 2014, Chanel Couture Fall 2013

AMAZING. It's unbelievable how MUCH WORK Karl can acquire in a year, and it's not even including the other presentation in cities around the world. And he doesn't have men's line either (even though he slipped some men's look in his collections, even in couture). But Karl is Karl, and nobody is like him.

For most of designers, releasing pre collection outside the big round hustle of spring/summer and fall/winter is already exhausting, let alone with couture shows. Let alone his own namesake label (if he owns one). So why fashion industry is so driven to release as much collection as possible? Is it the demanding market? Is it a race against fast-spin street fashion line such as Zara and H&M and Mango and Gap and oh endless list?

Ms. Menkes didn't give a blatant answer to this question, but pointing out a brave fact that this might have been resulted "the decline of John Galliano, the demise of Alexander McQueen and the cause of other well-known rehab cleanups". The desire to have "the latest" instead of "the It" is pushing people to jetting and flying miles and miles just to be first-to-have. But the existence of never-end breeding of street fashion retails--with e-commerce following, might play a big role in this phenomenon. Luxury labels are, undeniably, slower in terms of production. The delivery might be not so much different from the second-line, with factories spread all across third world countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh (ugh), but since it is luxury company, with materials are hard to get and manufacturing is meticulous and complicated, the duration from runways to racks are longer, much longer.

Maybe the best picture of this situation can be reflected to the comparison between fancy restaurant and fast-food chains. When restaurant exports raw materials from Russia for a can of caviare or a piece of Wagyu steak from Japan, cooked by world-class chef and takes more than a minute to serve it to table, whereas fast-food with its speed-of-light velocity of cooking process to give what their customers order, the main point will be back to the quality. I suppose luxury label are not (and shouldn't be) afraid of the fact that B-list brands selling faster. Everything comes in its own nature. The faster it comes, the faster it goes.

Left: Givenchy Antigona envelope clutch 
Right: Zara Basic clutch 

Besides, with a higher awareness of ethical business, people are more concern with the fact how their products are being made; is it not killing people by neglecting safety issue, are the workers involved getting paid what they deserve and not just a mere penny a day, and so on. Luxury labels don't do such evil (as far as I know), because they risk their neck if they do so. The right people will buy the right thing.

But the other side of the knives luxury brands are likely forgetting, is that when fashion calendar is based on season, global warming starts to take effect. I remember the first snow last winter here in Germany came on October, and lasted until May. The summer now gets a wet visitor.

The question turns out difficult to answer, noting Ms. Menkes saying, "As the fashion carousel spins ever faster, the concern is that, while the stream of newness never runs out, there’s going to be a good deal more crash and burn among designers in the future", which I would add, that every label now jumps onto Ferris wheel, waiting its turn to be atop. The final straw, of course, will be drawn by the demand of fashionistas with power they have, either they will choose a plate of healthy wild Caesar salad or a frozen salad-in-a-stereofoam-box (yieks), or freshly-squeezed Indonesian mangosteen  juice--hello Marc Jacobs, over cheap non-zero soda (yieks yieks) to be put into their bodies.

Signorfandi, junk to the trash bin, please...