Fashion has always been a brat. The child that wants everything and wants it now. But with as many as ten shows a year, are designers under too much pressure to produce sellable yet unique, quality clothing? At what point does artistic integrity take a back seat to meet product demands? Or is the pressure so intense that it drives talent to their demise?
When a designer has to juggle multiple lines to make deadlines for minor shows the work for their major shows suffer. Designers don’t have enough time to focus on their true art – which is what fashion is, right? In an article for The New York Times, Suzy Menkes says, “Picasso did not churn out work like factory-baked cookies!”
“If we accept that the pace of fashion today was part of the problem behind the decline of John Galliano, the demise of Alexander McQueen and the cause of other well-known rehab cleanups, nonstop shows seem a high price to pay for the endless ‘newness’ demanded of fashion now,” added Menkes.
I’m actually unsure if the demand for product derives from the consumer, or if the fashion wheel is catching momentum as it rolls downhill to a crash. But the hunger to see fashion is definitely on the rise. Everyone wants to be at a show, everyone wants to be at the closing party, and everyone wants to be on the edge of what’s next. They won’t, however, buy half the things that go down the runway. In the past years, fashion has become more of an experience than just a business, which ultimately became the slope it slipped on.
In a piece entitled “Designed for Disaster” in Vanity Fair’s 2014 September issue, Maureen Callahan depicts the relationship between Alexander McQueen & Isabella Blow. It goes deep into their rise to fashion fame, their shared insecurities, and how the industry chewed them up and spit them out. Similarly, Alicia Drake’s “A Beautiful Fall” illustrates Yves Saint Laurent’s young rise to prominence and the struggles he went through at Dior and in building his eponymous house. Though at two different times in fashion, both Saint Laurent and McQueen faced the harsh demands of the pace of fashion and were ultimately damaged by it. The true question shouldn’t be “is the pace of fashion hurting the quality of the clothes?” but is fashion hurting the designers and talent that drive it?
Written by Jehoshua Brown, MA Fashion Journalism; Originally posted on UNSCOUTED.
This content was produced by Academy of Art University MA Fashion Journalism students as part of their Fashion Journalism coursework.