MIU MIU AW16 AND THE 'SEE NOW, BUY NOW' DEBATEWednesday, March 16, 2016
In a holistic view, with the collection providing plentiful denim offering, such rendered a display which felt almost opposing to its winter sartorial classification. A clash of the seasons, if you will have, what with short hemlines, light pastels and jean, albeit offset by drawn-out florals and darkened checks. But still, such a mismatched collection, although it definitely works, its content is relevant to the 'see now buy now' debate that encompassed the fashion world of late. In overview, the current fashion week season-swap practice does seem slightly odd, viewing collections that will not be current until the end of that year can seem nonsensical in context. However, in a sense, it is that preparation which sets the high-end nature of fashion week and its designers apart from the fleeting speed of fast-fashion. Although, such pre-season preview could alternately be feeding the fast-fashion movement, a public showcase of next seasons designs allows retailers to 'copy' in fast-fashion form in wait for the season to take hold, turning innovative trends into disposable, tiresome fads.
Not only that, but if the recent sweep of designers leaving their posts at fashion labels (most notable was Raf Simons leaving his creative director role at Dior) and the current swirl of rumours surrounding designer departures is not enough to stir a change within the fashion week routine and the ever increasing pressure bestowed upon the affair by fast-fashion, then, I don't know what is. The rising thrust of the fashion business is a stress inducing pace for all, but it seems to hit those at the heart of the industry's creative process the hardest. Many designers have weighed in on the heated topic, with Anna Sui in agreement with WWD's assertion that fashion is overheated, and Alexander Wang, who most recently left his position at Balenciaga, commented on the show system as ''something everyone is challenged with - the immediacy of things, and the idea of how to deliver in this system, where the attention span has become nonexistent." Although, it is paramount to mention that the fast-paced pick up and deliverance of entire collections is not something that everyone at the forefront of fashion dreads, J.W. Anderson, instead, celebrates fashions gaining momentum ''I think it's at the perfect speed, because fashion has to articulate where we are today and fundamentally we are in a day where media is incredibly quick, boredom is at an all time low - the minute you are see something you're over it." This argument is a sound one in support of a 'see now, buy now' fashion week, and with Burberry and Tom Ford announcing this modern movement in time for September shows, it is easy to see the need for such a groundbreaking change. This change for Tom Ford comes as the designer himself confessed his hatred of the idea that entire collections can be consumed months before a single item is made available in stores, he hailed the practice "an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense," and with this, it is easy to see how this halted affair in turn propels customers to impatience, thus allowing the desirability of fast-fashions readily available copies to grow in strength.
The current state of the fashion month timetable is a topic sure to be debated upon even more so in the build-up to the second ready-to-wear fashion showcase of the year in September. And, it certainly is a topic wide for discussion, I myself have conflicting opinions; on one hand, the in-advance display of collections is the very core of fashion week, and with it holds all that makes it such a unique, entrancing affair, not only that but there is something so comforting about viewing collections pre-season. However, with the ever changing face of fashion under the fast-fashion guise, the 'see now, buy now' direction does make commercial sense, and maybe such apt availability would discourage the popularity of lacklustre carbon copies among certain online retailers. Overall, if one thing should change, for the sake of the designers, creative directors and the future integrity of fashion it would be the fall of proliferated, sweeping, craze trends championed by the fast-fashion game.
All pictures taken from vogue.co.uk