I’m sure many people, old and young ask the question of what’s the point of Fashion Week? I know many of my peers don’t understand it either. I’ll be honest, when I see platform Crocs appearing on the catwalk (looking at you Balenciaga) I also question why I’m so interested in ‘Fashion’.
The argument of what’s the point of fashion week is understandable, it’s lavish and frivolous in a world where there is so much terror and political turmoil, issues which are far more important. But maybe Fashion Week provides an escape, something of stature and predictability (some what) to help us all feel a bit less unsettled. It comes round twice a year and September’s always feels like the start of something new, preparing for next year. Not to mention that the economic value of fashion industry is worth an estimated £26billion in 2016.
Of what I’ve seen this year I have to say there have been some poingent displays of not only fashion but of cultural reference and just pure artistry. I’m not going to go through all the designers and shows I loved but just pick out a couple of moments that I think have been sublime.
In Milan there was the ultimate Supermodel moment, when Donatella Versace honoured 20years since the death of her late brother, Gianni Versace. The runway was rewarded by a display from the ‘greats’ including Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni. It was classic, a moment in time which could be from any generation of fashion and yet totally hit the spot this season.
In London, Burberry showed their latest collection in the Old Sessions House, as models grazed past the front row and meandered their way through the building, up splendid staircases drapped in lace, tartan and of course the Burberry check. It was about reclaiming the check and celebrating heritage. Afterwards Old Sessions House was open to the public in a exhibition named ‘Here We Are’ to show the latest collection mixed in with photographs of the current collection, plus images of inspiration to Christopher Bailey. I visited and fell in love, the celebration of British photography and the comparison of trends and classes of Britain was obvious and endearing. A time to reminisce and to imagine life in different eras, “It’s the spirit of those photographs – sometimes ironic, sometimes tender, always truthful – that has guided our September collection”.
In Paris, Chanel offered up a waterfall of delights (excuse the pun) with a collection that was all about water. The display was something to be admired, something you’d imagine at home inside Kew Gardens or the Eden Project, beautiful 50ft waterfalls, trees and faux rocks created the stage (one that took two months to build and nine days to install) for models to show off the latest collection. It was classic, it was topical (hey, climate change is happening people) and for me was the show to end the season.
Plus the L’Oréal Make-Up show shut down the Champs Elysees to show off its ambassadors as they powered down the runway with L’Oréal’s latest looks accompanied by designs from 17 fashion brands. Ambassadors Dame Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda showing that age is just a number as they took control and strutted their stuff.
In case you cared, here are some others I loved:
New York – Coach, Victoria Beckham, Marchesa,
London – Topshop, David Koma
Milan – Balmain
Paris – Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Dior
And if you didn’t spot model of the season, Kaia Gerber (daughter of Cindy Crawford), were you even following Fashion Week?