For a long time, we’ve been told that something in fashion stinks, and it’s not a bottle of kefir that’s gone off in the sponsor fridge. Fashion is a circus now, they say, with swans, peacocks and far less welcome creatures roaming the unhallowed grounds. It’s a forest we can’t see for all the celebrities and wannabes blocking the view. It’s forced creativity into a slideshow-thumbnail-shaped box. It’s letting more and more spectators in at the cost of cheapening “what used to be a platform for established designers to debut their collections to select media and buyers.”
In an op-ed for The Business of Fashion, Debra Scherer recalls “a time when passion was everything, when you didn’t just say ‘fab’ and hurry off to the next show or store opening.” Yohji Yamamoto and his creative director Irene Silvagni were at the forefront of this Golden Age, presenting deceptively simple clothes that even inspired people to come to fisticuffs, according to Silvagni, who appears in an accompanying video by Byronesque.
But “feel something” eventually turned into “tweet something,” and that then decayed into today’s malaise. How can we go back to simply sitting and watching when our followers demand to see what we see? What if we try what Scherer suggests — “just put down your phone for a minute (or 10 minutes) and really look” — and they abandon us for someone else? We want to let fashion stir our hearts and make them sing something other than Pharoahe Monch, but maybe we’re afraid there won’t be anything there.
So it’s not just on IMG to eliminate the blogger-clutter that detracts from what matters — it’s our responsibility to focus on the fashion and tune out the detritus that surrounds it. Invitations or none, anyone can be a better, more deserving audience member. Open your mind. Concentrate harder. And don’t lose faith.