I don’t see myself as a fashion designer. I see myself as a person in design.
The words of Reed Krakoff resonate in my mind as he amongst so many so called designers who seem to be far more concerned with the blah blah blah rather than the fashion. Simply said, there are too many people in design who fancy themselves designers and not enough fashion designers who live the business of fashion.
No matter the season, the year or the location, fashion designers seem to be travelling a route which leads to a destination of generic fashion. This is not the generic fashion of let’s say a Walmart or JC Penny, but a new classification which is being embraced within the so called designer or top tier of fashion. What seems to be happening is that clothes are being designed in some communal design room that yields clothes which have no distinction, excitement or reason. The clothes can bear almost any label and the only thing that sets them apart is their particular blah blah blah, rhetoric, color, fabrication and, of course, the label.
Whether in Europe or the USA or wherever there is a fashion week, we are experiencing a sameness or commonality that will not benefit anyone other than the fast fashion and down market brands. As a reasonably astute observer and participant in this business we call fashion, I would be hard pressed to differentiate between Prada, Proenza Schouler, Chloe, Reed Krakoff, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang and I am pretty sure the latest Ghesquiere vision for Louis Vuitton. Apparently designers seem to think there is safety in numbers and no reason to be individual in their approach.
With all this being said, please do not twist the words to think that stepping out from the crowd will solve and ensure notoriety; this is not a sure fire recipe for success. (think Versace) Think of this … instead of showing clothes that seem to be far more than just reminiscent of, let’s say, Rick Owens (men’s or women’s)… why not harken back to great design as well as some sort of vision, purpose, ideal or trend. Fashion has never been about sameness or going with the flow; it has been a constantly evolving business, occasionally revolutionary, and in today’s world of fashion we seem to be stagnating with “people in design” a rather than fashion designers.
Having seen many pre-fall women’s collections and many men’s fall collections, it became blatantly apparent that the business is broken and no one wants to fix it because the so call called media or fashion cognoscenti no longer reward originality and only applaud “designerless” looks and collections. Not everyone who spends money for top shelf fashion wants to fit in; not everyone wants the same shapeless (in women’s) and snug fitting (in men’s) silhouettes. Retailers complain that business stinks, inventories at clearance time are on the rise and the growing importance of outlet stores filled with mark downs is evidence that something needs to be fixed.
Creativity seems to be at an all-time low, with few exceptions, and what needs to be remembered is that the true greats of fashion design were not super stars because they fit a mold, they were pioneers and free thinkers who had a vision based on their idealization of beauty and what women wanted..okay and men too. Today we seemingly only have clothes that are to appeal to size 2 robotic faceless women who for fall will wear anonymous shapeless and oversized clothes or pre-pubescent boys dressed up in oddly tight fitting suits or slovenly layered oversized garments.