You know what I like about the pre-collections? Not the travelling (I’m lazy), nor the dinners (I’m anti-social), definitely not the jet-lag, frequently not the clothes – they’re often simple-minded, and, generally most aren’t any good from a critical standpoint. What I like though is the time. The time to look at said clothes, to ponder them, frequently to turn them inside out. The fact you get to step off the increasingly frenzied fashion treadmill and actually spent a chunk of your day thinking about what you’ve seen, rather than rushing to the next.
I’m never a fan of fashion journalism that talks more about the show than the clothes. It smacks of a writer reticent to offer an opinion, lest it offend (or perhaps, just unsure of what they really think, or what to really say). But, with the newly-minted Around The World In Eighty Looks format of pre-collection presentation, it’s unavoidable. Fashion houses want journalists to be awed by the financial might that can shift an entire industry across the world on a creative whim. Moreover, they want them to communicate that to their readers, reinforcing the strength of the designer and, perhaps most importantly, the security of the brand as a whole. That not only sells clothes – it also drives the share price up.
Despite a 5.30am alarm for a flight to Palm Springs Tuesday morning to see Nicolas Ghesquiere’s latest Louis Vuitton Cruise show (at the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate and inspired, in part, by The Hunger, apparently), I spent most of Monday late night engrossed in documenting and dissecting the fashion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. As with many things, the primary arena for this is Twitter – a pithy 140 character rant about a like or, more often, a dislike, accompanied by a picture. Then onto the next. It’s become something of a yearly tradition in the fashion fraternity.
An Abba lyric once name-checked the principality of Monaco: “So I must leave, I’ll have to go, To Las Vegas or Monaco.” The song was called Money, Money, Money, and Misses Fältskog and Lyngstad intended to net a fortune on the roulette tables. Louis Vuitton came to Monaco this season, the implication being they also wanted to make a bomb. That implication came from the fact that Vuitton were showing Cruise.
There’s a trend right now for fashion houses to show the collections we still dub Cruise in far-flung locales. I’m writing this in the airport in Dubai, following Chanel’s show; a week ago Dior Cruise-ed to New York and chugged us from Manhattan to Brooklyn on a chic branded ferry; last summer, that house showed in Monaco, coincidentally the site of Louis Vuitton’s inaugural Cruise show this weekend.
I bet people wonder what fashion editors do during the “off season”: write dodgy novels, maybe? Shop? Painstakingly plan ensembles to be crated and shipped ready for the next round of shows, when said eds are released from their pen, like the rabid hounds that shred unwanted visitors to Mr Burns’ mansion in The Simpsons? Only fashion editors voraciously attack and devour garments, and sometimes designers, rather than intruders.
I’m not overwhelmingly interested in celebrity dressing. Is anyone, really? The rounds of premieres, awards-shows and television appearances are relentless – every country has its own launch for a film, a television programme, a magazine, a cereal. And every launch has an outfit. Bar a few celebrities with emblematic style (Kate Moss) or hefty endorsement deals (Jennifer Lawrence in Dior, obviously), what they wear is mostly forgettable. Just like so much of fashion today is forgettable. There’s a surfeit of stuff. Most of it is anodyne, rehashed, dull and unnecessary. Why would I be interested in that?
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