With Lakme Fashion Week over in Mumbai and London Fashion Week drawing to its close, it’s necessary for me to question what fashion week stands for today. Fashion week first began in Paris in the form of couture shows in 1945 and was then followed by Milan. I truly believe that fashion week is about celebrating the artistic ability of the designer. Brad Goreski correctly states, fashion week is a fashion parade. But has the value of fashion week dwindled?
However, with the development of technology and changing times, fashion months have only proven that the limelight has been stolen by influencers. While this allows fashion week to be more easily accessible to the public, the charm and the exclusivity of fashion week has been lost. Fashion week is no longer about the designer and their works.
Lets look at the influencers for one. We have opinion leaders (bloggers, for example) gracing the front row at the shows only because they agree to wear that particular designer’s clothes for a good sum of money. Both, these opinion leaders and opinion formers (fashion editors, journalists, etc.) are constantly photographed for “street style” in their outfits. They are actually promoting certain brands without actually being loyal to them. I believe quite a few of these bloggers do still express their personal style, Susanna Lau, for instance, does not lose her quirky style. But yet, most of what they wear is inaccessible to most of the public. This, is disappointing as I feel there is an urgent need for honest bloggers who are easily relatable.
Models and other celebrities, on the other hand, always seem to be very minimally dressed during the fashion months. But, when they are on the runway, the media often reports gossip from their lives and how they yet look spectacular on the runway after a break up instead of focusing on the clothes worn by them on the runway. I feel urged to express my dismay at this as the designer is now the least important part of the show.
On an honest note, I shall admit that I have always been excited about fashion week, especially after attending and working at quite a few in Mumbai and London. But, from the very beginning of this February, my social media feeds have been taken over by celebrities. Both my Instagram feeds, personal and fashioned (@fillingblanks), follow very different forms of accounts. And yet, I have only been seeing posts about bloggers wearing their over the top outfits for the shows. The integrity of the shows is subverted by the partiality of the influencers and the media. I feel forced to admit that fashion week is, harshly said, a scam. I will still be ecstatic to work at fashion week but I truly wish the essence is restored so we can, once again, acknowledge the creativity of the shows and enjoy being a part of such a novel event.