Fashion designers used to produce two collections a year. Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Plus sometimes a Cruise collection to appeal to those lucky folk who were escaping to the Caribbean during the European winter. These days, we have mainline collections, pre-collections, limited editions, diffusion lines, accessories, shoes, collaborations with the High Street. It feels relentless to me and I bet they’re exhausted!
The number of these collections has the effect of making everything feel as though we’re speeding up, although for what I’ve never been sure. Making more money, presumably. There is little time to appreciate the clothes of the season we are in, before thinking of the next. At the moment, my body is in need of a new winter coat, but my mind (having seen some of the collections) has already been thinking of what I’ll be wearing in Summer 2012. Which, for the record, will be florals. As I said in a previous post, it’s time for me to embrace some more colour and print.
One of the other things that has created the feel of speeding up is the way that we are now exposed to so much more of the fashion shows. Recent weeks have seen the major fashion cities of Paris, New York, London and Milan host their Spring/Summer 2012 catwalk shows and we have been lucky enough to see photographs, read reviews and in some cases watch live streaming as it is actually happening. Whilst I applaud the opening up and democratisation of this (and I was as excited as anyone to see some of the shows, especially Jonathan Saunders and Prada) it does mean that there is less mystique and anticipation around what’s coming up. By the time we actually see the clothes in store to buy, they will feel like yesterday’s news as we will already have moved onto Autumn/Winter. I don’t want my new clothes to feel old before I’ve even got them on my back!
There has been something of a backlash against this. Tom Ford, always a leader, has closed his shows to wider publicity for the past few seasons. Clever marketing, but none-the-less, it has caused a huge buzz of anticipation. However, I do think that we have reached a point of no return, and that we will continue to see, via various media channels, many of the collections as they are being shown.
I just hope that we also take the chance to slow down and embrace the season we are actually in, and the clothes we are wearing in it.
(My winter coat is the London Coat, by French Connection)