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28-02-2010
  31
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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To those who based their critiques on what they expect from a designer's past work would you "penalize" them for changing their aesthetic? If Ralph Lauren decided to do rock-star urban decay or something would that render his collection a fail even if you liked the clothes? Are designers really pigeon-holed in what they can offer from season-to-season?
it's important for any designer to have a VOICE or POINT OF VIEW...
preferably their own unique one, and not just an echo of someone else's...
without this they can never build a loyal customer base (fans are good, but customers are what really count)...
and if they just change suddenly, they risking losing the customers they already have...
so there are practical reasons for developing and defining an aesthetic for the brand...
that is what the brand stands for and what people look for when they shop ...

younger brands who create a totally different look from season to season risk failure if they can't come up with a well defined look within 3-4 shows...

mullet---
really...you can't tell what i am going to say....???
i always think i am very clear on what i like and don't like...

but - i guess it's true...
even if i don't personally like something, i can respect the fact that it might be successful for other reasons...
i guess i am not really 'shopping'...
i am reviewing the products and their viability at market...
it's def a business point of view...

**and i think that most of the professional critics/editors are very well educated on the history of fashion and all it's related topics...
so we see the references, the repeats, and can recognize in an instant if something is truly new and innovative...
that's why everyone seems to agree...

as opposed to someone who is new to fashion and is just in awe of everything because they have never seen any of it before...


**the old saying goes that if the fashion editors leave the show and actually want to wear the clothes- then you KNOW you will have a successful season...because if they like it, EVERYONE will...they are the toughest to impress...

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28-02-2010
  32
Wanderlust
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loladonna View Post
It's interesting to me that some place a high emphasis on the runway show itself to rate a collection. I've never cared about the actual show or who the models were-- I can't name most models on the runway. When people are like "I love the dress on Vlada" I'm like "who?". I notice the models only in regard to how the clothes fit them. I focus soley on the clothes for the most part.

I actually prefer presentation style shows where the models are static and there are lots of views and angles of the collection via photographs. I feel like sometimes fancy shows distract people from bad collections. Pro critics come away from a show excited and write a glowing review based on the presentation but when you go back and look at the clothes there's nothing to be crowing about.

To those who based their critiques on what they expect from a designer's past work would you "penalize" them for changing their aesthetic? If Ralph Lauren decided to do rock-star urban decay or something would that render his collection a fail even if you liked the clothes? Are designers really pigeon-holed in what they can offer from season-to-season?
Well yes, I think it is fair to base a collection off of a show because the show is there to link with a personality and to cause some sort of imagination to inspire the buyers . If a designer does not take the time to present the best from them possible, it really says a lot to me . I am not saying it has to be strobe lights and video screens with moving platforms and such, but that the show should be cohesive so that to sell the clothes . Alexander McQueen said something like that he knows his large shows are what inspire his customers to buy something as simple as black pants . Shows are like live commercials to me .

For example, the best collection ever to me was Gucci FW 2003 (both men and women) for the simple fact the shows were built around to sell the clothes . The music, the casting, the lighting, and set all were chosen perfectly and at the end of the day, I said I wanted to be that man that came down the catwalk . Mission accomplished . It's hard to get that from a presentation and without the show, I don't think it would have made that much of an impact as it did . Also, things always look better in motion . At Altuzarra, I had no idea those red dresses at the end flowed like they did and that made me love them . On the contrary, some really do up the spectacle to somewhat hide what we're seeing . In the case of McQueen's (RIP) SS 2010 collection, it was an amazing show, but the clothes were nothing special . But I guess it was enough to seel the black pants .

I have to agree with you that a lot of emphasis is put on the model here which is weird . Many times, however, certain ones do a very good job at selling the entire vision and to show pieces better .

As for the thing about Ralph Lauren, he could do rock-star urban decay or anything outside of the norm from him, as long as at the end of the day it's Ralph Lauren because we know his target customer . If the entire aesthetic is changed, then it's not really Ralph Lauren which is what attracted people in the first place therefore it would be a fail to me .

Like said before, I look at the aesthetic of the house and build off of that .


(I think I just rambled . )

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28-02-2010
  33
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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^^no- it was good...

i also def agree with spike..

i sometimes call myself a 'fashion whore'...**
as a joke!!!...
just because i am never loyal to any one brand or label...
i like what i like and it really doesn't matter who the designer is...
what matters is the design itself...

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28-02-2010
  34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loladonna View Post
It's interesting to me that some place a high emphasis on the runway show itself to rate a collection. I've never cared about the actual show or who the models were-- I can't name most models on the runway. When people are like "I love the dress on Vlada" I'm like "who?". I notice the models only in regard to how the clothes fit them. I focus soley on the clothes for the most part.

I actually prefer presentation style shows where the models are static and there are lots of views and angles of the collection via photographs. I feel like sometimes fancy shows distract people from bad collections. Pro critics come away from a show excited and write a glowing review based on the presentation but when you go back and look at the clothes there's nothing to be crowing about.
I would say that I place so much emphasis on the show in the sense that I find fashion very cinematic. A fashion show is like a movie. You can have an incredible, powerful script, and yet, if the acting, the costuming, the lighting, the music, the setting of the film are sub-par, the movie is not successful, and it's disappointing to see the potential of the script go to waste.

Likewise, you can have an incredible, powerful collection, and if the casting, lighting, setting and music are sub-par, the potential of the collection is not fully realized. Of course, if you were to observe the clothes up close on a rack, they still are beautiful on their own, but a jacket is a jacket. It may be strikingly well made and gorgeous on the hanger, but on the right model, in the right lighting, with the right music...it's so much more than a jacket...it becomes something very special and very memorable.

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28-02-2010
  35
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^Reading the responses I can now see where the thematic shows make sense to sell the clothes to the actual buyers who are present. I guess being a spectator on my computer the runway show isn't as important to me. I'm not going to be tricked by awesome lighting and music into thinking a dress that looks great on a 5"10" 105lb woman is going to flatter me though.

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28-02-2010
  36
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I really never know if I'll like a show beforehand or not. I've come to expect quality from certain designers, but you never quite know.

I care about the show because it gives an idea about the overall aesthetic. The styling, make-up, music...I basically see fashion shows as another form of popular performance art, and as such, the experience is very important in itself.

I began being interested in fashion from the perspective of photography and pop culture, but I'm getting an growing appreciation for the craftsmanship aspect.

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28-02-2010
  37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loladonna View Post
Are designers really pigeon-holed in what they can offer from season-to-season?
Sticking to the aesthetics, having a signature touch...

It's like with film directors or photographers. I don't expect and don't want Tarantino to go all Wes Anderson, and I do want to see Tony Leung in Wong Kar Wai next film.

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28-02-2010
  38
Plain Ol' Beautiful
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loladonna View Post
^Reading the responses I can now see where the thematic shows make sense to sell the clothes to the actual buyers who are present. I guess being a spectator on my computer the runway show isn't as important to me. I'm not going to be tricked by awesome lighting and music into thinking a dress that looks great on a 5"10" 105lb woman is going to flatter me though.
Exactly. You automatically think "How's that going to look on me?"
Lighting, styling, music won't matter when you put it on in the shop.

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28-02-2010
  39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
i sometimes call myself a 'fashion whore'...**
as a joke!!!...
just because i am never loyal to any one brand or label...
i like what i like and it really doesn't matter who the designer is...
what matters is the design itself...
My thoughts exactly. I don't get the concept of being "loyal" to a particular brand or designer. It could be my favorite designer on Earth but if they release a mess collection I am gonna call it a mess.

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28-02-2010
  40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irulan View Post
Exactly. You automatically think "How's that going to look on me?"
Lighting, styling, music won't matter when you put it on in the shop.
But why shouldn't it matter?

Fashion is a business. Yes. I accept that and I understand that. But I don't see why it shouldn't be important for designers to present their collections in the best way possible.

I find myself wandering into designer boutiques and department stores often...and I when I have the time, I really take my time to examine individual pieces up close. I have yet to come across an item of designer clothing that is shockingly poorly made. Most designer clothing has hanger appeal, some more than others, of course, but on the whole...these pieces sit well on their own...that's why they cost what they do!

The fashion show is what separates one great collection from another.

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28-02-2010
  41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irulan View Post
Exactly. You automatically think "How's that going to look on me?"
Lighting, styling, music won't matter when you put it on in the shop.
But the lighting, styling, and music will get you to the shop if it's good enough . It's especially good for those new buyers that need the extra push to want to buy something .

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28-02-2010
  42
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interesting topic!!!
i personally look at collections (simultaneously) in two very different ways.
one, is how the collection relates to the rest that is going on at the other labels, what's the mood of the moment, what's going on in the rest of the world (not just fashion). is it new trends? is it same old? zeitgeist proof we could say.
two, and this is in general a lot more important to me than the first pov, is what the collection means for the house it represents. is it true to itself? is it repetitive? a new direction? is it consistent? is it coherent? to sum it up (and i think we've discussed this in other threads before) the one key question to ask is, were we do publish a retrospective book on the career of the designer, would any of this be in it?
in a way, it's like asking if the efforts put into the collection were actually worth something more than the mere ephemerality of the show. are they taking the company one step further, or just keeping it alive for the sake of surviving one more season?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeijames View Post
we also have to take into account those who speak from the retail/shopper perspective. it's not necessearily the same as the "wearable" argument because many of these brands -- from lanvin to proenza schouler to balmain to prada -- don't always fit that bill, but they all have found a way to sell it anyway. fashion, at the end of the day, remains a business.
as i was going through the first post, i couldnt help trying to locate your infamous arguments on "what son-on-an-oligarch buys plain balmain tees for $5k" in the "most overprized designer thread", and then i read your post and realized how, poor mikeijames, you had been left aside!:p
not very sensible of the thread's creator, don't you think?

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28-02-2010
  43
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I like what I like, and I trust my instincts.
People may disagree with my "taste" but that is irrelevent to me. To each their own.
It's not very complicated in my opinion.

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28-02-2010
  44
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I think that the fact of the "designers aesthetic" is spot on .. even on the reality tv shows where tyhey supposedly launch nwe designers the No. 1 critique is whether the designer had (or lacked of) a point of view ..
The amount of money invested on a show doesnt exactly mean that something will sell or get positive reviews .. I mean I love how Dries doesnt do tv ads or commercials and his pieces stand alone .. but Ill have to admit that just like McQueen there's a slight sense or escapism and romance which is intricately sewn into the quality and cut of the collection pieces ...

I think one of the designers biggest enemies can be the styling ... it shud be carefully edited ... and on top of that theres what we see on the catwalk versus what is sold as a collection (ie Gareth Pugh).

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28-02-2010
  45
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I think people should remember that fashion as a whole is 2 equal parts: 1 part art and 1 part business. A lot of people seem to lean towards 1 side when reviewing all collections, though it doesn't bother me so much as seeing people do 3-or-less worded responses like "This is brilliant" or "I hate it" and don't elaborate. I mean, I'm not asking for to be a huge post, but come on. I guess it also doesn't bother me because I'm also guilty of leaning toward 1 part when reviewing a collection, and I think it depends on the designer's style.

I expect to see artsy or crazy stuff at Alexander McQueen, wearability at Max Mara, both at Lanvin, either at Versace, or don't know what to expect at Marc Jacobs. Additionally, personal preferences come too. I am not a Rick Owens girl, for example, I don't like all his leather and tough structure, and I don't really visit his threads. Yet I think he's one of the best at the type of clothes he designs, even if he never personally wows me like Karl Lagerfeld, for example. Still, I appreciate the diversity he adds to the business, even if I don't critique him, because I don't see myself as someone to analyze his work as I'm not entirely familiar.

Shows are very important to me, maybe it's because the entertainment industry is in my life. I think they really help tie everything together and can be like the icing on the cake. All the elements-clothes, stage/runway, lighting, music, models/casting, hair, makeup, etc.-seem so challenging to put all together, making it fascinating and exciting to see for me come together as 1 giant product, just like a movie or live commercial, as others said. In a way, there is some illusion to them, because they're meant to seem like wearing clothes from a certain good show itself will make you look good as the models did on that show. That's the big reason why models get a huge emphasis, I think, because they represent the actual wearers if the clothes. And I agree, clothes do look better in motion just in general. Sometimes at Dior the long evening dresses may look plain on the model standing backstage, but look amazing on the runway when she pushes it and it flows. Plus with the added elements-soundtrack, lighting, hair, makeup,-it can all just be a WOW! experience.

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