How to Join
the Fashion Spot / Front Row / Fashion... In Depth
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Rules Links Mobile How to Join
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
28-02-2010
  1
fashion icon
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Gender: femme
Posts: 3,128
Critiquing the collections – Is there a method to the madness?
I hope its okay to start a thread on fashion critique since I think it’s relative to the designers collections. Every time Fashion Week rolls around I find myself questioning the critieria people use to rate the collections since a lot of the critique seems so arbitrary. I realize that it is heavily subjective but the fact that a lot of the industry seems to fall in line as far as praising certain collections makes me think that there is some set criteria. For instance, why do all the professional critics rave over Lanvin, Prada and Marc Jacobs?

As far as the TFS , I've noticed the critiques seem to fall into a few categories

The experts-- A few posters who have a fashion education and maybe work in the industry so they seem to have a working knowledge of material, construction etc. I find these critiques most informative and even when I disagree I appreciate that there is some basis for their opinion.

The realists— They may not have a fashion background and are likely to respond more positively to collections that appear to be most wearable.

The artists—They like the more avant garde couture collections and tend to view the more wearable collections as boring regardless of craftsmanship.

The groupies: They are fans of particular designer houses—usually the big name houses. They have usernames like Balenciaga4eva or something. They rave over that their favorite designer collections no matter what and tend to look at other collections only to note similarities to their favorite house. (Those sleeves are so Balmain! Or “He’s totally ripping off Versace!”).

The nonconformists—They hate the big houses and favor smaller indie labels particularly the most avant garde because they don't conform to the mainstream tastes.

Of course people may be mixtures of those critics.

I guess I want to know what everyone looks for when they critique a collection.

What factors tend to make you love a collection and what makes you hate it? Do you think you are biased in any way?

For the expert posters do you have any advice on how to objectively rate collections such as what to look for in construction, proportions.etc?


Last edited by loladonna; 28-02-2010 at 08:21 AM.
  Reply With Quote
 
28-02-2010
  2
front row
 
starblood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: 80s
Gender: femme
Posts: 252
I suppose most of the comments are based on the emotions and the first impression
but oh well, fashion is art and art is subjective so I tend to avoid things like 'love it/hate it' (though it is hardly ever possible)

the experts are the realists, m? if you want to be objective, the first thing to do, I suppose, is to look carefully through a collection plenty of times; to calm down and see a design as a some kind of creature, who has its own individuality, emotions and try to FEEL it.
then you are able to talk about construction, proportions, styling etc.

and I think it is some kind of a talent... to have a sense of what is good and what is not.

you question is a rhetoric one. a discussion which never ends

__________________
Magdalena Edita Sasha
  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  3
V.I.P.
 
miwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sarajevo
Gender: femme
Posts: 8,765
I'm very subjective when I look at collections, I immediately think if I'd wear it. I don't really prefer any labels, I try to look at all collections with an open mind. Sometimes it takes days for me to digest a collection, it happens often with Prada.

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  4
barcode
 
Spike413's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York
Gender: homme
Posts: 14,384
I think the reason a lot of critics seem to respond similarly towards particular designers, besides advertising clout, is that critics have certain expectations of a label. Like with Lanvin you expect to see certain things, you expect a certain kind of look, you expect a certain level of craft. With Prada you expect experimentation and oddness. With Balenciaga you expect innovation, imagination and amazing technique. You can't judge each designer on the same merits because each of their labels stand for different things.

That's pretty much how I try to look at collections as well. I've gotten to a point where how much I may like a label doesn't have a big influence on my opinion of each collection they show. I love Balenciaga as a house but I don't always love the collections Ghesquiere shows and if I don't like it I don't praise it.

The things I look for no matter what designer I'm looking at are; whether or not the collection seems relevant to the label, whether or not I find it interesting and whether or not the results are appealing to me.

__________________
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford


Last edited by Spike413; 28-02-2010 at 10:07 AM.
  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  5
Wanderlust
 
Salvatore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Paris
Gender: homme
Posts: 6,339
I agree with what Spike said about knowing what to expect from the respective design houses . I am not going to expect a label like, let's say, Moschino Cheap & Chic to do something ground-breaking like I would at Balenciaga . You cannot expect a house to give something more than it can .

When I look at a collection, everything is important - from the cuts of clothes to something like the lighting . It all let's me understand it better .

And, again like Spike, I like what I like and don't like what I don't . It's known that I am anti-Frida at Gucci, but this season changed me because I felt that the collection was close to what I imagine Gucci should be like and it showed in everything .

__________________
sounds like "dirty European aristocracy".....

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  6
Geometric Discharge
 
Crying Diamonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London
Gender: homme
Posts: 7,196
I tend to be very selfish when I critique a collection - it's always whether my female alter-ego would wear what is being put out or not.
I like designers thinking outside of the box, having their own opinion and not caving in and conforming when they realise one or two people don't like it. I also don't like it when designers realise they've designed something that sells and so just regurgitate that piece season after season in different colours. Several of my favourite designers have gotten into the habit of doing this.
I suppose I'm always looking for the innovators; the experimentors with cut and shape; as if I'm on a constant look out for the next huge name.
I'm critical about tired ideas and cheap-looking designs.

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  7
tfs star
 
clocked's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: right in the middle
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,840
i look for wearable, interesting, unique (yeah, i want ALL OF THAT out of a collection)...on the other side of the coin i love avant-garde stuff as well, it's always good to see what an experimenter can do, but the more wearable, day-to-day clothing catches my eye more lately because i can't afford new clothes! sad but true

__________________
"If you don't eat yourself, you will explode instead..." -Goldfrapp
  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  8
no tom ford, no thanks.
 
mikeijames's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: closer than you think.
Gender: homme
Posts: 5,900
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.

__________________
everything is never quite enough.

Last edited by mikeijames; 28-02-2010 at 12:14 PM.
  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  9
V.I.P.
 
honeycombchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London
Gender: homme
Posts: 7,120
I think us males, for the most part, take wearability out of the equation when we critique womanswear. We don't have to imagine how we'd wear it, how we'd work it into your daily lives, so it doesn't always factor in too much. Unless perhaps they are a buyer or such. I can appreciate that something is highly wearable and commercial, but that's not say that's going to make me like a collection.

There are certain designers that I'm just never going to feel for, in the same way there's designers and brands that I am more than likely always going to like the work of as our aesthetics match.

I think often it can be a mistake to critique the manufacturing/technical details of a collection from the runway. Some designers, such as Christopher Kane for example can have really, really bad construction going on for their runway shows, but it can get cleaned up and perfected for the garments making it to stores.

Mostly though I think a lot of people critique collections based solely on their gut, that's why we one word posts like "I hate" or "awful". I know when I like and appreciate something straight off, and know when something's just not grabbing me at all.

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  10
fashion icon
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Nantes
Gender: homme
Posts: 3,015
honeycomvchild u're so right for the view we have of women fashion. i also think men are more "reasonnable" when they judge a collection, especially heterosexual...i am hetero and, as a versace seller said, we tend to se fashion more as an utilitary thing, whereas gay are more attracted by the artistic part...at least that's what she noticed. of course it's just a tendance, and i feel interested also in the artistic aspect. but most of time, if think of how i will use a clothes (i mean really expensive clothes) before. this is a thing between realists and experts maybe . but everyone see fashion in his own way

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  11
V.I.P.
 
honeycombchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London
Gender: homme
Posts: 7,120
I remember a tutor at University saying to me that you could usually always tell the difference between a heterosexual eye and a homosexual eye. One looks at is as the woman they'd want to stand next to, have on his arm, and the other looks at is as who he'd like to put on a pedestal and worship.

Obviously I'm not saying that's how it always works, and it could be a very small factor, but I think it can sometimes account for some male's opinions of certain collections.

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  12
fashion insider
 
Creative's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Gender: homme
Posts: 2,174
I don't think so at all, there must be a lot of homosexual people here and all of them have different tastes. That's like saying eating crum make breasts bigger.

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  13
Plain Ol' Beautiful
 
irulan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,483
My first thought always is "Will I want to wear that come Fall?" What am I tired of, what looks fresh, what looks wearable? I try not to be influenced by the setting or the cast or the lighting. That won't end up in stores. I even try to ignore the styling and look at the collection as single pieces. It annoys me when pants are missing (at Dolce & Gabbana) or when the styling is deliberately ugly (Marc tends to do this), but it the end, I'll buy a shirt or a skirt and wear it with a different shirt or skirt from a different designer.

So, yes, I'm all about the much famed wearability. I liked Prada this season because I'm tired of miniskirts and studs, I saw myself in one of that ruffle dresses right away. Of course, wearability means something different to all of us - depending on how daring you are.

Plus, I think it's hard to be objective with critique. We all have personal tastes that lead us to prefer some designers to others, based on their signatures and the look they like, the house they work for.
This season I saw my first Jil Sander collection, because they streamed it life. I'm by no means a minimalist and the only thing I liked was the pink shoulder on the dress Joan Smalls wore (I think). Does that mean it was a bad collection? No. It means that I'm in no place to judge it.

I wish that some other members would follow that policy as well. I'm always so enraged by the commenst one of my favourites, Marc Jacobs, gets every season, "His stuff is ugly, ladida." If you don't like his way of designing, why bother? I hate it when I read something like "This is so ugly, I don't get why people like this."

Some are very narrow-minded within their critique.

And I'm always curious how male members judge womenswear... It was interesting to read something about that here.

__________________
I'm an ice queen, I’m the Sun King, I’m an alien fleeing from District 9 and I’m a dominatrix. So I reckon that makes me a lukewarm royalty with a whip from outer space.
  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  14
scenester
 
BornToBe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Alway in transit
Gender: femme
Posts: 81
wow what a nice thread! I've been thinking about this subject ever since I started looking at collections.
As a woman I think i do tend to look at things from the "wearablility" angle, but I can still appreciate things that are artistic. I do think that there are too many people who expect every collection to be "ground breaking" or "foward thinking". I think folks have to realize that fashion is more than just art cause it has to sell on a large scale.
If you paint a picture all you need is one person to love it and buy it, but with clothes you genrally need to capture the interst of thousands of people !

  Reply With Quote
28-02-2010
  15
V.I.P.
 
honeycombchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London
Gender: homme
Posts: 7,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Creative View Post
I don't think so at all, there must be a lot of homosexual people here and all of them have different tastes. That's like saying eating crum make breasts bigger.
It wasn't particuarly about tastes. You can still have very different tastes from one another, but what I actually said that it was perhaps a difference in the way people like women to be, like them to appear. There's still a massive space for taste within that.

It's nothing like saying anything to do with breasts and crumbs.

  Reply With Quote
Reply
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Tags
collections, critiquing, madness, method
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"


 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:38 AM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. ©2014 All rights reserved.