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19-02-2008
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Erzébeth II's Avatar
 
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Death of the Fashion Visionary?
More and more it seems that fashion's counterpart to the 'auteur' is dying. (Hedi Slimane and Alexander Mcqueen, to name two.) Concepts and grand visions are retreating from the catwalks and by this I mean that while the established visionaries are still around (but even then, a lot of them have gotten soft just because they have no choice) we're not getting any new ones as time goes by.
I find that labels today just find something that works and stick with it, tweaking things here and there as the seasons roll along. Obviously the designers can't be blamed, it's a combination of many factors. But still, it's a little sad. What's your opinion?

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19-02-2008
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It's not many factors, its one factor - profits. The romanticism is certainly long gone, everything's commercial. All the major houses are owned by conglomerates and they're run no differently than Microsoft or McDonalds.

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19-02-2008
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i could not agree more with u.
i think this article is quiet interesting to read.

Suzy Menkes from the Herald Tribune 2006: who´s next in fashion? no one.

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19-02-2008
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I think it's too easy to blame the companies and conglomerates. it's not like they decide what to do really, but they adapt to what people ask them.
I think we should really start to consider that the real reason why the brands dont produce spectacular gowns, is because the 21st century woman jsut doesnt want to wear them.
As very well Valentino said recently, the old Dolce Vita days are gone, and women just dont change three times a day. They work, they move, their preferences have changed, their environment has changed, and the market must evolve with them all.
it's not like designers and companies havent tried to maintain the creativity, but no matter how hard you try, it's consumer who eventually decides what to buy. Companies not only push the consumer what to buy, because consumers also inflict a great pressure on production. I'ts the magic equation, Supply <==> Demand

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19-02-2008
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Well, I think a renaissance/revolution is approaching soon and a new crop of designers will be there to supply this new demand for "dressing-up" that is inevitable I feel.

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

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19-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tctra View Post
It's not many factors, its one factor - profits. The romanticism is certainly long gone, everything's commercial. All the major houses are owned by conglomerates and they're run no differently than Microsoft or McDonalds.
you got that right..

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19-02-2008
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also not always run by profits...
what about what the designer wants ?
not all designers will want to produce 'extraordinary' 'not unlike any other' type of things
they may want to produce garments you can wear in real life, for everyday

but i agree with borjacapella
about it doesn't fit the 21st century woman/person's lifestyle :p

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19-02-2008
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But just take a look at the comments posted on tfs. People aren't interested anymore in Visionaires. People are interested in their own private lifes and are looking for something that compliments that.

In my work I found that the creative directors are always assisted by visionaires, whether it's in the styling or just the overall spirit.

And personally, I don't think money or conglomerates are a reason for the visionaires to dissapear. I personally, think that someone like Marc Jacobs is changing fashion with his vision. But I do agree that we're kind of waiting for a new Viktor&Rolf, for instance, to turn the world upside down again.

But just like Suzy Menkes writes, there's so little space for Visionaires to develope and grow within the system nowadays. And I for one, blame labels like Ferré that stay on the market, tho their designer passed away (and yes, I know about the money there and that you can't just stop, but still it's a problem that there's not any new space left.)

Same goes for Balenciaga and Prada, for instance. They don't allow editors/stylsts to combine their items with other designers, so nowadays it's normal to get a 8-page spread in Vogue dedicated entirely to Prada, cause Prada pays for it. And by that, leaving no room for others. Which I find aweful, and incredibly wrong. But as depressing as it is. It is the system we live in, and work in.

A magazine like Purple Fashion used to be so fresh and new and the editorials could be mind-blowing, nowadays there are so many money-problems that they have to stick by rules- and rules that they don't make themselves.

Interesting topic!

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19-02-2008
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IMO some people think that visionary is the same as crazy, not wearable, etc.

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19-02-2008
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^ah yes true my mistake to think that too at first
but of course dries van noten and demeulemeester are visionaries
there's always a mood / another world to their work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by telepathicgoat
But just take a look at the comments posted on tfs. People aren't interested anymore in Visionaires. People are interested in their own private lifes and are looking for something that compliments that.
i like your post..

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19-02-2008
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great discussion, I think commercialization of the fashion industry and monopoly by few corporate giants owning most fashion houses or fashion labels have restricted a lot of creative and innovative designs. My grandmother was telling me how back in the days when she attends Coco or YSL shows, it was a novelty few were privy to and no one felt they had to constantly produce 4 or 5 shows each year, and more about limited quality for the masses.

Its hard for innovative designers to work well in major houses were its about producing as much as you can and little with authentic and inspiring designs in our globalized economy. I mean fashion is a reflection of our society today, were quality are sidetracked by quantity.

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19-02-2008
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Theres a shift on the fashion industry ... even regular buyers of pret-a-porter have been to be a bit more picky about what to get .. prices have gone up up up .. and nowadays a lot of couture clients are from the east ... designers have to adjust to the clientelle ...

On top of it, yeah .. everyone's GOT to sell ... but theres being a big shift on the clientelly and the extremely wealhty nowadays ... new faces with a diff whole taste

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19-02-2008
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There is not an infinite market. The designers who pioneered pret-a-porter are still there and ARE NOT LETTING GO. They are the ones who everyone suggests are motivated by profit and that is expected.
The masses of studio talent that fuel these fashion houses are too numerous to mention. There has been a surplus of fashion students for the past 2 decades. Most don't go it alone BECAUSE IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE and the market already saturated.
Creativity will only go so far these days: one needs a fashion show that only begins at around 50,000€, a showroom, distribution, a producer, textile connections, a press office.....AND ALL THE UPFRONT MONEY TO PAY THEM!
Besides, most people don't wear visionary fashion as much as just sitting around looking and discussing it.
If there is truly anything visionary out there, LET IT STAY A SECRET. The world and the internet don't need to know about it unless you want it to be chewed up and spit out faster than it can take for your first delivery.
As Tom Ford has mentioned, exclusivity is key. This is the next phase IMO. The way fashion used to be- for the few not the H&M masses.
While this quick cheap fix fashion has brought accessible design to the public, it has also eroded the allure of fashion itself. Much like music sharing and pirating, fashion is not the only industry to suffer from democratic mass-tige.

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19-02-2008
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^ You make a great point about the exclusivity thing, Bidwell. I completely agree with that.

I think we have yet to see the next generation of great talent. Riccardo Tisci, Rodarte and Raf Simons come to mind, but that's kind of it.

As far as new designers go, I think that they're either extremely youth/trend oriented (Erin Fetherston, Derek Lam et al) or completely out of touch with reality and, imo anyway, overhyped (Christopher Kane, Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon). I also think that fashion is desperate to latch onto the next new talent, and create the hype for something that never manifests. Young designers nowadays seem to forgo gaining experience in the industry and step straight out of design school and into the limelight.

It's strange, I've yet to see that young designer who has something to really say, but that also creates covetable, wearable fashion for women.

For me right now, the most influential and promising talents are already well established in the industry. Nicolas and Olivier come to mind. They have that "it" quality, they will be among the fashion pantheon decades from now.

Talent like that just isn't around right now, and I think the general fashion environment has a lot to do with that. In a way I feel like there's this pressure for young designers to "choose a side" so to speak. Either they're going to be hugely creative and painfully avant garde because of the expectation that young designers should be, or at the other end of the spectrum you have those who choose early on to be wearable and user friendly but painfully unimaginative.

None of them seem to realize that there is a balance that does exist.

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Last edited by Spike413; 19-02-2008 at 05:26 PM.
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19-02-2008
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(please don't say that Raf is the "new generation", he's been doing this for ages and has a very loyal fanbase that has followed him for years and years...)

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