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25-07-2012
  1
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Do you feel designers hide behind theatrics ?
My original intention was to name the thread 'Do designers hide their lack of inspiration behind theatrics?' but that isn't exactly what I'm getting at, I feel that due to how many collections *some* designers churn out every 3 months that they rehash some of their original ideas, I think this has been proven by many members in the outfit look-a-like thread, some have pointed out several designers including Jean Paul Gaultier rehashing his original designers, but I feel another designer who is infamous of doing exactly this is Karl, someone pointed out perfectly that the man is everywhere and not in the right places and more so in the wrong and not focusing enough on his main priorities such as his recent 'Karl' Olympics capsule collection at Selfridges.

I feel that because designers like him are all over the place that they rush or simply recycle ideas, gone are the days when models would exit out into a quiet room full of press and buyers holding up their number card every 6 months, wasn't it Karl who started the whole Resort Pre-fall collections with his Metiers d'Art collections ?


*Style.com

But with every designer stepping up the ante each season with much more exaggerated sets it's impossible for new-comers to compete in comparison to the likes of Vuitton who have a custom made steam train as their set, which don't get me wrong was exquisite but it does make it almost impossible for new comers.
Some members have even expressed their feelings that the set to most of these shows speak more volumes than the actual collection, so are the houses focusing too much on the presentation of their shows rather than the execution of the actual collection ?


*squarewithflair.blogspot.com

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25-07-2012
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I enjoy those high-budget shows, and I'm sure the people who see them in person enjoy them even more I'm sure that people adjust their expectations according to the label's success, just like you have different expectations at a diner than at a 5-star restaurant.

It's interesting that two of the designers with the most theatrical shows (I believe you mentioned the two I'm thinking of) also have noticeably theatrical personal styles.

Perhaps they are hiding something ... or hoping people won't notice something. They are the names on everyone's lips, and yet in my opinion, not the first I'd point to if asked for a name of a genius in this industry.

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Last edited by fashionista-ta; 25-07-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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25-07-2012
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Well, the opposing side of this, for me, is McQueen. A lot of his shows were incredibly theatrical but they always enhanced and complimented his collections rather than detracted from them. As though his designs and the show were both intrinsic parts of one statement.

That said, I do think that LV and Chanel are shows where the setting is often more interesting than the clothes. But I suppose the question is whether this focus on the shows detracts from the designs - the collection concept comes before the setting surely? Therefore would they really be any different from a simple runway show? In fact, if the issue is that designs are lacking inspiration and are being too samey, would that not suggest that theatrics are irrelevant if these designs can fit to any theme. It probably goes back to that other question of - is fashion too fast; are there too many seasons in a year nowadays?

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25-07-2012
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The clothes for the Chanel show pictured above were certainly very specific to the theme. And Marc has certainly done more minimalist shows ... the show with Somewhere Over the Rainbow was incredible, and the set couldn't have been more minimal. Theatrical, yes, but I think you'd have to say that show was about the clothes.

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28-07-2012
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Its true that one problem with having these lavish, spectacular shows every three months is that, yes, the clothes sometimes don’t match up to the hype of the shows. It could be interpreted that he brands are trying to distract from the clothes, rather than compliment them.

However, most of the designers mentioned are notably quite ‘mature’ designers who have already established their house codes etc, and are naturally going to end up repeating themselves simply because they aren’t in that trailblazing, radically innovative stage of their careers. As long as the clothes sell and feel fresh and relevant it shouldnt matter.

Do the clothes need to be highly innovative all the time? Is expecting amazing originality every 3 months too much? In which case it's only natural that the brands provide other talking points, through sets and styling. You can't really expect them to reinvent the wheel every time.

Of course this only becomes a problem when designers and critics start believing the hype, and start to act like its all awesome all the time, (just cus it looks awesome) and don’t allow fashion any ‘off’ days. It doesn’t have to always be awe inspiring, spectacular or ground breaking every day of the week. It just has to be good design!

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27-08-2012
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I don't think all shows can be compared directly. Alexander McQueen (himself, not his brand) was clearly a lot into creating garments and outfits that were the reflection of his vision. It required theatrics and sophisticated sets to match this vision and, in the end, that's what used to make the magic of his collections. I remember seeing similar things at Issey Miyake, where the effects and the set were clearly designed to put more emphasis on the collection's theme.

For established brands like Chanel or Vuitton, I'm rather thinking their shows are here to sell dreams through impressive performances and that all the additional effects are less made to highlight the outfits than to create an atmosphere that makes a buyer want to buy some Chanel or Vuitton again. Most of these brands are making money with basic items (handbags, basic garments of all kinds etc.) and do not have to impress with innovative clothing. But they certainly have to display a show that reflects the level of luxury the label is supposed to represent.


Last edited by penny609; 27-08-2012 at 09:29 AM.
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27-08-2012
  7
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luxurious theatrics have been tiring me since a real long time
they are definity a thing of the past

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27-08-2012
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I have no problem with theatrics. I love when a great collection is matched with production. I often feel like a fashion show is like a movie. The physical collection is like the script, the designer - the director. And like movies, if the script is inherently lacking - the whole product ultimately will fall short. You can cast the greatest actresses (models), hire the best art director and cinematographer (set and lighting designers), the best composer (sound illustrator, a la Michel Gaubert or Frederic Sanchez), and the best hair and make up team you want - you can even have the best marketing team (It editors and It bloggers) blow up the social media scene with their praises.

And all of those things can be a wonderful distraction. I mean, I'm sure it actually is a true thrill to see a Chanel show live. I bet it's a blast. But again, if the "script" is flawed to begin with, none of these elements can truly save it from being a poor piece of work (as it is at Chanel, more often than not).

On the flip side of all of this - if the "script" is strong to begin with, then these theatrical additions can take the designer's work so beyond the potential of the product standing alone. When done right, an expensive production can transport not only the live viewer but also the virtual viewer to a complete and whole new world of fantasy. The fantasy of the past, the fantasy of the future, the fantasy of an exotic place, the fantasy of a glamorous life - an often times all of the above.

In fact, I was just listening to Tom Ford's interview with Charlie Rose from 2000 and, as always, Ford was a fascinating and enthralling listen. In particular, he spoke to creating this fantasy that ultimately is what defines you. Because in the end, a pair of black pants is a pair of black pants (of course, these pants have to be finely fabricated, well cut, well designed, well fit pants). But a consumer is going to buy Ford's Gucci pants over the other because these Gucci pants were worn by a gorgeous, thoroughbred, androgynous beauty catwalking down a insultingly decadent, fully fur carpeted runway, spotlit in a dark room, rose petals falling from the heavens, and a heart-wrenching soundtrack filling the space.

Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked - I take no offense to theatrics. What I take offense to is designers hiding behind gimmicks. Someone like Jason Wu makes my blood boil because the man is a terrible "designer" with no real taste or intuitiveness. His Fall 2012 show, for example is a perfect example of gimmicks masquerading as theatrics - what with the giant Imperial doors, the smoke billowing out from them, the army of "fierce" models. I mean, I don't think I've seen anything as ridiculous in some time as the likes of Arizona Muse in a Party City mandarin cap.

Ultimately - the success of theatricality depends entirely on whether or not the designer is a talent with something even worth saying.

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01-09-2012
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Maybe. Or maybe the customers of that brand expect a certain look, and the designer is proud of the image he has created for that brand. Maybe showmanship is just a way to add freshness to a show that would otherwise be similar to the last one. If so, it isn't a bad business move. It is, after all, a business they are running. I'd certainly rather see slight variations on the classic Chanel suit every season in a fabulous staging, than a new Chanel for Target line to drum up sales.

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07-09-2012
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Fashion has become a Spectacle ... Why is it wrong to "hide" behind theatrics ?
And what exactly do they hide from with theatrics ?
I think the title should be : why do (you think) designers hide behind theatrics ? and not Do you feel designers hide behind theatrics ...

Quote:
gone are the days when models would exit out into a quiet room full of press and buyers holding up their number card every 6 months
that was not really quiet ... i remember old shows where the music was really loud, where photographers were going crazy all around the runway screaming models' names, and where people in the audience were clapping hands, screaming names. i think this is much more quiet now since they come to look at a spectacle. like in a theatre, or concert.
i guess we don't go in the same theatre ...

and to me a very quiet japanese show a la CDG is also a theatric situation. it is just a different one.

regarding Chanel, I don't think they hide. but on the contrary just sit their power with this theatre or spectacle...
regarding John Galliano, who always had a choreography for his salut, this gimmick was just the character. he embodied what was in the show... and was fully into his inspirations ... to say I AM what I'm showing to you ... This is a part of who I am ...

That is the spectacle, the entertainment that goes with the democaritsation/disneyification of Fashion... Fashion has become a business, it has to wear the clothes business entertaining wears ...

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09-09-2012
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this may be bit off topic, but i feel that some designers hide "bad" clothes with the presentation of the models. Basically a few designers make the actual pace of the models walk so fast, that you cant fully look at the designs and de-constuct the details of how the product has been made and designed, whilst in motion (which can look different when you look at the details on style.com, compared to like i said before in actual motion)
The few that just come to mine are pucci and alexander wang (his spring 2013) - even though i liked wang's show, the pace was just too quick that you missed some outfits, which was a shame. I get that the models attitude is to be fierce and strut more fast tempo as it is his aesthetic, but is it not better to remember the outfits, straight after the show, then just a blur because you went to grab your drink or something.
I guess this is why I love Haider Ackerman so much..........

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10-09-2012
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^ i allways tought that some models walking faster than others was by accident, because they got a bit confused & stuff But i guess if all of them are walking superfast then it can be for different reasons.
But still, somebody sometimes is going to see the pieces in detail and everything will show, i dont think that they gain that much if they are hiding stuff with fast paces. Or maybe im just naive?

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10-09-2012
  13
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Modes walk fast because the show has to be over quickly ... A show average time is btw 10 and 15min in RTW (depending on how many looks, girls, passages)
Most buyers and journalists and editors, then (before or after the show, mostly depends where you are on hierarchy level) go backstage or in showroom ... And then, you have style.com and firstview to see details and stuff ...

But that is an interesting point, indeed ... And I've noticed too that most girls don't pose in front of cameras nowadays, they just walk ...

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10-09-2012
  14
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IMO, grand presentation gives different if unrealistic interpretation of the actual collection. Some reviewers tend to overly praise "this" show and their collection follows. I think we should just be more careful in choosing the person who does the review. Also, I don't like a show with clothes overly decorated with accessories (well, except Mcqueen ). They tend to hide the actual creation and creates an illusion which mostly doesn't translate off the runway.

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