Showcasing fashion (venues, videos, showrooms...) Pairing 'message' with 'medium'

Discussion in 'Fashion... In Depth' started by Dkammern, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Dkammern

    Dkammern DÔMMkammern

    Sep 17, 2006
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    I've never been a fan of 'quoting myself' but as I replied to the Adeline Andre HC thread, my post ended being more about fashion shows, or other mediums that are used to showcase fashion collections and I just thought it would be interesting to discuss the topic "in depth" as this new forum encourages us to do.

    What follows is the post I wrote in the previous thread, so you can see where the idea started. The topic has also been widely discussed lately with articles (i will try to look it up and post them) by Cathy Horyn, Suzy Menkes, and the series by on The Future of Fashion, so I would love to know what's your opinion on this topic!! If the discussion gets lively, I would love to jump in with mines too! :smile:

    ^_^ Let's talk about:

    - fashion shows, does the industry still need them and why?
    for all their collections (rtw, resort, prefall, couture...)?
    - what ways of showcasing fashion do you prefer?
    some (ysl, gareth pugh...) have tried video, do you think it works?
    - what effect does it have in this the live streaming of shows on the internet?
    Cathy Horyn skipped London fashion week last season, and instead she reviewed the collections watching shows online (cost reducing, less time consuming...)
    - ... ?
    #1 Dkammern, Jul 9, 2010
    Last edited by moderator : Jul 9, 2010
  2. BerlinRocks

    BerlinRocks New Member

    Dec 19, 2005
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    ^very good thread !!!!!!
    * though it's too early to reply, i'll probably put my 2 cents in that ...

    and definitely, i am for the video medium in showcasing a collection !

    the YSL ones are very narrative, and the Pugh ones very graphic, and V&R have done something very classic - so we could already compare which one is the best alternative ...

    Eventhough I like the YSL approach, I think you can only do such things (not showcasing the outfits, but mostly a message of the collection) when you are very well "en place". Or, you'll need either a great and well-known artist (so your audience will be including art world) and a very good video (either aesthetically or provocative).
    The Gareth Pugh one was great because first he's chosen the PERFECT girl (Natasa V.) so the outfit were greatly showcased and in PERFECT motion (with such a girl, I bet !).

    About the live streaming, I'm a bit confused ... I feel it's perverse for the mass public (be part of the audience, without being part of it ... see everything's going on, without anyone paying attention to you. a bit perverse. but my mind is barely on the right track, sometimes). and, indeed very good for the critics/editors from all over the world (but i think, some editors were already skipping some shows, because they knew they'll find them back on ....... so ok for the critics, but editors .... i don't know. do you really need live streaming ?).

    I think Fashion is in a pretty BIG revolution, overall, at the moment, so ...... We'll have to wait to see if it flops or tops (commercially and artistically) .... but .... there're a LOT LOT going on, there !!!!! And I do believe, too, that it's one of the few commercial fields that have extraordanarylly managed to take advantage of the new media (iPad, Internet, Blog, and so on) !!!!
  3. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

    Nov 27, 2003
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    great topic! the media landscape continues to change and if fashion -- as all other industries -- does not adapt to that change, darwinian forces will apply.

    while i find the experimentation with the format of the runway show very exciting and refreshing, one must note that for the lion's share of houses showing the majority of clothes, the traditional runway works best (simply exporting that format with new technologies will continue to suffice). we don't need to see the clothes of narciso rodriguez walking down the street or the latest marni collection presented as an installation. if we draw a parallel to the art world, most pieces look great in the clinical white box of the gallery space. it allows us to focus on the work. the latest burberry ready-to-wear proved this, runway delivery through the means of new media drove sales.

    now, for those front runners in the fashion game, playing with the format does a service for the fashion community at large. what one must realize (as one exits the insular world of the fashion industry) that the entire aspirational notion of fashion, truly, the very fashion "lifestyle" finds itself at risk in moments of economic downturn like this. sure, those who pal around with designers or the journalists who follow their every move don't see this, but for the masses who don't have access to this world, other bright lights in the world have increasingly replaced the allure of the fashion world. for the decades'-past ohio girl who once dreamed of owning but one balenciaga gown, other dreams have replaced that idea: is it the dream of becoming a top executive? is it the idea of becoming the next kim kardashian? for this new generation, merely having garments with the patina of fashion tends to suffice.

    therefore the biggest designers in the world (and yes, the publications that report on them) must not only present their wares in a continually interesting and marketable way, but to trigger that dream that gets people to obsess over fashion in the first place. for us jaded seen-everything-heard-everything fashion junkies, we can write off galliano's latest collection as but a shadow, we can castigate lagerfeld's extravagazas as gimmickry, and we can cast off thom browne's menswear fantasies as irrelevant, but for the rest of the world, this stuff sparks the imagination, it blips on the radar, and it gets people looking at fashion who may never have looked at a collection of pictures of perfectly cut clothes against a stark white runway.

    we see that houses take this charge actually experience great sales. granted, success leads to success as most of these houses could call themselves pretty flush before these grand presentations as they use their bounties to pay for these shows. the french houses tend to do well here: it's chanel, it's dior, it's givenchy, and it's yves saint laurent. we also have prada. we have jil sander. in years past, we had tom ford, we had alexander mcqueen, and other fashion demigods who strattled raw experimentation and pure commercial appeal.

    i'm not convinced by the "video installation" idea of runway shows as i believe streaming videos of runway shows themselves or edited versions thereof remain quite popular. honestly, i think more people watch a or video of the actual ysl show than will ever watch the "message video" (although the bruce weber "ain't nothing like the real thing" video last season put me in the perfect state of mind to receive that wistful, breezy, and sensuous menswear collection).
    #3 mikeijames, Jul 11, 2010
    Last edited by moderator versaceschoolboi: Jul 11, 2010
  4. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

    Jan 28, 2004
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    i don't like the video idea...
    mostly because i can't recall ever seeing it done well...

    in these videos the clothing usually takes a back seat to whatever the 'concept' of the video is...
    which is not really the point if you are trying to showcase a collection...

    i agree that seeing a runway presentation video is more effective than some artsy conceptual thing in most cases...
    and i still think that still images showcase clothing best...
    in photos you can linger and pour over all the details, etc...
    i think that is why you have fashion ads in magazines but rarely see fashion commercials on TV, for example...

    that's not to say it cannot be done...
    it's just quite rare...

    i still like fashion shows...and i like that they are available to the general public now...
    and i also like the still images and detail shots of the shows...

    but i'm also just as happy with the showroom shots that most designers use for their resort lookbooks these days...
    as long as there are detail shots taken at the same time and made available...
    *which i wish they did ...

    i think some japanese designers and websites do a much better job of shooting clothing and/or presenting it in a way that is unique but still showcases the garments beautifully...
    it seems there is a lot of respect for the designs in these cases...
    it's not about the model and such...but about presenting the clothing in a way that shows it at its best...they enhance the clothing...and do LOTS of angles and details shots...
    those images are better for me than any basic fashion show...
    #4 softgrey, Aug 2, 2010
    Last edited by moderator starrb81477: Sep 3, 2010
  5. WilhelmF

    WilhelmF Active Member

    Aug 22, 2008
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    I love the idea of live streaming, just because it allows the people outside the fashion community to go through the 'runway show' experience.
    it's like a new approach to potential customers and for fashion insiders, it gives them the message in real time.

    So much better than waiting, like, two months or so till the video arrives (if they ever arrive).

    Also, I think sometimes there are collection that are more suitable for presentation than runway shows...
    cuz sometimes, a fast-walking march of models that ends in less than 10 min is quite annoying since there are collections that needs to be absorbed because of their intrincate nature or so.

    Oh, I'm also noticing that, from quite a few seasons,
    some designers prefer a 'maze-alike' runway rather than a straight line 'pose-n-go' show.
    I think that gives an extra oomph to some collections.

    Just my thoughts :P
  6. Dkammern

    Dkammern DÔMMkammern

    Sep 17, 2006
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    interesting thoughts everyone!
    it's funny because you say some collections deserve presentations better than shows because of all the information (detail, "intricate nauture", tisci's couture much?) they contain.
    however, i would say presentations are also good for the exact opposite: the average resort collection that you just can't care to spend 15 minutes seeing come and go down a runway.

    a really good point as far as expanding the way that the message is passed from the label on to the buyer/editor/consumer/tFSer:smile:blush:smile:
    when mikeijames says that the video puts him in a certain mood, it is perfectly clear that the film may complement but never substitute the runway experience (or the video streaming of it, for those who can be present), and coming to think of it, there are so many other elements that are always included in fashion shows but that we do not question as "extras" as we do videos: lights, music, the room, the invitation...
    it's as if we went back to those first collections that Saint Laurent showed for Dior and then his own startup house: just a room, packed with women, just the models walking around with a numbered card on their hand, and a voice over describing the garment.
    No music! something that we consider so vital in a fashion show, that sets the tone for the collection, the inspiration, the decade perhaps, the mood... years ago it wasnt even part of the most refined presentations!! i wonder if we can anticipate a landscape in which videos will also become essential for the collections. Prada's sunglasses campaigns (both last summer's, and this fall with wonderful jazzing Lindval) come to mind. Same concept of the print campaign, but with movement, sound, music...

    i once read Olivier Zahm comparing fashion to a religion or a cult, and the fashion shows being the ceremony that brings people together.
    i do believe that fashion shows will always be important even if it's just because it gets people in the industry talking, seeing the different inspirations behind every collection... stylist get ideas for editorials, photographers turn does ideas into the actual pictures, the designers then see the pictures, they might take ideas for following collections and campaigns and then the cycle starts again with those ideas being updated... and it's all just a wonderful synergy that goes on and on building the momentum! :smile: i think it works!!

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