As the fall fashion 2013 collections get underway, we are ready to ask the tough questions and really try to put a lot of this stuff in context. It's time to stop acting like every dress that comes down the runway is fabulous or fresh or new in any way. Don't expect reviews either. If you want to know what color the coat was or what is the key shape this season you know where you can go for that. Lets just say it... it's like we all know something isn't right.
Whether you are shocked by Alexander Wang taking over the reigns at Balenciaga or how a mass-market brand like J.Crew can even have a show, it can somehow seem like everything is in a bit of unbalance, like everything is out of order. I even tried to search for YSL on style.com yesterday and couldn't find it in the "Y" section. It's even gotten alphabetically out of order!
So, everyone calm down, it's going to be all right again soon. I remember back when I was a fashion editor at French Vogue in Paris, John Galliano had taken over at Dior and Givenchy had been given to Alexander McQueen. Let me tell you, everyone in Paris was shocked! Crazy! At the time, McQueen was considered a low life who had done nothing but design the "bumster," which, if you don't know, were jeans that intentionally let your ass crack show. Yep, this was the boy who was about to debut the haute of the haute couture. Oh, what were the petit mains going to do! What would they say to this kind of guy? How could they even work together? Well, after a two-hour (plus) wait at the ecole des beaux-arts came an exquisite and expertly tailored masterpiece all in white, with a bit of snake, of course. All was well again in fashion. At least for a minute.
Come back and follow along as we sort out the good from the bad with a trained eye and a pretty good memory, something not many industry experts seem to have. Every dress has a story and that story is just one chapter in the history of fashion, in the story of costume. Truth be told we are witnessing history in the here and now. The industry is in a sublime state of flux. What's happening? Is it art? Is it commerce? Is it merely a red-carpet costume? Is Victoria's Secret really a fashion show? It's all of that! A big mix of languages spoken by many. I will try to translate it for the next few weeks, at least until the last of the Paris presentations.