The Case of the No Show Collection
Time after time, brands and designers try experimenting with different forms of delivering their collections to the audience. Sometimes, new technologies are implemented in combination with already established formats like the season fashion show, or Catwalk.
The digital format, in which a fashion film has been created has been used in multiple shows. Also, the show running simultaneously live for audiences all over the world to see the splendor of the catwalk has been a rapidly embraced concept. The smaller venues and less press model has also been tested.
The beauty of the fashion shows consists of the surprise factor. The fact that the audience consisting of press and buyers has no clue of what is going to be presented in front of them.
The anticipation before the show starts, the venue, the décor, the music and even the invitations set the stage for what the show will be. As soon as the lights dim and the music starts, the adrenaline kicks in and the shows commences. Then we see the “looks” from the collection for the very first time. It’s captivating to see the faces of the people in the audience, each one reflects their own expression of surprise, approval or disinterest but they all share that particular moment in time together. At no other time, you could reach the audience’s attention with a stronger grasp than at the kick off of the show.
Now the question is, what happens when the brands decide not to show their collections in a catwalk format?
Well, that maybe what we would be confronted in the near future if more designers decide to go that route. The truth be told, the catwalk shows are expensive business but are we ready to make them extinct?
One dilemma that we confront with the disappearance of catwalk shows is the human factor involved in the shows.
The shows employ a lot of people, each single individual depends on these highly coveted positions that don’t come by very often. The fashion weeks are the means of many people to network with each other, many professionals don’t get to see/talk to each other until they’re in the same country for the same purpose; which is to attend fashion week, and the catwalk shows.
Fashion shows are great for students and interns because they get experience on the field, doing work that otherwise they will be confined to learn through someone else’s personal story or read the gist on a book. They get their foot on the door for what can possibly become their career. Granted, many students/interns may decide that FW and the industry is not for them, but how else would they ever find out if they were never given a chance to test the field.
You have to remember that FW consist of more than just the designers, press, and buyers. Fashion Week is a source of work for the make up artists, hair stylists, manicurists, dressers, stylists, set builders, public relations, production professionals, casting, production, models, catering agencies, lighting crew, sound crew, security and janitorial services.
All these individuals are employed thanks to the influx of people in the fashion industry going to see the fashion shows. Later on, these professionals help disseminate the news, the good the bad of each show. The stylists will see what they want to pull for magazines, the editors will fill their pages with reviews of the brands and the photographers will have images for the world to see the collections.
Again, we know that the catwalk shows are expensive but what is the alternative?: the systematically extinction of the fashion workers class. All the individuals employed for the sole purpose of a catwalk show will loose their jobs. Perhaps, the designers or the brands have gone more corporate and they think about their returns vs the people that help to make a brand.
Granted, we know that several collections have been unveiled in the form of Instagram campaigns, but are the brands taking out the press out of the equation as well as the rest of the industry professionals involved in the making of the catwalk just to replace them with Marketing Campaigns instead.
Remember, there is a difference when you see an editorial vs when you see a Commercial campaign. In those cases, the magic is to sell you the product one way or another.
So when campaigns are targeted towards the digital world instead of print, the audience see the product immediately without commentary or otherwise guidance as in the case of the products placed along other brands. Once the product has been unveiled it becomes a brand-centric and almost like a dogma that is too powerful to fail. Unless, the idea is to create net-citizens too self-absorbed to notice the importance of a process of creation created by so many people.
Is it justified to eliminate these jobs, perhaps if the cost would in fact be the reason then the pricing would be affected, right?. A simple deduction from the law of cause and effect, but in most if not all cases, the products sold by Brands deciding to go digital, Insta, or not having Catwalk show or press always stay the same. The financial success gets only applied to their interest and never passed down the consumer. But you decide what and where you want to see, after all it is your hard earned monies and nobody but yourself can decide what is fair.
Life in the Insta- Gratification Era