Friday, February 11, 2011

Lost in the crowd.

Yesterday was the start of Fashion Week and the legions of warriors were out in force. They came by private jet, by Town car and subway. They massed at the gates of Lincoln Center with hand-held electronic devices flashing bar codes at the guardians of the sacred venues. They were all shapes and sizes, some with long hair, spiked hair fake hair and others with no hair. Many wore furs of all stripes and textures, muffled in miles of cashmere and shod in boots that towered. The talk was often loud and peppered with hyperbole when they weren’t hypnotized by BlackBerries, Androids and IPhones.

Unlike other massing crowds at sporting events or religious pilgrimages this crowd is intent on itself. Most appear to be studying each other unashamedly or in secret. One man stood in line taking pictures of himself with many different expressions and at
odd angles for the time it took to go from the waiting area to his seat. There seemed to be no limit to the narcissism. This behavior was anything but out of place, as most people seemed to be indulging in this vice.

The excitement in the air was palpable, as everyone seemed starved for a brave new fashion. Perhaps the need for change has found its expression in a desire to alt
er one’s own appearance and less so in a desire to change the world.

The new attitude of the fashion flock is one of intense busy-ness. Everyone is talking on phones, texting on phones and taking pictures with phones. I’ve never seen a more focused group of people until you realize that many are tweeting the most inane things like,” I’m going into the show now” or “sitting in my seat” or my favorite, “standing, again”.
If what people are wearing on their backs or carrying on their arms is any indication of the health of the nation’s economy, we must be doing fine. I’ve never seen so many Hermes Birkin bags in sizes from large to XXlarge. Each of those bags could feed a family of four for a couple of years in this country and for many years in a developing country.

What confuses me most are the soulless, vacant expressions on the faces of people I’ve encountered at the shows. There seems to be little pleasure. Show time is little more than an exercise of chasing the dragon for many. It seems that few have time to take in the presentation, the mood, or the clothes. I wonder if supplying a tent, security and a crew of clipboard-toting PR people is all that's needed to entertain this crowd. Perhaps they'd be happier with the focus remaining squarely on them.The clothes seem to be an unwanted distraction.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is just theater for the masses, who hang out by the tents as they do in Paris, in the garden of Palais Royal, on fashion week where the cat walk truly is. The fashion show being in the street ,not on the runway, everyone is hoping to be photographed by Bill Cunningham and get their one minute of fame... Tom Ford has it right, absolutely right. Get those people off the fashion shows, make it a private affair and let the people guess and dream again.
And by the way I saw the shows on Style.com with a cup of tea in my hand, in my PJ. Nothing to write home about. NOTHING.

the line sheet said...

I like this post and agree with you. However, I love clothes and I love the people who are able to make beautiful ones even more.

My favorite shows have been the smaller presentations where you can look at the clothes and even ask the models questions about the garments.

Although at Lincoln Center, Mandy Coon's presentation was really special. It was held in "The Box."

Since it was a small collection the models did a couple of rounds on the runway, thus everyone got to really see the clothes.

To be honest I would get a better thrill out of going to the showrooms and seeing the clothes in a more intimate setting. My friend Ann Yee had her show on a hotel-rooftop and it was just nice having a cup of tea and again really observing the clothes!

Those are my thoughts!

Edwina@FASHION+ART said...

Well, I guess when I finally get to NYC and attend the shows, I'll look like a happy fool, grinning from ear to ear, as excited as a child at Disney World. One time for the experience. After that, the showing on a rooftop with tea sounds very nice. Think I'd prefer that too.