Fashion Week starts today! If you're on the outside looking in, you're in the blessed position of being able to enjoy the events without thinking about what it all means or how logistically nightmarish it can be! Industry people who have to attend and organize shows often get annoyed since — with 250 scheduled presentations this season — they are a logistical challenge, to say the least. Also, you lose a weekend, the hours are long, and not everything goes as planned, so tensions run high, even with all those free Pop Chips and cocktails, and even though the task at hand is merely looking at clothes. The Times argues that that's the true problem with Fashion Week: We see lots of clothes, and very few true shows. Guy Trebay writes that the frenzied pace of the scene, which now includes "reality-show gargoyles making 140 character pronouncements on 'Insta chic'" and "tween bloggers who already seem so ubiquitous and familiar they’re like modern Erma Bombecks," keeps the week entertaining, even as the shows and clothes have lost their magic.
Trebay cites Carine Roitfeld's recent laments that the fashion industry has become so corporate it can feel like a medical conference. "There's no excitement anymore, no amazement, none of the madness you could experience even a few years back," she told Olivier Zahm when he interviewed her for her new book. He thinks the loss of Alexander McQueen was a tragic contributor to this decline:
Wasn’t inspired madness what drew 661,509 visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in recent months, and what made people line up for hours to see “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” turning it into the eighth-biggest attendance draw in that institution’s history?
You didn’t hear it said at the time, but when the epic McQueen show finally closed in August, a curtain quietly came down on contemporary fashion’s great decade of experiment and expansion.
He adds that corporations were happy to fund dramatic spectacles put on by McQueen, Tom Ford, and the now-unemployed John Galliano because they were eager to capture the world's fascination to aid global expansion into new markets, writing, "Now that there is a Vuitton store in Ulan Bator, that task can be considered completed."
True, Mr. Lagerfeld may thrill everybody for an hour with another stage set like the one in 2010 that featured small mountains of ice hacked off a glacier in Sweden and then trucked across the continent to the Grand Palais in Paris. Yet even a stunt like that can’t alter the fact that in a borderline bear market hardly any designer can justify a line item for live wolves.
So, the CW stars who populate the front row are either cheaper or free.
Tents, but No Circus [NYT]