Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Fashion Chimera 2013... Fashion Miasma pt2


Picking up where I left off, let’s discuss the reviews that are meted out to us by the “mother ship.”  When reviewing a collection of CLOTHES, that is to say wearing apparel, when did it become “de rigeur” to discuss the physical presentation itself , the models’ names and mind numbing arcane details of the designer’s inspirations that never quite match up to the finished product?    For me, I read that these elements allow the reviewer to circuitously avoid any negative comments about the actual clothes hence no review at all, just some high minded nonsense that means nothing!  After all, this is not rocket science; this is clothing and not a scientific treatise on molecular theory.  Clothes do not come with “romance cards” attached to them on a hanger!

Is there an opinion to be given or not, and if so, get to the point and spit it out; take a stand.  Whether Joan Smalls or Karlie Kloss wears a particular garment is of no matter to the reader unless that reader is lost and thought they were reading a fashion review in US magazine, Seventeen or maybe Glamour; none of which are highly regarded for their expertise on matters of fashion or style for adult consumers who follow the upper end of designer fashion trends.  These models are young 20 something women, who in today’s world, are paid to robotically walk down a runway or stand like a deer in the headlights for an editorial but they DO NOT HAVE any say in what they wear on a runway so what’s the point and when photographed “out” at an event they are wearing clothes that were loaned to them; in essence not a shred of good or any taste is being offered?  More wasted extraneous verbiage that bears no relevance to the matter at hand… a review which is supposedly a thoroughly unbiased opinion of a designer’s seasonal collection of CLOTHES!

To be perfectly clear on the subject, in the genuine days of fashion, “when fashion came first,” we had mavens like Hebe Dorsey, Bernadine Morris, Carrie Donovan, Suzy Menkes and Cathy Horyn who weren’t always fawners, and loads of regional fashion critics who were just doing their job and doing it well and all working independently rather that for BIG BROTHER!  And yes, they had their :pets” and their favorites and that was the point!!!! THEY HAD A POINT!!!! If there is no real review to be given then one might as well just present the images and as so many 21st century bloggers, THE ONES WHO JUST OWN KEYBLOARDS,  and  supposed  “critics” do … well with just a one word assessment...Fierce or Fabulous or just Meh!

 People want to see, yes, and so many want to be educated about fashion whether it is their occupation, pre-occupation or just a form of entertainment.  Today’s critics don’t seem to have the fashion education, resume  nor the chops to make any kind of insightful historical comparisons as their memories and/or resumes only span 10 years or minutes , or even a proper frame of reference ,  so why bother.  Instead we are insulted by glaring and preposterous statements and comparisons that, on the face, are absurd and or then subjected to some information or terminology that a curator at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute would find arcane and useless!

To be fair, reviews will never be perfect but they should demonstrate some shred of independent thought based on an intelligent career path/work experience that has led the writer to offer this most current evaluation of this designer’s current body of work.  As the saying goes … “You are only as good as your last collection!”  Based on our contemporary viewpoints, many designers are just fierce or fab based on their inspirations, choice of venues and who they select to style their shows and model in them .  Again, none of this has to do with the clothes!  As I have repeatedly stated… DESIGNERS DESIGN... it is their job and every time they expose themselves to criticism by doing a runway presentation, they add to the opportunity and being either harshly criticized, highly praised or merely just given a line or 2 so as to prove the critic attended the show. 

But today, seemingly,  it is also important to know who sits in the front row as if that matters since most of those so called luminaries of the A-B-C variety will wear or receive their designer wares via a loaner or freebie or even worse will be paid to wear it to a high profile event.  Let’s get real here; Laurel Smith Jones from Boise or even New York City has no clue that Jane Fonda’s custom made Versace may have cost upwards of 50 grand or that Charlize Theron’s seemingly simple haute couture dress might have cost upwards of 50 grand nor can they fathom it. So indeed what‘s the point unless the only point is to hopefully sell a stick of Dior lipstick or a tube of Versace deodorant.  But I digress; the front row means nothing except when, in fact, the people who inhabit that row actually contribute to the success or failure  of that collection.