Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Resort 2016.... the age of Uniformity



The age of uniformity or generic fashion
Written in 1932, some 80 odd years ago, these words were so amazingly prescient.
Trousers draggin', slowly draggin' through the street
Yes, I'm walking, but I'm walking without feet
I'm not finding fault at all
With what's too big and what's too small
But Sam, Sam, you promised me both ends would meet
You made the coat and vest fit the best
You made the lining nice and strong
But Sam, you made the pants too long
You made the teak lapel look so swell
Who am I to say that you're wrong?
But Sam, you made the pants too long
They got the belt, and they got suspenders
So what can they lose?
But what good are belts, what good suspenders
When the pants are hanging over the shoes?
You feel the winter breeze up and down the knees
The belt is where the tie belongs
'cause Sam, Sam, Sam,
You made the pants too long
You know what I mean, Sam?

Possibly from the beginning of time, fashion has played a part in our social construct. Clothes or fashion might have indicated social standing or even a geographic location but almost always designers were able to differentiate themselves by creating a signature style, technique or look that was immediately recognizable or identifiable. You know what I mean, it is difficult not to have recognized a Grès from a Poiret or a Capucci from an Armani and so on but in today’s word of fashion there seems to be a malaise or miasma.


The prevailing mood or M O of today’s designers seems to be fitting in rather than standing out. Unfortunately more often than not, standing out equates to freakishly designed attention grabbing costumes rather than actual clothes or what might be confused with fashion. Of course there are exceptions but in plain speak it is just easier to quote the immortal words spoken by Clara Peller who asked” Where’s the beef?”


After perusing through slide after slide of Resort 2016 presentations, it becomes blatantly apparent to me and I am sure to many, that designers no longer have a signature or even a look that is uniquely theirs. Nowadays it is all about front rows, venues, blah blah blah bull that has nothing to do with the clothes and everything to do with ego not to mention piles and piles of clothes that for the most part could easily be attributed to H&M, Forever 21, Zara or Macy’s private label. Try as they might fashion houses strive to stand behind the smokescreen of this fashion intelligentsia but what remains is oodles of generic looking, monotonous, editorialized  and repetitive clothes all vying for a spotlight under various designer brands. Examine the concept of all these clothes being presented at one time and in one place and you are asked to identify the designer ... I double dog dare you. I am not speaking of the pieces that are in your face every day, I am speaking of the clothes that you rarely see other than on a runway and even more rarely ever being worn.


Apparently the new business outlook includes searching for a new customer season after season. Gone are the days when a particular designer catered to a specific client. We had Mackie, we had Zoran, we had Blass,  we had Beene and all of them identifiable in their own way, today’s business plan seems to be that your collection is pulled together from the HUGE communal workrooms of New York, Paris, London and Milan and then all you have to do is slap your label on them .. And presto … collection! The creative director/designer preaches from their design pulpit yet they possess no technical talents but do seem to love the sound of their own voice especially when espousing the gobbledygook of inspirations … and BTW, those inspirations rarely bear any reality to the clothes other than in in the mind of the designer.


One has to ask why there needs to be an endless supply of designers if all the clothes look the same or lack any distinction. LET ME STRESS that this is a prevailing mood and not applicable to EVERY designer brand as YES there are some who stick to their guns and produce collections that are instantly recognizable  and consistent in look …  even though they might be and most often are  overlooked by the so called media fashion elite. Imagine, they may not be on the red carpet or being worn by some B list media whore or photographed at some event but... here is a concept... they sell clothes because they have developed a signature and “fed” their clientele.


As proof to my observation, the slide show will be an amalgam of clothes with no names attached. It is up to you to make the logical conclusion … and no cheating...This is about clothes not venue so focus!