Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Consequences of uneducated fashion journalism

Yesterday I found this article by Colin McDowell discussing the state of fashion journalism and its apparent slow but sure demise as we currently know it due to cost cuttings including not hiring people specialized in said field and getting just anyone on it, too much influence from the advertisers and lack of technical knowledge from the journalists, among other things.
While I do agree it has an effect on the overall state of fashion journalism this lack of discerning eye with access to print has an even more serious effect on designers and their designs.Let’s take “Fashion Day’s” the local fashion week as an example of what I mean as a micro cosmos experiment of what could happen globally without fashion writers that know what the hell they are doing. (while the article also mentions how fashion bloggers are mostly just full of enthusiasm but not actual fashion knowledge thus disqualified to act as fashion journalists, not sure all bloggers have said intention to begin with, but many of them do study and even work within the fashion industry at some capacity and could easily become fashion journalists)
Anyways back to “FD” it’s an appointment that I never miss, ever, so far even if I'm abroad the date is not fixed and they keep moving it around which is good for me as it coincides with me being able to attend, mainly because deep down there’s always hope this is the year it will be different, this year it will be better, someone will come along and blow up everybody with the awesomeness of their collection, so far no such luck so the real reason my friends and I go is to have fun sadly at the expense of the designers (I know how bad that sounds but please let me explain).

Before continuing in the spirit of full disclosure let me tell you I participated for 2 years when a student as part of the collective representing the design school and it was a lot of fun and gave me first hand experience on how a backstage runs blah blah.

Ok so every year the same roaster of well known “talent” and a few new faces show up to fill some space, presenting collections without cohesion, some made out entirely of blatantly copied designs from various houses from previous/current seasons sometimes going as far as choosing a very similar print in the fabrics, horrible hem finishing’s, tailoring that lacks well executed fit and so forth. Such horror varies in percentage from one designer to the next and the only breathing time comes from some invited designers from other countries which is sad, that’s why mayor fashion coverage either stopped showing up entirely or just shows the foreign designers which is even worse (Fashion TV and E Fashion Weeks for example) as designers or their sponsors pay good money for the promised media coverage. And the local press? Well they sing praises of how modern/feminine/colorful the collections were, how so and so designer used amazing props for their show, no one ever mentions the flaws or the craftsmanship shortcomings, how are these designers supposed to feel drive to improve if no one really cares? Oh most be noted that even if they did something with plenty of wow factor if your package was the cheapest it does not include media atention sooo they don’t even mention whatever it was you made.

When the people that observe and report are uneducated and tasteless when it comes to fashion anything is celebrated. Perhaps they may regard it as unimportant as most of the designers do not have an actual brand but mostly own ateliers where they service requests of clients for special events ranging from cocktail dresses to costumes for a carnival night or whatever else so if they lack something is of no real consequence right? Wrong! This people could be selling their creations at a store or boutique in a big scale if the quality was as good as what is imported from elsewhere even exporting could be possible hence opening a flow of commercial activities that can bring economical benefit to many. Especially when a country has so much diversity of hand made resources and techniques that canalized in the right way could rival those made by international high end brands. But instead we get half baked crap labeled as “Couture” for the most part.

The sad part? When a really talented friend of mine went to find out exactly what she needed to participate she was told that besides the different levels of participation, meaning: show me the money, her creative capacity would be judged to see if she was talented enough to participate, with what morals do they ask this? Seriously after all the crap we see every year, it’s beyond me.

Back to fashion journalism it should be about impartial observation and communicating the good, the bad and the ugly in a clear way, so readers, designers others involved with the show can gather from that and improvements can be made when needed, its not about saying bad things to make others feel bad about their talents or kiss *** so the gifts keep pouring or simply say whatever because we have no clue how good it really was or not. So until that happens I’m gonna keep laughing and enjoy the show completely and probably every time something awful comes strutting down that runway my head will be playing the catchy last bit to Lenka’s The Show:

I want my money back

I want my money back

I want my money back

….Just enjoy the show

Yes I want my money back! Every year I get tickets for free but last time I just bought it and by the end of day one was already remorseful so there you go.

What’s your take on this? Share pls.

btw: if you still think me laughing is really bad let me tell you some of these designers complain that their short comings in execution come from the lack of qualified hand to sew their collections which is NOT TRUE and even if it were that’s the part you as a designer should come in and direct them, if you don’t have a clue as to how it’s properly done how can you complain someone else can’t do it either? Instead of complaining they should educate themselves and the people that work for them, seminars and books are available locally aplenty and also via the wonders of the net so they have no excuse for not doing things the right way. So they get no sympathy from me as I will continue to mock relentlessly.

1 comment:

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