Fashion shows have been around for ages. But it was originally the designers’ salons that served as “catwalks” twice a year for the big seasons, as well as a few times in between for other collections. Designers invited buyers to these presentations where models simply wore the clothes for the guests to see before these were released in the stores (much like today’s exclusive movie premieres). Fashion then was already big business, but kept to a simple affair.
This obsession with getting everybody’s attention is all about attracting the market and the media, so what better way to do it than exaggerate or go to extremes, right? If attention is what the industry is after, it’s got it, but unwittingly, it traded off much more for that. The face of fashion has evolved into something other than more spectacular. For Grace Mirabella, a Vogue editor-in-chief for 17 years and founder and director of Mirabella magazine (another monthly glossy), the shift from the salon to the runway marked the beginning of the downfall of the fashion industry. And in 1995, the downfall became apparent: sales around the world just dropped. The reason? Designers were coming out with increasingly ridiculous things (read: unwearable) and stamping these with sky-high prices. Like how ridiculous? Try aluminum pants, plastic gowns, sequined underwear or miniskirts that look more like wide belts. And how expensive? Well, you wouldn’t believe it anyway. What’s more, by 1995, trends changed too fast for people to keep up with (who would want to buy a tight-fitting killer-collared satin blouse when the ‘in’ thing after six months would be preppy loose cottons that would make you look like you’re stuck in the ‘70s in your killer collars?).
So maybe most of us don’t care about the Paris runways or what Jil Sander or Miuccia Prada are up to halfway across the globe. Or maybe you haven’t even heard of these people which doesn’t really matter because their merchandise is way too expensive for most people anyway. However, be convinced that what many acquire are the attitudes that fashion promotion dictates on an impressionable society like ours—a society that usually accepts and imitates whatever comes from Western shores.
When you see those supermodels walk down the runway in blouses unbuttoned to the waist, or those girls and guys on magazine pages looking stoned or sexually charged, you know it’s only hype. Fashion sense and attitude dictated by them can be merely products of big-time money-making. Fashion sense and attitude without the hype, on the other hand, is the real thing.
Woman Today magazine