Another fashion week, or really fashion month, is now officially over. While we have already covered the biggest trends that came out of fall/winter 2015, we thought it was time to talk about what went on inside the tents… besides the models walking the runway.
Fashion month is filled with constant shows and jet-setting across the globe, and while it is mostly about the clothes in New York, London, Paris, and Milan, there is also a certain kind of culture that surrounds the shows, often filled with significant (and superfluous) moments.
New York Fashion Week was impressive this season, and not just because of the clothing shown on the runways. The attention was yet again placed on the models. Yes, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner – the new “it” models – walked in multiple shows, but what was not expected was a model with Down syndrome.
Jamie Brewer, star of FX’s hit show “American Horror Story,” was the first model to walk in NYFW with Down syndrome. This was all thanks to designer Carrie Hammer, who aimed to show real role models in her show rather than runway models.
Additionally, she showed models of various ethnicities, heights and weights. Another model she used was Danielle Sheypuk, the first-ever model in a wheelchair to appear at New York Fashion Week.
This decision by Hammer got great feedback from viewers and organizations alike, including Changing Face of Beauty.
For the digital world, Twitter kicked off the #FashionFlock program, where around 50 influencers—designers, bloggers, and celebrities—tweeted the goings-on of fashion week to the wider world.
This was similar to what they did during September’s New York Fashion Week, but this time Mophie was an official partner. With each fashion week, there is more and more activity on Twitter, so participating in the conversation is key. It is not just about having a Twitter, it is about how and what you are tweeting.
Designers are looking for innovative ways to get their shows into the laps of retailers and future customers alike. Whether it is live tweeting their show or implementing some sort of virtual reality where it is as if one is sitting front row. Designers really want to film and share the experience.
Let us first start with Tom Ford. The designer shocked the world when he decided to show his autumn/winter 2015 show in Los Angeles as opposed to London. Ford made this decision because his show coincided with the Oscars, so none of his usual attendees could be in attendance. But because the show was in L.A., it ended up drawing big name celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore and Scarlett Johansson, along with musicians such as Miley Cyrus and Rita Ora.
The show got a positive response by guests and those in the industry, because it goes to show that fashion and entertainment are so reliant on one another. This was also the first step in officially putting L.A. on the map as a fashion capital to watch in the future.
Something relatively new to London Fashion Week is the International Fashion Showcase (IFS), which showed over 110 emerging designers from 30 countries and four continents. IFS started in 2012 as a response to London’s reputation of nurturing emerging talent.
IFS gives designers the opportunity to be mentored by the London College of Fashion. A collaboration with Fashion Scout also gives designers the opportunity to have their work shown on the runway.
This event draws retail buyers who are interested in doing business with these emerging designers; likewise, his event allows young designers to get a direct in at fashion week and opportunities to get their work shown.
While the focus during fashion week is on the shows themselves, there are a handful of other events to attend in London if you are not a journalist or buyer.
Model Naomi Campbell kicked off LFW with her Fashion for Relief show, which aimed to raise awareness and funds for Ebola, a cause that is very close to Campbell.
The event brought together a slew of Campbell’s friends, including Kate Moss, Diane von Furstenberg and Margherita Missoni. They walked the runway wearing creations from Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana.
Accompanying the show was an auction, comprising of items donated from international artists and fashion houses. All of the proceeds went to Disaster Emergency Committee: Ebola Crisis Appeal.
The big buzz in Milan was during the Dolce & Gabbana show. The theme of the show was centered on motherhood, and featured mothers, daughters and maternity.
Many designs that went down the runway paid homage to motherhood, and many of the models brought their own daughters to be included in the show. There was a lot of controversy over whether or not the brand used the children as accessories, but I believe having the model’s children in the show was a sweet and fun move.
This was the first step for Dolce & Gabbana to break out of their homogeneous model line-up, so maybe next season, we will see a broader range of weights, heights, ethnicities and body shapes.
Another controversy that caused buzz during MFW was where a designer used literal blackface for the model’s makeup. Designer Claudio Cutugno put glittery blackface on models as part of his all-black themed show.
This, finding racism behind the gesture, outraged many. Cutugno says he was inspired by artist Emilio Isgrò with the intention to make the model’s face look as if insects were swarming them. Cutugno had no idea he was being racist with his action, but later apologized.
The highlight of Paris Fashion Week hands down was when Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson took the stage at Valentino’s show, reprising their roles of Zoolander and Hansel from the 2001 comedy, “Zoolander.” In this way, Stiller and Wilson confirmed a sequel to “Zoolander,” coming out early next year.
This was an entertaining finale to the show. Stiller and Wilson were filming the sequel in Rome, where Valentino is located, so they thought this was a perfect way to announce the upcoming sequel, since the movie is a spoof on the fashion industry.
So much more surrounds fashion month than just the clothing. Statements are made and controversies arise. Newsworthy events happen. All of this comes together to make us see a different view of fashion and fashion shows in particular.
I cannot wait to see what happens again in the next six months, when we get to do this all over again.