Runway shows or bespoke fittings?

I’m totally over runway shows. Ever since Instagram arrived the major fashion brands have been trying to top their previous seasons’ runway shows with more and more spectacle. 

For Fall-Winter 2017/18 Ready-to-Wear, Chanel actually stuck a rocket on the runway. Can anyone tell me what the clothes looked like? No. But everyone remembers the damn rocket.

When I first started attending fashion shows (yes, back in the dark ages, because I’m that old), we were treated to seeing the actual clothes making the statements, not the spaces or the runways. 

We saw the clothes on models that had personalities, who didn’t all look and move the same way, and since there weren’t any Influencers in the front rows, we actually were close enough to tell if the clothes were made or wool or silk – and yes, we also knew the difference between those two fabrics too. 

For those of us old enough to have experienced fashion before Instagram we have favourite collections – not favourite ‘experiences’. Mine was Alexander McQueen’s AW 1995-96 Highland Rape.

Can anyone actually remember the title of a recent runway show?

Runway shows are supposed to show you the clothes and concepts of a new collection; it should support the brand’s existing DNA and continue the theme of the collection so that buyers can see how it fits into their future buys. 

Runway shows are not supposed to be multi-million dollar extravaganzas that offer spectacle alone, but no knowledge of a brand’s DNA or the direction of a collection’s theme. 

Runway shows for prêt-à-porter, ready-to-wear, are the worst. They are simply entertainment activities wrapped in a bit of fashion. These days they are used to launch albums (Kanye), show off motocross tricks (Alexander Wang) or show how rich a brand is (everything from Chanel under Kaiser Karl). 

I want to see the clothes. That’s why it’s bespoke all the way for me. 

Even the Haute Couture runway shows are better than the prêt-à-porter shows, they feature nice venues where you can actually SEE the clothes, on models with personalities, and no rockets or icebergs or supermarkets (Ugh, Chanel).

When it comes to sustainable fashion bespoke is also the way to go. Whether its by working with an emerging designer to make new clothes that are timeless and will last forever; or using a sewer to alter something you picked up from a vintage store (or your mother’s wardrobe), going bespoke not only makes environmental sense, it also makes style sense.

You can dress as yourself, and not have to pretend you are a size 0 model.

This article was first published as an iFab newsletter.

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