Milan Fashion Week SS17

Transcending the Generations: Gigi Hadid and Lauren Hutton for Bottega Veneta

However, below the surface of the cobbled streets, innovation and youth is bubbling and is sure to surface with a Bang!!!! (Lucio Vanotti and Arthur Arbesser are ones to watch!)

Like everything in fashion and the standard business cycle you have your standard booms and your troughs, your peaks and lows, your classic pattern of ups and downs as hypnotising as the waves of the sea and as steady as the changing of seasons. Repetitive? Yes! But filled with opportunity to adapt to the dynamic present to create a better future. Vogue Italia and Camera della Moda have invested in Italian talent for tomorrow and are brining fresh air into the Milanese fashion capital. Milan, once considered a dormant beauty has undergone a beautiful awakening, partially responsible is Alesandro Michele and the excitement he has brought to Gucci. AW2014 was a legendary season for Milan, but today almost 2 years later is unsurprisingly stagnant with a lack of new ideas. However, below the surface of the cobbled streets, innovation and youth is bubbling and is sure to surface with a Bang!!!! (Lucio Vanotti and Arthur Arbesser are ones to watch!) An investment in talent is the only way to reach long term benefits in a creative context.

Repetition is a buzzword for Milan SS17 with a Bold, Underlined, All-Caps emphasis on house codes and heritage storytelling.

Repetition is a buzzword for Milan SS17 with a Bold, Underlined, All-Caps emphasis on house codes and heritage storytelling. Comfortable at best. Stale at worst. In terms of brand building, enforcing house codes and heritage is vital when positioning effectively in the mind of the consumer and is for the very best a core competency promising a degree of stability in a volatile climate. Leaning too heavily on the shoulder of the past however is a risk itself and can inhibit creativity by transforming the “same old” to the “same old” with new bows and tassels. A styling exercise may prove fun and quirky, as we saw with Dolce and Gabbana, but underlines the major tectonic shift from fashion show for business purposes to the fashion show for entertainments sake. There’s no business like show business right?

Speaking of “for entertainments sake” – this gives me the opportunity to address the infamous round table discussion by Vogue editors on the blogger. The spiciest phrase includes: “Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style” said by Sally Singer. Bazinga. 

Andy Warhol’s prophecy of “in the future everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame” has come true with the issue being that it devalues the actual purpose of the shows into a mad circus of ME! ME! ME!

Having only been part of the fashion circus myself for the past 2 years, I can only compare what I see today with the accounts of others who have been in the industry for more than a quarter of a century. Lots has changed. And one of those major changes is the purpose for attending the fashion show. Ever since the 1970’s, a Ready to Wear fashion show predominantly allowed spectators to critique, order and exchange information between industry members thus legitimising a brand’s offering. Essentially it has been a B2B event but this has more and more shifted to a spectacle, filled with a glamorous Front Row (‘Frow’) in order to gain more press through sites such as the Daily Mail. Still this has to do with business.

The discrepancy though which has happened through social media is the tempting offer that everyone has a chance to be a star through street style photography. The more eccentric the better. Andy Warhol’s prophecy of “in the future everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame” has come true with the issue being that it devalues the actual purpose of the shows into a mad circus of ME! ME! ME! opposed to moving forward as a collective industry into an unraveling future.

I don’t believe the Vogue Editors were referring to professional bloggers who earn their bread and butter from such events — as many industry players do! I think they were referring to the (at least what I have noticed) thousands of people running around looking to gain social capita and legitimise their positions and following on Instagram by “being there”. Sarah Mower stated it is “pathetic for these girls…desperate[ly] troll[ing] up and down outside shows”.

I too would agree. I would preach the more successful route into the industry is spending some good ole fashion time in the library learning about fashion references, terminology, designers, photographers, and mastering a skill such as writing, designing, photography, drawing, filming… whatever your passion may be. Only renowned for being paid for over the top eccentric dressing for the sake of being photographed is incredibly cheapening to the self and to the industry. Just one gal’s opinion.