Sunday, September 20, 2015

‘Tis the Season for Fashion Weeks & Fast Fashion Thereafter

Los Angeles, CA – As we watch the year’s second season of fashion week wave live streaming from the main fashion capitals of the world -- New York, London, Milan and Paris, the ripple in the smaller cities gear up for their local runway shows where producers, directors, hair stylists, and make-up artists have either decided on original ideas to execute or looking for what to copy from the major catwalks.

There’s a whole lot more to fashion weeks than the average 17-minute model struts and front/back house production work.  Let’s refocus the lens and view the wider panorama of some of its reach.

From the surface, the recent New York Fashion Week (NYFW) seemed to have inched the diversity needle positively.  

Geena Rocero, Filipino-born LGBT activist who first came out in her Ted Talk last year walked for Carmen Marc Valvo.

Geena Rocero image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images    

Ashley Graham, also a Ted Talk speaker and plus-size model body activist, not only launched her own lingerie line but also walked in it

Ashley Graham image by Fernando Leon/Getty    

Madeline Stewart, an 18-year old Australian model who has Down syndrome opened for Hendrik Vermeulen.

Madeline Stewart Instagram photo by ericanichols_    

And my favorite statement move is by custom clothing designer, Carrie Hammer, who, like last year, sent 27 real women role models, i.e. journalists, athletes, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs, down the catwalk.

Carrie Hammer finale walk image by Getty Images    

Talk about inspirational women, now those are the kind of models young girls should look up to!

Financially, the recent NYFW boosted the city’s economy by almost $900M, more money than the 2015 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens or the 2014 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands in New Jersey according to the brand marketing cloud expert, Stackla. Impressive, considering that this is but one event in a multi-trillion merchandising industry.  If this is not enough, the wait for Spring/Summer 2016 apparel is too long that more designers have joined the “runway-to-retail’ promotion pioneered by Burberry in 2012, where consumers can virtually view and purchase products online straight from the runway. Consumerism at its best!

Most of the same audience would make their round in Europe fashion weeks. The top socialite bloggers like Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, Bryan Grey Yambao aka BryanBoy and Fashion Toast’s Rumi Neeley, will be prioritized in the front row seats, while the junior leaguers will muster the best photo they can from the grandstand and Instagram like they were seated upfront.  Then there’s the classic street style posing-but-not-posing bloggers hopeful to land their faces on the glossy pages of Vogue.  Ok – maybe some are effortlessly pix-worthy while others are absurdly styled aiming for a 10-second fame. And how can I forget UK-based freelance journalist, Hannah Ewens and her social experiment when she “dressed like an idiot at London Fashion Week to see how easy it is get style blogged.” Hannah was photographed, interviewed and in the end concluded, “Believe your own hype, and you can be anyone you want to be.” In Tagalog, walang basagan ng trip! LOL =)

Within a few weeks, many of these trendy runway looks will have knockoff imitations hitting “fast fashion” retailers such as Zara, Forever21, Target and Topshop to name a few.  Fast fashion is a phenomenon that came to the fore 10 years ago as a result of quick response and production efficiencies in the 1980s, and is now driven by marketing that creates the desire for consumption of the latest fad that promises instant gratification. Many of us are dazed by, if not addicted to, the sparkles and beauty of fashion. We see it everywhere – advertized in magazines and television, featured in movies, out in the streets, daily at work, and at weekend parties where one must ensure not to repeat outfits! The burgeoning middle class of Jones-es are always in the look out for the most affordable hottest trend racing to be the first one to wear the hippest style only to be outdated in a few weeks, hence it would be time to go out and shop again for the next craze.  Shopping, referred to by others as their cardio or retail therapy, is now America’s favorite pastime or shall I say vice! 

Released in Cannes Film Festival a few months ago, a Kickstarter-funded groundbreaking documentary by Andrew Morgan, “The True Cost,” examined the horrific social and environmental impacts of the ever-expanding and 2nd most polluting industry in the world, Fashion!  Morgan’s film presented mind-boggling statistics – 500% increase in clothing consumption from 2 decades ago; in 1960 US manufactured for its own consumption 95% vs. 3% today, the rest are produced offshore, the very first topic that I blogged about 3 years ago.  Anyone who had shopped at the Gap, H&M, Uniqlo, Adidas, etc. had fueled the massive growth of the fast fashion business, and in some way have effected the tragic inhuman working conditions and environmentally damaging production practices. Beyond the window displays and behind the curtains, there is absolutely nothing glamorous about fast fashion. 

In between fashion week live streaming, make sure to view “The True Cost,” a definite must see advocacy documentary that brings awareness to the high price of bargain shopping.  Come back, leave a comment and let me know what you think!  

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1 comment:

  1. I'm very grateful to you that you have turned out the true behind the fashion and making fashion accessories. “The True Cost,” Really behind the scenery of making a products in garments factory is so pathetic.