WILL IT BE THE END OF FASHION WEEKS?
The doubt is legitimate to follow the statements of the fashion big names, from Giorgio Armani to Alessandro Michele for Gucci, to Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent, to Dries Van Noten, to Alessandro Sartori for Zegna, the times and ways of the collections presentations must be rethought according to the creative visions of each, outside of catwalks and fixed appointments coordinated from above, more and more frenetic.
Slowing down is the key word that came out of the pandemic that will serve to redesign the future. Fashion bigs had a few months to rethink this increasingly accelerated system that forced them to a continuous flow of creativity, to churn out excess products, to a short-sighted marketing which could not see far, to an abnormal production that often created unsold intended for the parallel market. Slow-Fashion now takes its revenge on the Fast-Fashion that not many years ago has revolutionized the fashion world with ever new clothing at ever lower costs, filling the wardrobes but lowering the desire. It took the time of the #istayhome to look inside and wonder if the "so much", in all senses, had not really become too much.
The point was made yesterday by PambiancoDaily reporting the visions of some top brands. Alessandro Michele, the creative director who brought Gucci to new life, through Instagram communicates that he will no longer follow the traditional appointments of the fashion system but will carry on a personal story. "I am realizing that this possibility of telling cannot be forced by the tyranny of speed. Now we know that our actions were too furious, our race too insidious. It is in this renewed awareness that I feel the need for my time, free from hetero-imposed deadlines that risk mortifying creativity". And he adds, "I would like to abandon the paraphernalia of acronyms that have colonized our world: cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer, fall-winter. They seem to me stale and undernourished words. Acronyms of an impersonal speech, the meaning of which we have lost. Containers that have gradually detached themselves from the life that had generated them, losing adherence with reality".
Same music for Saint Laurent. "There is no good reason - explained Anthony Vaccarello - to follow a calendar created years ago when everything was completely different. I don't want to rush a collection just because there is a deadline. This season I want to present a collection when I’m ready to reveal it. The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to suddenly and completely change our habits, behaviors and interactions with others. It had a violent impact masked by an apparent calm. Our decision not to take part in any predefined calendar this year comes from our desire to recognize the importance of our time, our life. What is out of fashion now is the calendar of the entire system: shows, showrooms, orders".
Gildo Zegna also thinks of the near future in a different way, imagining new forms of communication. In July the presentation of the collection will be completely virtual. "I have always wanted to experiment with alternative formats that I can use to communicate my creative process to an ever wider audience - says Alessandro Sartori, artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna Group. The idea that this season I will present the collection with a digital tool gives me great energy and freedom of thought, because I can finally enter directly into people’s homes".
Giorgio Armani led the way of dissent with the famous letter published on WWD (which we commented on here, 10 Apri) that opened the eyes to many and which begins with "The decline of the fashion-system started when the world of luxury began to adopt the typical methods of fast-fashion, first of all the speed in proposing new items and collections… Luxury cannot and must not be fast because luxury needs time to be reached and appreciated". And that concludes with "This crisis is also a wonderful opportunity to restore value to authenticity: stop with fashion as a communication game, stop with fashion shows around the world, for the sole purpose of presenting bland ideas. Just entertain with great shows that today reveal themselves for what they are: inappropriate, and I also mean vulgar… The moment we are going through is turbulent, but it offers us the opportunity, truly unique, to fix what is wrong, to remove the superfluous, to rediscover a more human dimension. This is perhaps the most important lesson of this crisis".
The earthquake is only at the first shocks. But it risks seriously undermining an out-of-control system as the reconstruction phase begins. Better think about it now.