Fashion 2019-20: A Creative Resurgence Perhaps?

02.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

If it’s one thing we learned from the year 2018, it was that the fashion industry is in somewhat of a mass creative crisis. Unfortunately the industry has reached a point where it no longer defines itself by self-inventing and creating as it sees fit but instead looks to it’s consumers and influencers for major leads on what direction to go next. This revealed itself in many different ways such as the sneaker epidemic —  late 2017, Balenciaga created a version of a chunky sneaker called the Triple S which many people enjoyed, and by the end of 2018, the fashion industry had created an over saturation of many different versions of the same product. Nevertheless some of the pieces created were of course best sellers, but there is something less pure about the concept of a design done distinctly for commercial gain as opposed to one powered by creativity which gains sales upon its release. Of late, the fashion industry has been producing a lot of just that, series of collections and drops driven solely by the dollars of the people. Louis Vuitton, Celine, Dior Women’s and many other smaller brands in attempt to follow the streetwear movement often end up creating different versions of the same looks deficient of a wow factor. It is as if the industry within the last decade has shifted from an aristocracy to a democracy. This is not to say a producer should not listen to the voice of its consumer, however fashion has always been the source to define and show the people what they need as opposed to subservient system it’s now become.

In the 90’s & 2000’s, designers like Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier and Gianni Versace were coveted by big design houses and corporations because of their ability to create fresh and interesting ready-to-wear shows and collections without going too far across the border of couture. These creatives along with the members of the anti-fashion movement like Rei Kawakubo, Hussen Chalayan, and Raf Simons inebriated and exposed fashion for the art form which it is. Each one had an individual voice and panache which not only kept people at the edge of their chairs during shows but also often attracted an eager clientele. Fashion, because of it’s original, reputable work, withheld a sort of elitism in and outside the industry which earned the admiration and trust of the general public which in turn persuaded them into believing the industry was well-equipped with a group of creatives who had the power to convince and guide them throughout trends. However fast forward to 2018-19 this respect and admiration from consumers and the general public has somehow lost it’s way, the sales of many houses fell during the past year , “more than 1,875 fashion stores in the U.S alone had announced closure, 53% more than the number of closures during the financial crisis of 2008.”  There has been quite the speculation on what could have landed us in this crisis, some argue it was the fusion of the fashion industry with Hollywood through Vogue and other magazines. Others point fingers at fast fashion corporations such as Zara or Fashion Nova who constantly undermine the works of designers with imitations through slavery-like production. All of the above are contributing factors, but the question is, how will these high fashion brands regain the mass trust and loyalty of the general public? Through originality of course, the industry needs to dig deep and reclaim it’s voice in order to subjugate fast fashion and recreate a fantasy for the general public to admire. Fashion sells because it’s a fairytale. There are certainly designers still around like Richard Quinn, Charles Jeffery, Francesco Risso, Alessandro Michele and even at times Miuccia Prada who still create their own interesting narratives. However, why settle for the village when you can have the nation. No-one ever established success without experimentation, taking risks and pushing boundaries. This is not just the work for designers but the entire industry — magazines, luxury Groups, writers, stylists, photographers and everyone. It is mandatory that we aim be creative and expressive without the intentions of pleasing the people around us. So here’s to hoping 2019 will be the year fashion takes back it’s voice. With exhilarating runway shows and fabulous eco-friendly collections. Here’s to hoping as we close this decade, that somehow someway we will successfully become the saviours of our own selves and the creators of an invigorating new era. 

cover photo by Tim Walker : Story Teller

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