June 27, 2013

Calendar of Events

We know we aren't the only ones that wake up in the morning and have no idea how to dress ourselves. So it's about time the industry is finally addressing this hot fashion conversation as some look to transition towards a seasonless calendar. Categorizing fashion into a Fall, Spring, Pre-Fall and Resort model is so passé, especially with seasons being less and less distinct between one another. With that said, the rules of fashion are drastically changing, if any even still exist. Things are not only being affected by changing weather patterns but our attitudes are shifting as we move away from the traditional and familiar.

We called it back in March 2012 and whether it be on the runway, in shop windows or your own personal wardrobes, we now have complete freedom to design and buy what we want, when we want. However, that doesn't necessarily make things easier and it's leading to controversy for the entire industry. What does this mean for the future of Fashion Week? And more importantly, as our shopping habits adjust to new demands based on necessity and desire versus routine, how will this affect the entire fashion cycle?

photo via Marie Claire

Fashion Week has been evolving for decades and for many, today's catwalk has become more about exposure and "giving a show" than selling the clothing actually being shown. Buyers, once seated front row, are being replaced by bloggers and socialites. Models are just as important as what they are wearing and backstage access via photo and video content is pretty much customary. Fashion shows are now broadcasted in real time and looks can be pre-ordered straight off the runway. It's all about going viral and giving customers what they want, at an instant.

However, the fashion is changing too as many designers begin to rename Resort and Spring to Spring 1 and Spring 2 and the same for Pre-Fall and Fall, being replaced with Fall 1 and Fall 2. Seasonal distinctions are getting less and less clear – just look at how florals and mini hemlines have transitioned into Fall/Winter and fur accents and layering have moved into Spring/Summer. With so much pressure on designers to bring newness to the table and keep consumers interested, brands are experimenting with everything in order to survive. This can only be credited to the rise of the internet, social media and fast fashion, causing everything to turnover at an uncontrollable rate. Not to mention, runway fashion is now available at both the high, low and mid-markets as well as across the globe to any type of culture and climate, practically all at once.

The only way to cater to this rise in globalization is to offer transitional pieces that can be layered and worn year round. Pre-collections are typically much more commercial than Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer and they have gained remarkably in popularity over the years as a growing demand for all types of fabrications becomes more and more essential. Some stores are even devoting as much as 70% of their budgets to these collections. The key here is to not designate a season to these collections but deem them new arrivals because who wants Resort in November and Pre-Fall in June anyways?

photo via colorfully

As competition gets fiercer and e-commerce sites continue to flood the market, consumers are having more of a difficult time making choices about what to buy and from where. Michael Kors said he would prefer to just announce with each new collection, "Look I made new clothes!" We have to admit whether it be hot, cold, sunny or snowing, we love new stuff. However, we do need things we can wear year round and in today's day and age, we need to be ready for anything. 

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