Runway shows are heading in two extremes. They’ll either be more spectacular and public, incorporating installations, music, film, dance theater, and other artistic and performance disciplines, or they will be small and modest encounters to really experience the clothes.
– Li Edelkoort, trend forecaster
Mercedes Benz New York City Fashion Week is coming up February 10th through February 18th, and behind the scenes there’s been a lot of buzz about the future of fashion shows.
As more and more of the public (folk not really in the biz such as bloggers and celebrities) infiltrate the shows, the traditional fashion show format designed for industry insiders is no longer working. Additionally fashion leaders are facing some challenges with the advent of Instagram and Facebook making show images immediate and consumers wanting merchandise NOW, not six months down the line.
Under consideration is opening up runway shows to the public. Fashion powerhouses such Diane von Furstenberg, board chairman of Council of Fashion Designers of America are batting around the idea of selling tickets to fashion shows. (Up until now it was invitation only.) Also in discussion is shaking up the schedule by forgoing the “season ahead” idea and making what’s currently shown available for purchase right away. In other words, change the focus of runway shows from the business of clothing to a form of entertainment and a venue for immediate sales. Kind of like a football game or the circus.
To continue to do their jobs buyers and magazine editors would view new designs in private, sticking to the season ahead schedule.
Given the craziness that has become Fashion Week, I think this is a great idea. Separate the two – designers can create spectacle shows and invite anyone willing to pay Broadway play prices, and people in the industry can get back to doing their jobs in a more paced and hopefully quiet manner.