Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Collection Déjà Vus - How Much is Too Much?

With the blog's new look comes a new style - it is not enough for me to just review the newest collections or present you with outfit ideas or new collections. Given the freedom and power as a blogger, I feel the need to express my opinion on problems concerning fashion that may be small to the "big" world - but matter a lot to ours.

The Big Problem - When did it Actually Start?

We are all familiar with the word 'recession' and its impact on the world economy, and more importantly - on fashion. Ever since 2008, all we've been hearing about is cutting expenses, minimalism and plain presentations. Another association that comes to mind when someone mentions the word 'recession' is the word, safe. Statistics show that since the beginning of the recession, repetitive collections have been selling like hot cakes, while risk-takers and fashion forward designers have been classified as economic failures. 
Given this, more and more designers have been jumping on the 'repetition' band wagon, desperately trying to save their companies and maximize their profits. However, while this may keep the world of fashion financially stable, what has happened to creativity?

A Growing Trend - Whose Fault is it?

Imagine a bad situation that has happened to you in life. A failed relationship, a bad date, a ruined dress. We always try to blame someone for our misfortune. And while that is a bad approach.. almost all the time, I have to point the finger to the main duo responsible for this "trend" - Dolce&Gabbana. Starting with their S/S 2010 collection back in 2009, the designers have given the word 'repetitive' a whole new meaning. Below is a not-so-complete retrospective of their work until that season (my personal favorites). What you can clearly see is the creativity behind those masterpieces, their ability to explore new themes and start groundbreaking trends. 
From left: F/W '07, S/S '08, F/W '08, S/S '09, F/W '09

What you see in the photo below is variations of the same Sicilian theme over and over again. For me, the only way to distinguish those collections is by giving them different names such as Dolce&Musicana for F/W 2011, or Dolce&Banana for the fruit/vegetable inspired S/S 2012 one. 
From left: S/S '10, F/W '10, F/W '11, S/S '12, S/S '13

The Blind Side - Who Followed?

Following in Dolce&Gabbana's footsteps, Valentino's new duo started establishing the modern Valentino girl. Dressed in nude and covered with lace and studs, she continues to haunt their shows with minor changes to this day. Unfortunately that wasn't all. Red carpet's favorite designer, Elie Saab ditched his themed shows as well, showing 5 different dresses in every color imaginable, season after season. Also let's not forget to add Sarah Burton's McQueen, Balmain - under any creative director, Pucci and Giambattista Valli as very important additions to that list. What's scary: the list is just getting bigger.
Standard beauty: Valentino S/S '11, Balmain S/S '12 , Pucci F/W '10

Important Question: Who is Letting this Happen?

Okay, we all know that fashion is a business, and business is all about money and so on. It is normal for owners of big luxury groups like LVMH and PPR to push their designers to 'be safe' and create wearable items season after season. However, why would anyone want to look the same every season? Shouldn't I, as a customer, want different themes from different designers? That way I would spend more, as I want to own at least one piece from every iconic collection. Very logical. But no, apparently that is not how things work in our fashion world. Apparently, now, what's 'in' is to drool over the same items again and again. Which brings me to this question: What idiot buys the same Dolce&Gabbana lace dress for the rest of their life? First world problems.
Exactly how many black lace dresses does a woman need? Dolce&Gabbana S/S '10 - F/W '12

Moment of Truth - How Can We Solve this?

As an individual, not me - nor you (unless you're Anna Wintour) can do much about it. However, you know what they say - think globally, act locally! The one thing that everyone can do is re-inspect their values. Instead of screaming 'Oh my God, I love that studded Valentino clutch!' that I have seen 10 times before, I would praise young designers like Alexander Wang or Christopher Kane who are trying to make a statement in this world while entertaining us. Let's also not forget the absolute legends - what's left of them after McQueen and Galliano anyway, Miuccia Prada and Marc Jacobs who bring new items to the table season after season. That is the talent we need to acknowledge. For once, forget about the pretty dresses and platform shoes and look into the future - is women wearing Dolce&Gabbana what you really wish to see?

Don't forget to share your thoughts and ideas by leaving me a comment below!

Photo credit: style.com

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