I recently read a post on the Sartorialist, an interesting and important topic for the future of fashion shows. One with many pros and cons. If you have not read it, take a moment to read it so everything below makes sense. The gist of it is, will fashion shows become so main stream that not only can you access it live, but potentially the public could attend by the purchase of a ticket?
As for myself, who has not yet attended a designer fashion show in my young career, it is evident that over the past 2-3 years technology has allowed "live streaming" access to news of any kind at lightning speed.
Today we have young, brilliant, savvy, eager bloggers whose views on fashion has made an impact on the designers themselves, many of which now attend these designers shows, releasing immediate reviews and images. We have never seen accessibility to fashion like this before. Although this increases immediate excitement for the label, designs and ultimately the revenue, I question whether it reduces the anticipation, surprise and excitement when designs were conventionally unveiled to the public at a later date. With that said, public shows with paid tickets would generate huge revenue allowing these design houses to profit not only in the show itself but with potential sales by the time the finale piece walks down the runway.
However, I feel there is a parallel between allowing the public to attend what has formally been exclusive shows for editors, elite socialites, and those A-List celebrities AND the comparison to the saturated market of fast cheap fashion and celebrity designers whose names splash over clothing, perfume, cosmetics etc... The initial concept was glamorous and people bought into the idea, however the market is sooo saturated with critical reviews on “what is luxury if luxury is available to everyone?”. Would Daphne Guinness attend a show that the public could be apart of? There was a reason why luxury was for the elite, for those who could afford it and that concept has been lost. I don't own a closet of designer clothes yet, the few designer labels I possess were either vintages finds, or once a year sales. I look forward to the day when I can afford designer labels without hesitation of my credit limit, it will truly be a luxury!
Today eager fashion consumers can access images of a designers ad campaign before it reaches print. I have to ask, is there even a point for the printed copy anymore and would this lead to the immediate yawn of the ad once it is printed? By then the consumer may already want something new! We already face this dilemma with fast fashion, the consumer tires easily today, trends pass by in what feels like a month. Designers compete with demand to produce enough NEW and INNOVATIVE designs multiple times within a season, with some staging 6 or more shows a year.
Although I agree Scott is absolutely right, I believe at some point we may to return to square one, to the key basics of what a fashion show entails and why is was powerful to begin with. Yes, like trends everything must evolve, always looking forward, but what would the limitations be to ticket holders of these fashion shows? Would this be accessible to the average consumer, or with a steep price that only the elite can afford, thus maintaining the exclusivity? Would the editors, socialites, celebs formally invited now have to pay...? I am assuming not, but is that fair to the public ticket holders? It all comes down to large corporations and money. They have trained the consumer to want it faster, for less money, yet still good quality. This method cannot sustain itself.
Thats all I have to say right now... what are your thoughts?